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Original article

Improved survival in HIV treatment programmes in Asia

Nicole L De La Mata, Nagalingeswaran Kumarasamy, Vohith Khol, Oon Tek Ng, Kinh Van Nguyen, Tuti Parwati Merati, Thuy Thanh Pham, Man Po Lee, Nicolas Durier, Matthew Law

Corresponding author name: Nicole L De La Mata
Corresponding author e-mail: ndelamata@kirby.unsw.edu.au

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2016; 21:517-527
doi: 10.3851/IMP3041

Date accepted: 29 February 2016
Date published online: 10 February 2016


Background: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV-positive patients has expanded rapidly in Asia over the last 10 years. Our study aimed to describe the time trends and risk factors for overall survival in patients receiving first-line ART in Asia.

Methods: We included HIV-positive adult patients who initiated ART between 2003–2013 (n=16,546), from seven sites across six Asia–Pacific countries. Patient follow-up was to May 2014. We compared survival for each country and overall by time period of ART initiation using Kaplan–Meier curves. Factors associated with mortality were assessed using Cox regression, stratified by site. We also summarized first-line ART regimens, CD4+ T-cell count at ART initiation, and CD4+ T-cell and HIV viral load testing frequencies.

Results: There were 880 deaths observed over 54,532 person-years of follow-up, a crude rate of 1.61 (95% CI 1.51, 1.72) per 100 person-years. Survival significantly improved in more recent years of ART initiation. The survival probability at 4 years follow-up for those initiating ART in 2003–2005 was 92.1%, 2006–2009 was 94.3% and 2010–2013 was 94.5% (P<0.001). Factors associated with higher mortality risk included initiating ART in earlier time periods, older age, male sex, injecting drug use as HIV exposure and lower pre-ART CD4+ T-cell count. Concurrent with improved survival was increased tenofovir use, ART initiation at higher CD4+ T-cell counts and greater monitoring of CD4+ T-cells and HIV viral load.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that HIV-positive patients from Asia have improved survival in more recent years of ART initiation. This is likely a consequence of improvements in treatment, patient management and monitoring over time.


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