Mortality in Patients With Successful Initial Response to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Is Still Higher Than in Non-HIV-Infected Individuals

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Summary:Mortality in HIV-infected patients has decreased dramatically since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We analyzed progression to death in a population of 3678 antiretroviral treatment-naive patients from the ATHENA national observational cohort from 24 weeks after the start of HAART. Mortality was compared with that in the general population in the Netherlands matched by age and gender. Only log-transformed CD4 cell count (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.50, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.40 to 0.61 per unit increase) and plasma viral load (HR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.15 to 0.60, HIV RNA level <100,000 vs. ≥100,000 copies/mL) measured at 24 weeks and infection via intravenous drug use (IDU) (HR = 0.16, 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.26, non-IDU vs. IDU) were significantly associated with progression to death. For non-IDU patients with 600 × 106 CD4 cells/L and an HIV RNA level <100,000 copies/mL at 24 weeks, mortality was predicted to be 5.3 (95% CI: 3.5 to 8.4) and 10.4 (95% CI: 6.4 to 17.4) times higher than in the general population for 25-year-old men and women, respectively, and 1.15 (95% CI: 1.08 to 1.25) and 1.29 (95% CI: 1.16 to 1.50) times higher for 65-year-old men and women, respectively. Hence, mortality in HIV-infected patients with a good initial response to HAART is still higher than in the general population.

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