Background: More perinatally HIV-infected children in Asia are reaching adolescence.
Methods: We analyzed data from July 1991 to March 2011 reported by 18 clinics in 6 countries of children age >12 years.
Results: Of 1254 adolescents, 33 (2.6%) died, and 52 (4.1%) were lost to follow-up within 2.4-year (3566 person-years) median follow-up period. Of 1061 adolescents under active follow-up, 485 (46%) were male, median (interquartile range) age was 14.7 (13.3–16.4) years, 73% had lost a parent(s), 93% attended school and 62% were aware of their HIV status. At the most recent evaluation, 93% were receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy, 71% (N = 737/1035) had CD4 ≥500 cells/mm3 and 87% (N = 718/830) had viral load (VL) <400 copies/mL. Current CD4 ≥200 cells/mm3, no previous World Health Organization stage 3 or 4 and being on a first-line regimen were independently associated with recent VL <400 copies/mL. Current age <15 years, VL <400 copies/mL, CD4 15–24% (vs. <10%) at antiretroviral therapy initiation, no previous World Health Organization stage 3 or 4 and antiretroviral therapy duration of ≥1 year were associated with recent CD4 ≥500 cells/mm3. Primary causes of death after age 12 were opportunistic infections (N = 15/33) and other AIDS- or treatment-related conditions (N = 9/33). Those at age 12 with CD4 <200 versus ≥500 cells/mm3 and those with VL ≥10,000 versus <10,000 copies/mL were 17.4 and 4.76 times more likely to die in adolescence, respectively.
Conclusion: Adolescents in this cohort have been successfully maintained in HIV care. Initiating treatment at earlier stages of disease was associated with immune recovery and virologic suppression during adolescence.