Predictors of HIV-1 slow progression among vertically infected children in Botswana

Marape Marape, The University of Texas School of Public Health


HIV-1 infected children display a highly variable rate of progression to AIDS. Data about reasons underlying the variable progression to AIDS among vertically-infected children is sparse, and the few studies that have examined this important question have almost exclusively been done in the developed world. This is despite the fact that Sub-Saharan Africa is home to over 90% of all HIV infected children around the world. The main objective of this study was to examine predictors of HIV-1 slow progression among vertically infected children in Botswana, using a case control design. Cases (slow progressors) and controls (rapid progressors) were drawn from medical records of HIV-1 infected children being followed up for routine care and treatment at the BBCCCOE between February 2003 and February 2011. Univariate and Multivariate Logistic Regression Analyses were performed to identify independent predictors of slow disease progression and control for confounding respectively. The study population comprised of 152 cases and 201 controls with ages ranging from 6 months to 16 years at baseline. Low baseline HIV-1 RNA viral load was the strongest independent predictor of slow progression (adjusted OR = 5.52, 95% CI = 2.75-11.07; P <0.001). Other independent predictors of slow disease progression identified were: lack of history of PMTCT with single dose Nevirapine plus Zidovudine (adjusted OR = 4.45, 95% CI = 1.45-13.69; P = 0.009) and maternal vital status (alive) (adjusted OR = 2.46, 95% CI = 1.51-4.01; P < 0.00 ). The results of this study may help clinicians and policy-makers in resource-limited settings to identify, at baseline, which children are at highest risk of rapid progression to AIDS and thus prioritize them for immediate intervention with HAART and other measures that would mitigate disease progression. At the same time HAART may be delayed among children who are at lower risk of disease progression. This would enable the highly affected, yet impoverished, Sub-Saharan African countries to use their scarce resources more efficiently which may in turn ensure that their National Antiretroviral Therapy Programs become more sustainable. Delaying HAART among the low-risk children would also lower the occurrence of adverse drug reactions associated with antiretroviral drugs exposure. Keywords. Slow Progressors, Rapid Progressors, HIV-1, Predictors, Children, Vertical Transmission, Sub-Saharan Africa

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Recommended Citation

Marape, Marape, "Predictors of HIV-1 slow progression among vertically infected children in Botswana" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3464806.