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Micronutrient deficiencies may be common during human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Malabsorption, diarrhea, impaired storage and altered metabolism can contribute to the development of micronutrient deficiencies. The present study is aimed at assessing pretreatment biochemical parameters: serum iron, ferritin, TIBC, total protein, albumin, globulin, in addition to CD4 + cell count and viral load levels in asymptomatic HIV sero-positive patients. The test subjects comprised of 50 asymptomatic HIV sero-positive patients (25 males and 25 females) aged 18-35 years recruited from the PEPFAR unit, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku Ozalla, Enugu State, whereas 60 apparently-healthy, age-matched, HIVnegative volunteers (30 males and 30 females) served as control subjects. There were significant increases (P<0.05) in total protein and globulin, with significant decreases (P<0.05) in albumin and CD4 + counts compared to the controls. There was also significant increase (P<0.05) in the CD4 + counts of the male test subjects, compared to females. The male and female test subjects, however showed significant increases (P<0.05) in total protein and globulin with significant decrease in the CD4 + counts when compared with their respective controls. The study suggests the need for checking pre-treatment biochemical parameters, in addition to viral load, in asymptomatic HIV patients, to help determine the appropriate time to initiate HAART therapy and also monitor disease progression.
HAART, seropositive, pre-treatment, asymptomatic.