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Immunovirological treatment outcomes after 2 years of antiretroviral therapy in children living with the human immune deficiency virus in Lagos Nigeria

O. Nwaiwu
A.J. Akindele
A.S. Akanmu
O.O. Adeyemi


Background/objective: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends routine assessment of antiretroviral treatment outcomes to detect  treatment failure early and prevent the development of drug resistance. The aim of this study was to describe treatment outcomes of antiretroviral therapy (ART) over 2 years in children living with the human immune deficiency virus enrolled in the paediatric HIV clinic at the Lagos University
Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study of antiretroviral treatment outcomes in 278 children receiving antiretroviral therapy at the paediatric HIV clinic of LUTH. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were retrospectively collected from clinical records of pediatric patients
who received antiretroviral therapy for 2 years ( from November 2015 to December 2017) . Virological failure was defined as viral load > 400  copies/ml and immunological failure was defined as a CD4 count <100 cells/mm3 or CD4 % <15% after receiving antiretroviral agents for 12 months. Data was analysed using graph pad prism version 5.0.
Results: After 12 months on antiretroviral therapy (ART), 101 (36%) had virological failure while 14 (5%) and 36 (13%) failed immunologically [CD4 count <100 cells/mn3 and CD4 <15% respectively]. Virological blips were observed at 24 months in 6.1% of patients while immunovirological discordance occurred in 30% of patients (poor virological clearance despite good immunological recovery) . High baseline viral load (>5000  copies/ml), poor adherence (<95%) and low baseline CD4 counts (101-249 cells/mn3) were significantly associated with virological failure, while low baseline CD4 counts (<350 cells/mn3) and poor adherence (<95%) were significantly associated with immunologic failure.
Conclusion: The treatment outcomes observed in this study are similar to those reported in earlier studies. At 1 and 2 years of antiretroviral therapy , there was immune restoration however 101 (36%) and 87 (31%) respectively had virological failure despite good adherence to therapy and good Immunological restoration. This calls for early initiation and switch to second and third line drugs .

Key words: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), zidovudine, lamivudine, nevirapine, virological blips, immunovirological discordance , children, Nigeria.