Morbidity in HIV-1-Infected Children Treated or Not Treated with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, 2000–04*

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In the 2008 UNAIDS epidemic update, 33 million people worldwide were estimated infected with HIV, including 2.2 million children. In Côte d’Ivoire, 480 000 adults and 60 000 children were HIV-infected. Studies in developed countries have shown an improvement of children's morbidity under HAART treatment.


The objective of this study is to describe and compare morbidity in relation to evolution of the disease in HIV-1-infected children in Côte d’Ivoire, according to symptoms and the presence or absence of HAART treatment.


A total of 273 HIV-1-infected children from age 18 months to 18 years were included from October 2000 until December 2003. Follow-up was continued until 30 September 2004. The study population was divided in three groups. Group 1 included symptomatic children treated under HAART. Group 2 included asymptomatic children who did not need HAART treatment. Group 3 included children who met criteria to be treated at inclusion but were not treated.

Principal Findings

The three most common diseases in Group 1 before treatment were bronchitis, diarrhoea and ear nose and throat (ENT) diseases. Under treatment, the three most common diseases in Group 1 were bronchitis, ENT diseases and diarrhoea. The three most occurring diseases in Group 2 were bronchitis, ENT diseases and skin infectious diseases. The three most occurring diseases in Group 3 were bronchitis, diarrhoea and ENT diseases.


The incidence of diseases was significantly lower among asymptomatic children than among symptomatic untreated children (p < 0.0001). The morbidity found in symptomatic children who received treatment was similar to that encountered in asymptomatic children. The main reason for death in all of the groups was tuberculosis.

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