Severe morbidity after antiretroviral (ART) initiation: active surveillance in HIV care programs, the IeDEA West Africa collaboration

Abo, Yao; Djimon, Marcel Zannou; Messou, Eugène; Balestre, Eric; Kouakou, Martial; Akakpo, Jocelyn; Ahouada, Carin; de Rekeneire, Nathalie; Dabis, François; Lewden, Charlotte; Minga, Albert
April 2015
BMC Infectious Diseases;2015, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: The causes of severe morbidity in health facilities implementing Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) programmes are poorly documented in sub-Saharan Africa. We aimed to describe severe morbidity among HIV-infected patients after ART initiation, based on data from an active surveillance system established within a network of specialized care facilities in West African cities. Methods: Within the International epidemiological Database to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA)-West Africa collaboration, we conducted a prospective, multicenter data collection that involved two facilities in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire and one in Cotonou, Benin. Among HIV-infected adults receiving ART, events were recorded using a standardized form. A simple case-definition of severe morbidity (death, hospitalization, fever > 38°5C, Karnofsky index < 70%) was used at any patient contact point. Then a physician confirmed and classified the event as WHO stage 3 or 4 according to the WHO clinical classification or as degree 3 or 4 of the ANRS scale. Results: From December 2009 to December 2011, 978 adults (71% women, median age 39 years) presented with 1449 severe events. The main diagnoses were: non-AIDS-defining infections (33%), AIDS-defining illnesses (33%), suspected adverse drug reactions (7%), other illnesses (4%) and syndromic diagnoses (16%). The most common specific diagnoses were: malaria (25%), pneumonia (13%) and tuberculosis (8%). The diagnoses were reported as syndromic in one out of five events recorded during this study. Conclusions: This study highlights the ongoing importance of conventional infectious diseases among severe morbid events occurring in patients on ART in ambulatory HIV care facilities in West Africa. Meanwhile, additional studies are needed due to the undiagnosed aspect of severe morbidity in substantial proportion.


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