Non-nucleoside reverse transcription inhibitor (NNRTI)-based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is the recommended first-line regimen for children in Thailand. This study was aimed to assess pattern and predictors of immune recovery in antiretroviral-naive Thai children starting NNRTI-based HAART.
Records were extracted from clinical databases of 2 treatment cohorts in Thailand. The inclusion criteria were HIV-infected naive children who initiated NNRTI-based HAART when CD4 <25%. Immune recovery was defined as achieving a target CD4% of 25. The impact of age, gender, baseline clinical category, CD4 and HIV RNA titer, and regimen on immune recovery to weeks 96 was assessed using multiple logistic regression.
There were 274 patients (52% females) with a median baseline age of 7 (Interquartile range [IQR]: 4–9) years and a median CD4% of 5 (IQR: 1–12) who started treatment with nevirapine (66%) or efavirenz (34%) based HAART. Median duration of follow-up was 168 (IQR: 120–192) weeks. The median CD4% increase from baseline was 7% (IQR: 5–11) and 18% (IQR: 12–23) at weeks 24 and 96, respectively. The probability of reaching target CD4% was 51% (95% confidence interval: 45%–57%) by week 96. The predictors of immune recovery at week 96 were younger age, female gender, higher baseline CD4%, and sustained virologic suppression after week 24.
In this cohort of children with low baseline CD4, half achieved immune recovery after 96 weeks of HAART. The predictors for immune recovery are younger children, female gender, high baseline CD4%, and long-term virologic suppression.
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From the *Research Institute for Health Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand; †HIV Netherlands Australia Thailand Research Collaboration, Bangkok, Thailand; ‡National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sydney Australia; §South East Asia Research Collaboration with Hawaii (SEARCH) Bangkok, Thailand; and ¶Department of Pediatrics, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Accepted for publication November 12, 2008.
Address for correspondence: Thanyawee Puthanakit, MD, Research Institute for Health Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand. E-mail: email@example.com.
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