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      Fungal infection as a risk factor for HIV disease progression among patients with a CD4 count above 200/microl in the era of cART.

      Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases

      Adult, Anti-Retroviral Agents, administration & dosage, therapeutic use, Antifungal Agents, CD4 Lymphocyte Count, Disease Progression, Drug Therapy, Combination, Female, HIV Infections, complications, drug therapy, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Mycoses, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors

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          The identification of clinical risk factors for AIDS in patients with preserved immune function is of significant interest. We examined whether patients with fungal infection (FI) and CD4 cell count >or=200/microl were at higher risk of disease progression in the era of cART. 11,009 EuroSIDA patients were followed from their first CD4 cell count >or=200/microl after 1 January 1997 until progression to any non-azoles/amphotericin B susceptible (AAS) AIDS disease, last visit or death. Initiation of antimycotic therapy (AMT) was used as a marker of FI and was modelled as a time-updated covariate using Poisson regression. After adjustment for current CD4 cell count, HIV-RNA, starting cART and diagnosis of AAS-AIDS, AMT was significantly associated with an increased incidence of non-AAS-AIDS (IRR=1.55, 95% CI 1.17-2.06, p=0.0024). Despite low incidence of AIDS in the cART era, FI in patients with a CD4 cell count >or=200/microl is associated with a 55% higher risk of non-AAS-AIDS (95% confidence interval 1.17-2.06, p=0.0024). These data suggest that patients with FI are more immune compromized than would be expected from their CD4 cell count alone. FI can be used as a clinical marker for disease progression and indirect indicator for initiation/changing cART in settings where laboratory facilities are limited.

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