Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-19

Immunovirological discordance among people living with human immunodeficiency virus at a center in Western India: A retrospective study

1 Department of Medicine, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mayank Kacker
Department of Medicine, INHS Asvini, Near RC Church, Colaba, Mumbai - 400 005, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijstd.ijstd_121_22

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Background and Objectives: Treatment of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (PLHIV) is monitored using plasma HIV viral load levels and CD4 counts. Patients with either immunological nonresponse (virological suppression achieved) or virological nonresponse (immune reconstitution achieved) are termed as having a discordant response. These patients are at higher risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related infections/diseases/neoplasms, non-AIDS-related illnesses (cardiovascular, neurological, renal, hepatic diseases), and all-cause death. This study was conducted to assess the prevalence of immunovirological discordance among PLHIV after completion of at least 1 year of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) at an antiretroviral therapy (ART) plus center in India and analyze contributory factors. Methods: The study was a retrospective study of PLHIV receiving cART at the ART plus clinic in Western India from January 18 to December 21. Four hundred and ninety-six patients were studied based on sample size calculated and assessed for CD4 and viral load response at 0, 6, and 12 months of ART. Results: Of the 496 patients, 48 patients (9.7%) had immunovirological discordance. Out of them, 36 patients (75%) had a virological response (immunological nonresponse) and 12 (25%) patients had an immunological response (virological nonresponse). The factors contributing to immunological nonresponse were as follows – low baseline CD4 levels (<100 cells) (36.1%), adherence <95% (33.3%), presence of opportunistic infections (16.6%), and failure on first-line therapy (11.1%). Other factors noted included higher baseline viral load (2.7%), chronic kidney disease (5.5%), and chronic hepatitis B virus co-infection (5.5%). Virological nonresponse was associated with poor adherence to therapy <95% (33%) and failure of first-line regimen (33%). Opportunistic infections were noted among 33% of patients and 8.3% of patients were found to have higher baseline viral load. Interpretation and Conclusion: Immunovirological discordance is an important factor influencing response to cART and is associated with many complications such as AIDS and non-AIDS-related events and even death. Improved adherence and timely identification and management of opportunistic infections are measures that are beneficial in reducing the incidence of immunovirological discordance.

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