Objective: To evaluate impact of the program after up to 6 years of follow-up in survival, virologic, and immunologic response.
Methods: Prospective follow-up of patients initiating first highly active antiretroviral therapy from 2001 to 2007. Chile began in 2001 an expanded access program to antiretroviral therapy. The Chilean AIDS Cohort has enrolled >85% of patients from this program in the public health system.
Statistical analysis: χ², Fisher tests, survival, univariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: Five thousand one hundred fifteen adults (16% women); median follow-up: 3.64 years (18,159 patient-years). At baseline: median age, 35.8 years; 45.6% had clinical AIDS; median CD4 cell count, 102 cells per cubic millimeter. Global mortality, 9.0%; loss to follow-up, 6.8%. Probability of survival at 1 and 5 years were 0.95 and 0.89, respectively. First regimen was maintained in 72% of those alive and in control at 1 year and 48% at end of study. Main reason for therapy change/discontinuation was drug toxicity (44.9%). At last visit, 74% of active patients had viral suppression, and median CD4 cell count had reached 301 cells per cubic millimeter.
Conclusions: In this middle-income country, wide access highly active antiretroviral therapy has been successfully implemented and evaluated. Despite advanced disease at initiation, survival, clinical, virologic, and immunologic outcomes have been comparable with that of industrialized countries.