An analysis of clinical signs and symptoms which best predict the need for HAART initiation in HIV infected South African women

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dc.contributor.author Horumpende, Pius Gerald
dc.date.accessioned 2010-09-15T13:44:48Z
dc.date.available 2010-09-15T13:44:48Z
dc.date.issued 2010-09-15
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/8705
dc.description MSc (Med), Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand en_US
dc.description.abstract Background. South Africa is currently experiencing one of the most severe AIDS epidemics in the world. The major challenge lies in prompt identification and early initiation of treatment in those eligible for HAART. Clinical staging has previously been recommended for use in settings where CD4 + count testing is not available. We conducted secondary data analysis to determine whether clinical symptoms and signs are useful in predicting the need for HAART initiation (CD4 + count < 200 cells/μL) in South Africa. Methods. Screening data from a randomized controlled trial in women who were HIV positive were analysed. All participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to elicit symptom history and then physical examination was done. Participants were staged using WHO criteria. Blood was drawn for CD4 + testing. The association between signs and symptoms and a CD4 + < 200 cells/μL was assessed using logistic regression. Results. Among 589 HIV infected women aged between 18 and 58 years, 90% were assessed as WHO clinical stages I/II. The median CD4 + count was 403 cells/μL (IQR: 273-586). Among women who were WHO stage I/II, 13% had CD4 + count < 200 cells/μL and required HAART. The WHO clinical staging had a low sensitivity (4%) but high specificity for detecting those that require treatment. Conclusion: In a setting where asymptomatic patients are diagnosed with HIV, clinical assessment can not replace CD4 + count testing as a method of identifying those that need treatment. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject HAART en_US
dc.subject Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy en_US
dc.subject HIV/AIDS en_US
dc.title An analysis of clinical signs and symptoms which best predict the need for HAART initiation in HIV infected South African women en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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