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Effectiveness of Antiretroviral Therapy in Treating Paediatric HIV/AIDS in Jamaica



Background and Purpose: Paediatric HIV/AIDS remains a significant challenge in developing countries. We describe the effectiveness of interventions in HIV-infected children attending Paediatric Infectious Diseases Clinics in Jamaica.

Methods: One hundred and ninety-seven HIV-infected children were followed prospectively in multicentre ambulatory clinics between September 1, 2002 and August 31, 2005, in the Kingston Paediatric and Perinatal HIV/AIDS Programme, Jamaica, and their outcomes described.

Results: Median follow-up was 23 child-months (interquartile range [IQR] 12–31) with 12 children (6.0%) lost to follow-up and deaths (n = 13) occurred at 4.64 per 100 child-years of follow-up. Median age was 5.0 years (IQR 2.2–8.1) and 32.1% had Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) category C disease at enrolment; 62% were ever on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with median duration of 15.4 months (IQR 5.5–25.5); 85% initiated ART with zidovudine/lamivudine/nevirapine. Mean weight-for-height 0.13 ± 1.02 (mean difference -1.71 [95% Confidence interval (CI) -2.73, -0.69]; p = 0.001) and body mass index-for-age 0.05 ± 1.11 (mean difference -1.11, [CI -1.79, -0.43]; p = 0.002); z scores increased after 24 months on ART; however, children remained stunted. Reductions in the incidence of hospitalizations (mean diff 30.95, [CI 3.12, 58.78]; p = 0.03) and in episodes of pneumonia, culture-positive sepsis and tuberculosis occurred in those on ART.

Conclusions: A successfully implemented ambulatory model for paediatric HIV care in Jamaica has improved the quality of life and survival of HIV-infected children.

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e-Published: 18 Jul, 2013
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