Among 453 untreated HIV-infected Zimbabwean infants, 6-week viral load was the only infant factor that independently predicted mortality. Infants with viral load ≥ 1.59 million copies/mL (cohort median) had 3-fold increased mortality through 6 months (hazard ratio 3.07 [95% confidence interval: 2.16, 4.38]; P < 0.001) and 2-fold increased mortality through 12 months (hazard ratio 2.03 [95% confidence interval: 1.41, 2.91]; P < 0.001], compared with infants with viral load below the median.
From the *Zvitambo Project, Harare, Zimbabwe; †Centre for Paediatrics, Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom; ‡Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD; and the §Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Accepted for publication May 23, 2012.
This work was supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA; R/C Project 690/M3688); United States Agency for International Development (USAID; cooperative agreement number HRN-A-00-97-00015-00 between Johns Hopkins University and the Office of Health and Nutrition—USAID); Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle WA; and US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (grant # 1RO1HD060338-01). The authors have no other funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Address for correspondence: Jean H. Humphrey, ScD, Zvitambo Project, 1 Borrowdale Road, Harare, Zimbabwe. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.