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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686


CHARLES, Macarthur et al. Survival, plasma HIV-1 RNA concentrations and drug resistance in HIV-1-infected Haitian adolescents and young adults on antiretrovirals. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2008, vol.86, n.12, pp.970-977. ISSN 0042-9686.

OBJECTIVE: To assess outcomes after antiretroviral therapy (ART) in adolescents and youth in Haiti, a country with a generalized epidemic of infection with HIV-1. METHODS: An assessment was made of survival, plasma HIV-1 ribonucleic acid (RNA) concentrations and HIV-1 drug resistance patterns after 12 months of ART in patients aged 13-25 years who presented to a clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with AIDS between 1 March 2003 and 31 December 2005. Participants received ART in accordance with WHO guidelines. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate survival probabilities and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the period from ART initiation to death. FINDINGS: Of a total of 146 patients, 96 (66%) were female; the median CD4+ T-cell count at baseline was 129 cells/ml. By Kaplan-Meier analysis, 13% of the patients had died at 12 months, 17% at 24 months and 20% at 36 months. A plasma HIV-1 RNA concentration > 50 copies/ml was seen in 40 (51%) of 79 patients 12 months after treatment initiation and was associated with poor ART adherence. Among 29 patients with > 1000 copies/ml at 12 months, resistance mutations to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) were detected in 23 cases (79%); to both NNRTIs and lamivudine in 21 (72%) cases; and to NNRTIs, lamivudine and other nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in 10 (35%) cases. One hundred and six participants (73%) reported sexual intercourse without condoms, and 35 of the 96 women (36%) were pregnant during follow-up. CONCLUSION: Adolescents and youth with AIDS receiving ART are at risk of virologic failure and disease progression and can therefore transmit HIV-1 to sexual partners and infants. Strategies to target the special needs of this age group are urgently needed.

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