Survival, plasma HIV-1 RNA concentrations and drug resistance in HIV-1-infected Haitian adolescents and young adults on antiretrovirals

Macarthur Charles, Francine Noel, Paul Leger, Patrice Severe, Cynthia Riviere, Carole Anne Beauharnais, Erica Miller, John Rutledge, Heejung Bang, Wesley Shealey, Richard T. D'Aquila, Roy M. Gulick, Warren D. Johnson, Peter F. Wright, Jean William Pape, Daniel W. Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess outcomes after antiretroviral therapy (ART) in adolescents and youth in Haiti, a country with a generalized epidemic of infection with HIV-1. Methods: An assessment was made of survival, plasma HIV-1 ribonucleic acid (RNA) concentrations and HIV-1 drug resistance patterns after 12 months of ART in patients aged 13-25 years who presented to a clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with AIDS between 1 March 2003 and 31 December 2005. Participants received ART in accordance with WHO guidelines. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate survival probabilities and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the period from ART initiation to death. Findings: Of a total of 146 patients, 96 (66%) were female; the median CD4+ T-cell count at baseline was 129 cells/ml. By Kaplan-Meier analysis, 13% of the patients had died at 12 months, 17% at 24 months and 20% at 36 months. A plasma HIV-1 RNA concentration ≥ 50 copies/ml was seen in 40 (51%) of 79 patients 12 months after treatment initiation and was associated with poor ART adherence. Among 29 patients with > 1000 copies/ml at 12 months, resistance mutations to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) were detected in 23 cases (79%); to both NNRTIs and lamivudine in 21 (72%) cases; and to NNRTIs, lamivudine and other nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in 10 (35%) cases. One hundred and six participants (73%) reported sexual intercourse without condoms, and 35 of the 96 women (36%) were pregnant during follow-up. Conclusion: Adolescents and youth with AIDS receiving ART are at risk of virologic failure and disease progression and can therefore transmit HIV-1 to sexual partners and infants. Strategies to target the special needs of this age group are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-977
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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