Objective: Little has been published about the length and determinants of survival for persons with AIDS in developing countries. This study examined the survival experience of Brazilian AIDS patients from 1982 to 1989.
Design: A retrospective cohort study involving record review of reported AIDS cases.
Methods: We obtained information about 2135 adult AIDS patients in Brazil. Local health officials supplied data regarding demographic and clinical characteristics and length of survival. Statistical techniques of survival analysis were applied.
Results: Median survival was 5.1 months, much shorter than in developed countries, and there was no improvement in survival for cases diagnosed more recently. Younger patients and those in the intravenous drug use exposure category lived longer than other AIDS patients. Those presenting with Kaposi's sarcoma, esophageal candidiasis, and tuberculosis fared relatively well, while those presenting with multiple diagnoses or toxoplasmosis did more poorly.
Conclusions: These results tend to confirm the predictors of AIDS survival previously reported from developed countries and to document the poor survival of AIDS patients in the developing world.