Antiretroviral treatment (ART) guidelines have changed over the past decade, recommending earlier initiation and more tolerable regimens. The study objective was to examine the CD4 response to ART, depending on the year of ART initiation, in HIV-positive patients in the Asia-Pacific. We included HIV-positive adult patients who initiated ART between 2003 and 2013 in our regional cohort from eight urban referral centres in seven countries within Asia. We used mixed-effects linear regression models to evaluate differences in CD4 response by year of ART initiation during 36 months of follow-up, adjusted a priori for other covariates. Overall, 16,962 patients were included. Patients initiating in 2006–9 and 2010–13 had an estimated mean CD4 cell count increase of 8 and 15 cells/µl, respectively, at any given time during the 36-month follow-up, compared to those in 2003–5. The median CD4 cell count at ART initiation also increased from 96 cells/µl in 2003–5 to 173 cells/µl in 2010–13. Our results suggest that the CD4 response to ART is modestly higher for those initiating ART in more recent years. Moreover, fewer patients are presenting with lower absolute CD4 cell counts over time. This is likely to reduce their risk of opportunistic infections and future non-AIDS defining cancers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases