Background: The growth benefits of cotrimoxazole during early antiretroviral therapy (ART) are not well characterized.
Methods: Individuals enrolled in the Therapeutics Research, Education, and AIDS Training in Asia Pediatric HIV Observational Database were included if they started ART at ages 1 month-14 years and had both height and weight measurements available at ART initiation (baseline). Generalized estimating equations were used to identify factors associated with change in height-for-age z-score (HAZ), follow-up HAZ ≥ -2, change in weight-for-age z-score (WAZ), and follow-up WAZ ≥ -2.
Results: A total of 3217 children were eligible for analysis. The adjusted mean change in HAZ among cotrimoxazole and non-cotrimoxazole users did not differ significantly over the first 24 months of ART. In children who were stunted (HAZ < -2) at baseline, cotrimoxazole use was not associated with a follow-up HAZ ≥ -2. The adjusted mean change in WAZ among children with a baseline CD4 percentage (CD4%) >25% became significantly different between cotrimoxazole and non-cotrimoxazole users after 6 months of ART and remained significant after 24 months (overall P < .01). Similar changes in WAZ were observed in those with a baseline CD4% between 10% and 24% (overall P < .01). Cotrimoxazole use was not associated with a significant difference in follow-up WAZ in children with a baseline CD4% <10%. In those underweight (WAZ < -2) at baseline, cotrimoxazole use was associated with a follow-up WAZ ≥ -2 (adjusted odds ratio, 1.70 vs not using cotrimoxazole [95% confidence interval, 1.28-2.25], P < .01). This association was driven by children with a baseline CD4% ≥10%.
Conclusions: Cotrimoxazole use is associated with benefits to WAZ but not HAZ during early ART in Asian children.
Keywords: antiretroviral therapy; children; cotrimoxazole; height; weight.
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