Journal Article

Viral Load Predicts New World Health Organization Stage 3 and 4 Events in HIV-Infected Children Receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, Independent of CD4 T Lymphocyte Value

Ricardo Oliveira, Margot Krauss, Suzanne Essama-Bibi, Cristina Hofer, D. Robert Harris, Adriana Tiraboschi, Ricardo de Souza, Heloisa Marques, Regina Succi, Thalita Abreu, Marinella Della Negra, Rohan Hazra, Lynne M. Mofenson and George K. Siberry

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 51, issue 11, pages 1325-1333
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/657119
Viral Load Predicts New World Health Organization Stage 3 and 4 Events in HIV-Infected Children Receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, Independent of CD4 T Lymphocyte Value

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Background. Many resource-limited countries rely on clinical and immunological monitoring without routine virological monitoring for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We assessed whether HIV load had independent predictive value in the presence of immunological and clinical data for the occurrence of new World Health Organization (WHO) stage 3 or 4 events (hereafter, WHO events) among HIV-infected children receiving HAART in Latin America.

Methods. The NISDI (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development International Site Development Initiative) Pediatric Protocol is an observational cohort study designed to describe HIV-related outcomes among infected children. Eligibility criteria for this analysis included perinatal infection, age <15 years, and continuous HAART for ≥6 months. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to assess time to new WHO events as a function of immunological status, viral load, hemoglobin level, and potential confounding variables; laboratory tests repeated during the study were treated as time-varying predictors.

Results. The mean duration of follow-up was 2.5 years; new WHO events occurred in 92 (15.8%) of 584 children. In proportional hazards modeling, most recent viral load >5000 copies/mL was associated with a nearly doubled risk of developing a WHO event (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.81; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–3.11; P = .033), even after adjustment for immunological status defined on the basis of CD4 T lymphocyte value, hemoglobin level, age, and body mass index.

Conclusions. Routine virological monitoring using the WHO virological failure threshold of 5000 copies/mL adds independent predictive value to immunological and clinical assessments for identification of children receiving HAART who are at risk for significant HIV-related illness. To provide optimal care, periodic virological monitoring should be considered for all settings that provide HAART to children.

Journal Article.  4449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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