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JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes:
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000191
Clinical Science

Immunologic Effect of Zinc Supplementation in HIV-Infected Children Receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Lodha, Rakesh MD*; Shah, Nipam MPH*; Mohari, Nivedita MD*; Mukherjee, Aparna MD*; Vajpayee, Madhu MD; Singh, Ravinder MSc; Singla, Mohit MBBS*; Saini, Savita MSc*; Bhatnagar, Shinjini PhD*; Kabra, Sushil Kumar MD*

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Background: We conducted this study to assess the immunologic effect of daily 20 mg zinc supplementation for 24 weeks in HIV-infected children older than 6 months receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Methods: Fifty-two HIV-infected children older than 6 months in whom ART was initiated were randomized to receive either 20 mg of zinc or placebo for a period of 24 weeks. Children underwent clinical examination, anthropometry, and laboratory evaluations: CD4% and count, viral load, and serum zinc level at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. The primary outcome evaluated was CD4% value at the end of 12 and 24 weeks of study intervention in the enrolled children.

Results: Of 52 children enrolled, 49 completed the study. The median CD4% value rose from 10% to 23% at 12 weeks and to 24.5% at 24 weeks in the zinc group, whereas in the placebo group, the value rose from 11% to 20% at 12 weeks and to 22% at 24 weeks (P = 0.188 for comparison between the zinc and the placebo group at 12 wk and P = 0.3 for comparison at 24 wk). The median (interquartile range) log reductions in the viral load at 12 weeks in the 2 arms were similar at 12 (P = 0.84) and 24 weeks (P = 0.43).

Conclusions: Supplementation of 20 mg zinc daily for 24 weeks did not have any statistically significant effect on the increase in CD4%, decrease in viral load, anthropometric indices, and morbidity profile in HIV-infected children started on ART.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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