CD4 cell counts of 800 cells/mm3 or greater after 7 years of highly active antiretroviral therapy are feasible in most patients starting with 350 cells/mm3 or greater

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2007 Jun 1;45(2):183-92. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31804d685b.


Objective: CD4 cell count changes in therapy-naive patients were investigated during 7 years of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in an observational cohort.

Methods: Three endpoints were studied: (1) time to >or=800 CD4 cells/mm in 5299 therapy-naive patients starting HAART, (2) CD4 cell count changes during 7 years of uninterrupted HAART in a subset of 544 patients, and (3) reaching a plateau in CD4 cell restoration after 5 years of HAART in 366 virologically suppressed patients.

Results: Among patients with <50, 50 to 200, 200 to 350, 350 to 500, and >or=500 CD4 cells/mm at baseline, respectively, 20%, 26%, 46%, 73%, and 87% reached >or=800 CD4 cells/mm within 7 years of starting HAART. Periods with HIV RNA levels >500 copies/mL and age >or=50 years were associated with lesser increases in CD4 cell counts between 6 months and 7 years. Having reached >or=800 CD4 cells/mm at 5 years, age >or=50 years, and >or=1 HIV RNA measurement >1000 copies/mL between 5 and 7 years were associated with a plateau in CD4 cell restoration.

Conclusions: Restoration to CD4 cell counts >or=800 cells/mm is feasible within 7 years of HAART in most HIV-infected patients starting with >or=350 cells/mm and achieving sufficient suppression of viral replication. Particularly in patients >or=50 years of age, it may be beneficial to start earlier than current guidelines recommend.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-HIV Agents