HIV-Care Outcome in Saudi Arabia; a Longitudinal Cohort

J AIDS Clin Res. 2014 Nov 8;5(11):370. doi: 10.4172/2155-6113.1000370.


Background: Clinical characteristics of HIV-1 infection in people inhabiting Western, Sub-Saharan African, and South-East Asian countries are well recognized. However, very little information is available with regard to HIV-1 infection and treatment outcome in MENA countries including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Methods: Clinical, demographic and epidemiologic characteristics of 602 HIV-1 infected patients followed in the adult Infectious Diseases Clinic of King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a tertiary referral center were longitudinally collected from 1989 to 2010.

Results: Of the 602 HIV-1 infected patients in this observation period, 70% were male. The major mode of HIV-1 transmission was heterosexual contact (55%). At diagnosis, opportunistic infections were found in 49% of patients, most commonly being pneumocysitis. AIDS associated neoplasia was also noted in 6% of patients. A hundred and forty-seven patients (24%) died from the cohort by the end of the observation period. The mortality rate peaked in 1992 at 90 deaths per 1000 person-year, whereas the mortality rate gradually decreased to <1% from 1993-2010. In 2010, 71% of the patients were receiving highly active retroviral therapy.

Conclusions: These data describe the clinical characteristic of HIV-1-infected patients at a major tertiary referral hospital in KSA over a 20-year period. Initiation of antiretroviral therapy resulted in a significant reduction in both morbidity and mortality. Future studies are needed in the design and implementation of targeted treatment and prevention strategies for HIV-1 infection in KSA.

Keywords: AIDS; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Antiviral therapy; CD4+T cells; HIV; Human immunodeficiency Virus-1; Opportunistic infections; Viral load.