Author(s): Sabin CA, Smith CJ, Youle M, Lampe FC, Bell DR, , Sabin CA, Smith CJ, Youle M, Lampe FC, Bell DR,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To describe the characteristics of deaths that occur among HIV-positive individuals in the HAART era. DESIGN: Observational database. METHODS: Deaths were reviewed that occurred among HIV-positive individuals seen at the Royal Free Hospital, London between January 1998 and December 2003. RESULTS: Over the study period, there were 121 deaths; death rates declined from approximately 2.0/100 person-years of follow-up in 1998-2000 to approximately 1.0/100 person-years of follow-up in 2001-2003. Approximately one half of deaths (45.5\%) were from AIDS-related causes and 74 deaths (61.2\%) occurred in individuals who had received HAART: patients had been exposed to a median of seven (range 2-14) antiretroviral drugs and two-fifths had started treatment in the pre-HAART era. Another 15 patients had received only non-HAART treatment regimens prior to death. The median pre-death CD4 cell counts were 68 and 167 cells/microl among those who had and had not received HAART; 23 (31.1\%) and 4 (8.5\%) had HIV RNA < 400 copies/ml, respectively. Of the patients exposed to HAART for at least 6 months and who experienced viral rebound, information was available on resistance for 26 (21.5\% of the total deaths) and 19 of those tested had at least one resistance mutation (median 5, range, 1-16). CONCLUSIONS: While mortality rates among HIV-infected individuals at our centre have fallen since 1988, the deaths that do now occur are more diverse and are the result of a number of factors, including late presentation, delayed uptake of HAART and the previous use of treatment combinations that are now viewed as suboptimal.
This article was published in AIDS
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research