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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 22, 2019

Opportunistic infection at the start of antiretroviral therapy and baseline CD4+ count less than 50 cells/mm3 are associated with poor immunological recovery

Amod Tilak, Smita Shenoy, Muralidhar Varma, Asha Kamath, Amruta Tripathy, Ravi Sori and Kavitha Saravu



There is a dearth of studies assessing the efficacy and immunological improvement in patients started on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in India. This study was undertaken to assess the 2-year treatment outcomes in HIV-positive patients initiated on ART in a tertiary-care hospital.


After approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee, adult HIV-positive patients from a tertiary-care hospital, initiated on ART between January 2013 and February 2015, were included in the study. Data on clinical and immunological parameters were obtained from medical case records over a period of 2 years after initiation of therapy. Intention-to-treat analysis was done using a descriptive approach, using SPSS version 15 (SPSS Inc. Released 2006. SPSS for Windows, Version 15.0. Chicago, SPSS Inc.). A logistic regression analysis was done to assess the predictors for poor outcomes. A p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.


ART was initiated in 299 adult patients. At 1 and 2 years, the median (interquartile range) change in CD4+ cell count was 65 (39, 98) cells/mm3 and 160 (95, 245) cells/mm3. The change observed after 2 years of treatment initiation was statistically significant compared with that after 1 year. Three deaths occurred during the study period and 28 were lost to follow-up. Male sex, presence of at least one opportunistic infection at the start of therapy, and baseline CD4+ count <50 cells/mm3 were associated with poor immunological recovery.


With long-term treatment and regular follow-up, sustained clinical and immunological outcomes can be obtained in resource-limited settings.

Corresponding author: Dr. Smita Shenoy, Additional Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal 576104, Karnataka, India, Phone: +0820 2922365

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2018-06-20
Accepted: 2018-10-27
Published Online: 2019-03-22

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