Distribution of new HIV infections among key risk population groups in Togo
PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of antiretroviral treatment for HIV-infected patients in Togo. PATIENTS AND METHOD This retrospective study covered the period from January 2001 to January 2009 and included all HIV-infected patients who received antiretroviral therapy for at least 12 months. RESULTS The study included 1,620 of the 8,901 patients (18.2%) treated with antiretroviral therapy. Mean patient age was 34.8 ± 11.4 years and the male/female sex-ratio was 0.4. When treatment began, the mean CD4+ T lymphocyte count was 143/mm(3) and mean patient weight was 53.3 kg. Overall, 263 of the 1,620 subjects (16.2%) had opportunistic infections before starting antiretroviral treatment. The most frequently used antiretroviral combination was stavudine/lamivudine/nevirapine (91.7%). The compliance rate for the first 12 months was 89.6%, and the antiretroviral regimen was changed in 5.9% of cases. After 36 months, mean weight gain was 8.8 kg and the mean increase in the CD4(+) T lymphocyte count was 265 cells/mm(3). The number of opportunistic infections decreased from 263 cases at the beginning of antiretroviral treatment to 9 after three years of treatment. During follow-up, 258 deaths were recorded, for a cumulative case fatality rate of 15.9%. The most common side effects were cutaneous toxicity and anemia in the short term and neurological toxicity, lipodystrophy and hepatotoxicity over the long term. DISCUSSION This study confirms the efficacy of antiretroviral treatment of HIV-infected patients in Togo. These findings should encourage policy-makers to work toward universal access to antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV.