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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-28

Determinants of discordant immune response in a cohort of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients initiating antiretroviral therapy

1 Department of Medicine, Dermatology/Infectious Disease Unit, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria
2 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mufutau Muphy Oripelaye
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State
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DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_1_19

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Background: The introduction and wide use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) have significantly resulted in decline in morbidity and mortality from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and its related complications. These drugs can effectively induce virological suppression of the HIV-RNA replication to below the level of quantification, with eventual rise in the CD4+ cells counts. This is the therapeutic goal of using HAART in HIV-infected patients. However, some HIV-infected patients commencing HAART might have adequate virological suppression without a corresponding rise in CD4+ cells count-a phenomenon referred to as discordant immune response (DIR) or immunological nonresponse. Objective: The objective is to determine the factors associated with DIR among HIV-infected patients with adequate virological suppression, after initiating HAART. Materials and Methods: This study was a descriptive, retrospective, cross-sectional study that analyzed data from 200 HIV-infected adults that have been on HAART for 12 months descriptive statistics were used to describe the demographic profile of the participants, and binary logistic regression was used to assess the factors predicting DIR among the studied population. Results: One hundred and thirty-six (68%) were female with a mean age of 40.5 ± 10.9 years. The mean baseline CD4+ cells count was 162 ± 95.9 cells/mm3. Twelve months after HAART initiation, 64 (32%) of patients were immunological nonresponders. On multivariate analysis (logistics regression), patients initiating treatment at a higher CD4+ cells count >200 cells/mm3 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 3.89; confidence interval [CI]: 1.64–9.22; P = 0.002), the presence of anemia (hemoglobin <11.0 g/dl) (AOR 2.58; CI: 1.11–5.98; P = 0.027), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) positivity (AOR 9.84; CI: 3.10–18.12; P = 0.003) were independently associated with the development of DIR among the studied population. Conclusion: DIR among the studied population was common and associated with high baseline CD4+ cells count, baseline anemia, and HCV positivity from our HIV-infected patients. Thus, there is a need for adequate evaluation and monitoring of at-risk individuals to improve clinical outcomes.

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