Background.: Regular CD4 count testing is often used to monitor antiretroviral therapy efficacy. However, this practice may be redundant in children with a suppressed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral load.
Methods: Study end points were as follows: (1) a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 followed by a CD4 count ≥200 cells/mm3 (transient CD4 <200); (2) CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 confirmed within 6 months (confirmed CD4 <200); and (3) a new or recurrent World Health Organization (WHO) stage 3 or 4 illness (clinical failure). Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression were used to evaluate rates and predictors of transient CD4 <200, confirmed CD4 <200, and clinical failure among virally suppressed children aged 5-15 years who were enrolled in the TREAT Asia Pediatric HIV Observational Database.
Results: Data from 967 children were included in the analysis. At the time of confirmed viral suppression, median age was 10.2 years, 50.4% of children were female, and 95.4% were perinatally infected with HIV. Median CD4 cell count was 837 cells/mm3, and 54.8% of children were classified as having WHO stage 3 or 4 disease. In total, 18 transient CD4 <200 events, 2 confirmed CD4 <200 events, and10 clinical failures occurred at rates of 0.73 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.46-1.16), 0.08 (95% CI, 0.02-0.32), and 0.40 (95% CI, 0.22-0.75) events per 100 patient-years, respectively. CD4 <500 cells/mm3 at the time of viral suppression confirmation was associated with higher rates of both CD4 outcomes.
Conclusions: Regular CD4 testing may be unnecessary for virally suppressed children aged 5-15 years with CD4 ≥500 cells/mm3.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.