Arsi University Asella Health Science College,Ethiopia.
Abebe sorsa is a asistant professor of pediatrics and child health , arsi university asella health science college, asella ethiopia.
Background: Highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) has brought significant change in reducing morbidity and mortality among children living with HIV/AIDS. However, proper monitoring of HAART response is found to be among the challenges that commonly occurring in HIV care and treatment in resource-limited countries. The objective of this study was to assess patterns of weight gain as a predictor of CD4 recovery during the first six months of HAART in children with HIV infection.
Methods: A retrospective cross sectional study was conducted on patients taking HAART since 2005 to 2011. All HIV-infected children under the age of 15 years who took first-line HAART for at least six months at Black Lion Specialized Hospital Addis Ababa were included. Data were collected, entered and analyzed using Epi info version 3.5.1 and SPSS version 16.Linear regression was used to assess weight gain as a predictor of CD4 cell recovery
RESULTS: Data of 196 children were analyzed. Males constitute 51% and the minimum age at the start of ART was 4 months and the highest being 168 months (inter-quartile range 87-120 months). CD4 cell count at the start of HAART ranged from 3-2003 cell/ml with an interquartile range of 231-317 cell/ml. After 6 months of HAART, the CD4 count has ranged from 71-2300 c/ml with inter quartile range of 458-612 c/ml and mean CD4 count difference of 230, 95% CI (199.414-260.613); P<0.001. The mean weight gain at three month is 0.772kg, 95% CI (0.588- 0.957) and at six months is1.80 kg,95% CI (1.60- 2.00); P<0.01.Weight at three and six months of initiation of HAART found to be strong predictors of CD4 count recovery at six months (p 0.012 and 0.002respectively).
Conclusion: Although gain in CD4 count in the first six months of ART is the best predictor of subsequent HAART outcomes, we demonstrated that pattern of weight gain is useful tool for predicting early response to HAART particularly in resource-limited settings.