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Effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy in treating children with advanced HIV disease

Eritrean Medical Association
Publication Date
  • Medicine


Objective: To describe the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on HIV infected children at Orotta Pediatric National Referral Hospital. Method: Follow-up descriptive study was conducted on one hundred and one consecutive children with advanced HIV disease who were put on antiretroviral therapy from September 2005 to October 2006. These patients were followed up at the antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinic of the hospital. Results: Out of the 270 HIV infected patients who were under follow up at miscellaneous follow-up clinic of the hospital 101(37.4%) were eligible for antiretroviral therapy based on the national antiretroviral therapy guidelines. These consecutive patients were under follow- up from one month to fourteen months. Majority of patients 68.3%( n=69) were in the age group six years and above and 79.3 %( n=80) were in the advanced stage of the disease. In those patients who were under HAART for six months, the six months median CD4 % increase by 14% for children .6 years of age, and by 9.4% for children > 6 years age is significant (95% CI using the Wilcoxon sign rank test : at p value= 0.000). Similarly the median weight for height z-score increment from base line of -0.85 to 0.1 at six months is significant. (95% CI using the same test: at p value=0.000). Conclusions: Despite the initiation of HAART at late clinical stages of HIV/AIDS and advanced immune suppression, the clinical and immune response was satisfactory. Therefore, treatment should be started to all eligible patients irrespective of disease severity and immuno-suppression

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