High Proportions of Patients With Advanced HIV Are Antiretroviral Therapy Experienced: Hospitalization Outcomes From 2 Sub-Saharan African Sites

Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Mar 4;66(suppl_2):S126-S131. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy103.


Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains an important cause of hospitalization and death in low- and middle- income countries. Yet morbidity and in-hospital mortality patterns remain poorly characterized, with prior antiretroviral therapy (ART) exposure and treatment failure status largely unknown.

Methods: We studied HIV-infected inpatients aged ≥13 years from cohorts in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), assessing clinical and demographic characteristics and hospitalization outcomes. Kenyan inpatients were prospectively enrolled during hospitalization; identical retrospective data were extracted for Congolese patients meeting the study criteria using routine medical information.

Results: Among 338 HIV-infected patients in Kenya and 411 in DRC, 83.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 79.4%-87.3%) and 97.3% (95% CI, 95.2%-98.5%), were admitted with advanced disease (defined as CD4 <200 cells/µL or World Health Organization stage 3/4 illness). Among inpatients with advanced HIV, 35.4% and 21.7% were ART-naive at admission. Patients under care had a median time of 44.1 (interquartile range [IQR], 18.4-90.5) months and 55.9 (IQR, 28.1-99.6) months on treatment; 17.2% (95% CI, 13.5%-21.6%) and 29.6% (95% CI, 25.4%-34.3%) died, 25.9% (95% CI, 16.0%-39.0%) and 22.5% (95% CI, 15.8%-31.0%) of these within 48 hours.

Conclusions: Across 2 diverse clinical contexts in sub-Saharan Africa, advanced HIV inpatients were frequently admitted with low CD4 counts, often failing first-line ART. Earlier identification of treatment failure and rapid switching to second-line ART are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / statistics & numerical data*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Congo
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / mortality
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Failure
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-HIV Agents