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Highly active antiretroviral therapy and the incidence of HIV-1-associated nephropathy: a 12-year cohort study

Lucas, Gregory Ma; Eustace, Joseph Aa; Sozio, Stephena; Mentari, Evelyn Ka; Appiah, Kofi Ab; Moore, Richard Da

Epidemiology & Social

Objective: to assess temporal changes in the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus-1-associated nephropathy (HIVAN), and the association with use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).

Methods: HIVAN incidence and risk factors were assessed in 3976 HIV-1-infected individuals followed in clinical cohort in Baltimore, Maryland, USA from 1989 to 2001. The incidence of HIVAN, defined by biopsy or a conservative uniformly applied clinical coding protocol, was expressed in terms of person-years, and Poisson regression was used for multivariate analysis.

Results: Ninety-four patients developed HIVAN over the course of the study for an incidence of 8.0 per 1000 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI), 6.5 to 9.8]. African American race and advanced immunosuppression were strongly associated with HIVAN risk. HIVAN incidence declined significantly in 1998–2001 compared with 1995–1997. Among patients with a prior diagnosis of AIDS, HIVAN incidence was 26.4, 14.4, and 6.8 per 1000 person-years in patients not receiving antiretroviral therapy, treated with nucleoside analogue therapy only, or treated with HAART, respectively (P < 0.001 for trend). In multivariate analysis, HIVAN risk was reduced 60% (95% CI, −30 to −80%) by use of HAART, and no patient developed HIVAN when HAART had been initiated prior to the development of AIDS.

Conclusion: HAART was associated with a substantial reduction in HIVAN incidence. Additional follow-up will be needed to determine if renal damage in susceptible individuals is halted or merely slowed by HAART, particularly when control of viremia is incomplete or intermittent.

From the aJohns Hopkins University, Baltimore and the bGood Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Correspondence to Gregory M. Lucas, MD, 1830 E. Monument Street, Room 421, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA

Tel: +1 410 614 0560; fax: +1 410 955 7889; e-mail:

Received: 19 June 2003; revised: 28 August 2003; accepted: 17 September 2003.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.