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Time to and Predictors of CD4+ T-Lymphocytes Recovery in HIV-Infected Children Initiating Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in Ghana

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AIDS Research and Treatment
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Abstract

Background. CD4+ T-lymphocyte monitoring is not routinely available in most resource-limited settings. We investigated predictors of time to CD4+ T-lymphocyte recovery in HIV-infected children on highly active antiretroviral (HAART) at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana. Methods. Time to CD4+ T-lymphocyte recovery was defined as achieving percent CD4+ T-lymphocytes of 25%. We used Cox proportional hazard models for identifying significant predictor variables. Results. Of the 233 children with complete CD4+ T-lymphocyte data, the mean age at HAART initiation was 5.5 (SD=3.1) years. The median recovery time was 60 weeks (95% CL: 55–65). Evidence at baseline of severe suppression in CD4+ T-lymphocyte count adjusted for age, age at HAART initiation, gender, and having parents alive were statistically significant in predicting time to CD4+ T-lymphocyte recovery. Conclusions. A targeted approach based on predictors of CD4+ T-lymphocyte recovery can be a viable and cost-effective way of monitoring HAART in HIV-infected children in resource-limited settings.

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