Improved survival in HIV treatment programmes in Asia
Feb 10 2016
BACKGROUND: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV-positive patients has expanded rapidly in Asia over the last 10 years. Our study aimed to describe the time trends and risk factors for overall survival in patients receiving first-line ART in Asia.
METHODS: We included HIV-positive adult patients who initiated ART between 2003-2013 (n=16,546), from seven sites across six Asia-Pacific countries. Patient follow-up was to May 2014. We compared survival for each country and overall by time period of ART initiation using Kaplan-Meier curves. Factors associated with mortality were assessed using Cox regression, stratified by site. We also summarized first-line ART regimens, CD4+ T-cell count at ART initiation, and CD4+ T-cell and HIV viral load testing frequencies.
RESULTS: There were 880 deaths observed over 54,532 person-years of follow-up, a crude rate of 1.61 (95% CI 1.51, 1.72) per 100 person-years. Survival significantly improved in more recent years of ART initiation. The survival probability at 4 years follow-up for those initiating ART in 2003-2005 was 92.1%, 2006-2009 was 94.3% and 2010-2013 was 94.5% (P<0.001). Factors associated with higher mortality risk included initiating ART in earlier time periods, older age, male sex, injecting drug use as HIV exposure and lower pre-ART CD4+ T-cell count. Concurrent with improved survival was increased tenofovir use, ART initiation at higher CD4+ T-cell counts and greater monitoring of CD4+ T-cells and HIV viral load.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that HIV-positive patients from Asia have improved survival in more recent years of ART initiation. This is likely a consequence of improvements in treatment, patient management and monitoring over time.