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Immunological and Clinical Responses following the Use of Antiretroviral Therapy among Elderly HIV-Infected Individuals Attending Care and Treatment Clinic in Northwestern Tanzania: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Background: Limited information exists on adults ≥50 years receiving HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa despite their increasing number. We aimed at studying immunologic and clinical responses to ART in this population. Methods: Data of patients who initiated HAART between 30th of June 2004 and 1st of May 2008 at Sekou Toure Care and Treatment Clinic were retrospectively analyzed. Date of ART initiation was used as a baseline and 48 months as a follow-up date. Immune recovery was defined as a CD4 count of ≥350 cells/mm3 at 48 months and late presentation as presentation with WHO stage 3 or 4 at clinic enrollment. Proportions of patients reaching this end poin were compared between the two groups. Results: A total of 728 patients were included in our study; of these 73 (10.0%) were aged 50 years and above. Late presentation was more common in elderly patients than young patients (65.7% versus 56.1%, 𝑃 = 0.12). Proportion of patients with CD4 count ≥350 (immune recovery) was higher in younger patients than in elderly patients, although this was not statistically significant (54.5% versus 44.9%, 𝑃 = 0.2). Median absolute increase in CD4 at 48 months was higher in younger patients than in elderly patients (+241.5 cells/mm3 versus +146 cells/mm3, 𝑃 = 0.007). Conclusion: Elderly HIV patients have higher rates of late presentation, with lower immune recovery. Strategies to increase HIV testing in this group are required for early diagnosis and treatment to improve outcomes.
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