BioScience Trends. 2022;16(6):434-443. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2022.01479)
Longitudinal impact of compliance with routine CD4 monitoring on all cause deaths among treated people with HIV in China
Yin H, Ye R, Yang Y, Wang J, Tang R, Yao S, Duan S, Ding Y, He N
Keeping adherence to the continuous and standardized CD4 follow-up monitoring service is of great significance to the control of disease progression and the reduction of avoidable mortality for HIVinfected patients. As non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become main causes of deaths for people with HIV (PWH) in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), how and to what extent does adherence to routine CD4 monitoring differentially impact on AIDS-related versus NCDsrelated deaths in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) remains elucidated. A CD4 test index was developed by dividing the actual number of received CD4 tests by the theoretical number of CD4 tests that should have been performed according to national treatment guidelines during the study period, with an index value of 0.8-1.2 reflecting compliance. From 1989 to 2020, 14,571 adults were diagnosed with HIV infection in Dehong Prefecture of Yunnan province in Southwestern China, 6,683 (45.9%) PWH had died with the all-cause mortality of 550.13 per 10,000 person-years, including 3,250 (48.6%) AIDS-related deaths (267.53 per 10,000 person-years). Among patients on cART, the median CD4 test index was 1.0 (IQR 0.6-1.3), and 35.2% had a CD4 test index less than 0.8. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis indicated that PWH with CD4 test index at 0.8-1.2 were at the lowest risk of both AIDS-related (aHR = 0.06; 95%CI: 0.05-0.07) and NCDs-related (aHR = 0.13; 95%CI: 0.11- 0.16) deaths. Adherence to routine CD4 monitoring is critical for reducing both AIDS-related and NCDs-related mortality of PWH. An appropriate (once or twice a year) rather than an unnecessarily higher frequency of routine CD4 testing could be most cost-effective in reducing mortality in LMIC.