Mortality in HIV infected individuals in Pune, India

Background & objectives: With the presence of HIV epidemic for more than two decades in India, rise in the number of HIV related deaths is expected. Data on mortality in HIV infected individuals from prospective studies are scanty in India. We report here data on mortality in a systematically followed cohort of HIV infected individuals at Pune, Maharashtra, India

Methods: A total of 457 HIV infected individuals were enrolled in a prospective study in Pune between September 2002 and November 2004.  They were evaluated clinically and monitored for CD4 counts at every quarterly visit. Mortality data were collected from the records of hospital facilities provided by the study. If the death occurred outside such hospitals; relatives of the participants were requested to inform about the death.

Results: Median CD4 count in study participants was 218 cells/ìl (95% CI: 107-373) at baseline. The median duration of follow up was 15 months (IQR: 12, 22). Mortality was higher in antiretroviral therapy (ART) naive patients compared to those who received treatment (16.59 vs. 7.25 per 100 person years).  Participants above 35 yr of age, CD4 count less than or equal to 100 cells/ìl at baseline, tuberculosis at any study time point and ART status were independently associated with high mortality [(RR=1.97; 95% CI: (1.23, 3.14), P=0.005, (RR=33.20, 95%CI (7.59, 145.29), P<0.001, (RR=2.38, 95% CI (1.38, 4.09), P= 0.002 and RR=5.60, 95% CI (3.18, 9.86), P<0.001, respectively].  

Interpretation & conclusions: High mortality at advanced immunosuppression highlights the importance of early detection of HIV infection. Emphasis needs to be given at timely diagnosis and management of tuberculosis and ART initiation. It is important to create awareness about availability of free antiretroviral drugs in the government ART roll out programme.

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Study published in  Indian J Med Res 133, April 2011, pp 414-420.

Manisha Ghate, Swapna Deshpande, Srikanth Tripathy, Sheela Godbole, Madhura Nene, Madhuri Thakar, Arun Risbud, Robert Bollinger & Sanjay Mehendale

National AIDS Research Institute (ICMR), Pune, India & Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

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