In resource limited countries, there is scarcity of information regarding the degree of immunological and clinical recovery in remote communities with ART service. This study retrospectively assessed the degree of immune recovery by CD4 count after initiation of ART. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on adult HIV patients who have been on ART for more than one year at Karamara Hospital. All analyses were performed using SPSS software version 19.0 and findings were compared using the appropriate statistical tests. The median change from baseline to the most recent CD4 cell count was 141 cells/μl. By 5 years, the overall median CD4 cell count was 472 cells/μl while the median CD4 cell count was 401 cells/μl among patients with baseline CD4 cell counts ≤100 cells/μl, 467 cells/μl among those with baseline CD4 cell counts of 100 to 199 cells/μl, and 586 cells/μl among those with baseline CD4 cell counts equal to greater 200 cells/μl. At the end of the study, patients with higher baseline CD4 cell stratum returned to normal CD4 cell counts compared to those with the least baseline CD4 cell stratum. The findings suggest that consideration be given to initiation of ART at a CD4 cell count >350 cells/μl to achieve better immune recovery.
Key words: Antiretroviral therapy, CD4 cell count, HIV infection.
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