BACKGROUND: The introduction of HAART has decreased mortality and progression to AIDS in perinatally HIV-1-infected children, but information on modification of the rate of specific clinical events is limited. METHOD: An observational population study on changes in HIV-1-related morbidity was conducted on 1402 perinatally HIV-1-infected children enrolled in the Italian Register for HIV Infection in Children and prospectively followed in the pre-HAART (1985-1995) and post-HAART periods (1996-2000, and 2001-2005). Of this group, 773 children (55.1%) were followed from birth. Median observation time was 8.58 years (interquartile range, 3.71-13.72). RESULTS: Overall, 666 (47.5%) children developed AIDS and 420 (29.9%) died. Improved survival over time was evidenced at Kaplan-Meier analysis (P <0.0001). Poisson regression analysis indicated that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention class B and C clinical event rates and most of the HIV-1-related organ complication rates significantly decreased starting from 1996-2000. Significant reductions in rates of cancer and opportunistic infections were evidenced after 2000. Nevertheless, opportunistic infections still occurred at high rates (6.09/100 person-years) in 2001-2005, with high rate of bacterial infections (3.55/100 person-years), particularly pneumonia (1.66/100 person-years), in this period. CD4 cell percentage was > 15% in 58.5% children with pneumonia. CONCLUSIONS: Progressive reductions of both mortality and rates of class B and C clinical events, including organ complications, were evidenced in the HAART era. Nevertheless, severe bacterial infections, particularly pneumonia, still occurred at considerable high rates, even in the absence of a severe CD4 cell depletion.
- Combined antiretroviral therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy