More perinatally HIV-infected children in Asia are reaching adolescence.
We analyzed data from July 1991 to March 2011 reported by 18 clinics in 6 countries of children age >12 years.
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.
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.