Many studies have characterized the immune system recovery of HIV-infected patients following antiretroviral treatment, as evidenced by CD4+ cell count increases over time. Such analyses rarely have large enough samples to examine how patterns vary by sex and age.
In Means et al. 2016, published in PLOS ONE, we analyzed >200,000 observations of >30,000 individuals recorded by the outpatient monitoring system of the National AIDS Control Program in Tanzania. We found that older patients started treatment at higher CD4+ counts (i.e. earlier in disease progression) but experienced slower CD4+ recovery. We also found that earlier treatment initiation led to greater eventual CD4+ cell counts regardless of age or sex (figure below).
This publication arose from a group project initiated during the 2014 Clinic on the Meaningful Modeling of Epidemiological Data.