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Abstract

IMMUNOLOGICAL STATUS (CD4+) OF HIV POSITIVE BABIES OF MOTHERS WHO WERE ON LONG –TERM AND SHORT-TERM ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY AT UNIVERSITY OF UYO TEACHING HOSPITAL, UYO, NIGERIA

Edidiong Michael Umoffia*, Emem Abasi Bassey and Eno Etim Nyong

ABSTRACT

CD4+ cells which help the activity of other immune cells to regulate immune response serves as a marker in initiating and monitoring of treatment in human immunodeficiency virus infected patients. It increases when the HIV virus is controlled with effective HIV treatment. The aim of the study was to find out the immunological status of babies born of the HIV positive mothers who were on different durations of treatment. Blood samples of HIV sero-exposed babies were taken after six to eight weeks of birth for CD4+ cell count estimation using flowcytometry method. The 418 pregnant women who tested positive to HIV infection at the antenatal clinic and labour ward of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, were divided into two groups; those on long-term antiretroviral (ART) drugs and those on short-term. The long-term group were those who had ART from first trimester and above (≥3 months) till end of pregnancy; they were on routine combined ART; Nevirapine, Lamivudine, and Zidovudine. The short-term group were the pregnant women who were brought into the hospital in labour and were tested for HIV and found to be positive and placed on prophylaxis of Nevirapine. Babies delivered by the women in these two groups were recruited into the study. Infected babies of long-term ART treated mothers had higher CD4+ cell counts ranging from 906 > 1657 cells/mm3, whereas numbers of infected babies of the short-term ART treated mothers had lower CD4+ cell counts. There was a better immunological significant difference (P<0.05) in the CD4+ cell counts of babies whose mothers had long-term ART compared with those mothers who received short-term ART treatment.

Keywords: ART, CD4+, HIV Positive, infected babies, mothers.


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