Baseline CD4+ T lymphocyte cell counts, hepatitis B and C viruses seropositivity in adults with Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection at a tertiary hospital in Nigeria
Background: Ekiti State of Nigeria is known to have the lowest prevalence of HIV in Nigeria. University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Ado Ekiti was recently upgraded to serve as one of the three centres for HIV/AIDS referral, diagnosis and treatment in Ekiti State. We evaluated the baseline immunologic and biochemical parameters of patients presenting at the ART clinic of University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State. Methods: All HIV seropositive patients not yet on antiretroviral therapy, who presented at the ART Clinic within the study period had at the first visit to the clinic, their blood sample taken for CD4 cell counts estimation, HBsAg and anti- HCV screening, ALT, AST as well as hemoglobin estimation as part of the routine workup to assess their disease health status and need for antiretroviral therapy. Statistical significance was taken as p< 0.05. Results: A total of 273 patients comprising 79 (28.9%) males and 194 (71.1%) females were included in the study (F:M = 2.46: 1). The mean age of the study population was 36.21± 10.20 years with mean age of males (39.52 ± 9.95years) significantly higher than females (34.88 ± 10.02; p=0.001). The overall prevalence of HBsAg in the study population was 6.6% with a sex specific prevalence of 8.1% and 6% for males and females, respectively. No statistically significance difference in the mean serum alanine transaminase, serum aspartate transaminase, hemoglobin and CD4+ T- Lymphocytes cell count of those who had HBsAg negative status compared to those who had HBsAg positive status. Two (0.7%) of the patients had positive serum anti HCV antibodies. The CD4+ T- Lymphocytes cell count ranged between 5 – 1050 cells/Hl with a mean of 286.19 ± 233.31 cells/Hl. The majority of patients (71.8%) had a CD4+ T- Lymphocytes cell count < 350 cells/Hl. Conclusion: At the time of presentation, majority of our patients had a CD4+ T- Lymphocytes cell count less than 350 cells/Hl consistent with significant immune-suppression. More sustained and vigorous awareness campaigns still need to be done in Ekiti State to diagnose this disease early. There is also a need to accelerate the integration of hepatitis B virus screening and treatment programme into HIV/AIDS programme because of the morbidity and mortality implication of HBV and HIV co-infection.
Key words: HIV AIDS infection, CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell counts, Hepatitis B virus infection