Open Access Open Badges Research article

Incidence and determinants of new AIDS-defining illnesses after HAART initiation in a Senegalese cohort

Pierre De Beaudrap12*, Jean-François Etard1, Assane Diouf3, Ibrahima Ndiaye3, Guèye Fatou N Ndèye4, Papa S Sow5, Kane Coumba T Ndèye6, René Ecochard2, Eric Delaporte1 and the ANRS 1215 study group

Author Affiliations

1 Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD); Université Montpellier1; UMR 145, Montpellier, F-34000, France

2 Hospices Civils de Lyon, Service de Biostatistique, Lyon, F-69003, France; Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69000, France; Université Lyon I, Villeurbanne, F-69100, France; CNRS, UMR5558, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, Equipe Biotatistique Santé, Villeurbanne, F-69100, France

3 Fann University Teaching Hospital, Regional Research and Training Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dakar, Senegal

4 Fann University Teaching Hospital, Ambulatory Care Unit, Dakar, Senegal

5 Fann University Teaching Hospital, Department of Infectious Diseases, Dakar, Senegal

6 Le Dantec Teaching Hospital, Laboratory of Bacteriology and Virology, Dakar, Senegal

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:179  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-179

Published: 19 June 2010



Although a dramatic decrease in AIDS progression has been observed after Highly Active Anti Retroviral Therapy (HAART) in both low- and high-resource settings, few data support that fact in low-resource settings.

This study describes the incidence of AIDS-defining illnesses (ADI) after HAART initiation and analyzes their risk factors in a low-resource setting. A focus was put on CD4 cell counts and viral load measurements.


404 HIV-1-infected Senegalese adult patients were enrolled in a prospective observational cohort and data censored as of April 2008. A Poisson regression was used to model the incidence of ADIs over two periods and to assess its association with baseline variables, current CD4, current viral load, CD4 response, and virological response.


ADI incidence declined from 20.5 ADIs per 100 person-years, 95% CI = [16.3;25.8] during the first year to 4.3, 95% CI = [2.3;8.1] during the fourth year but increased afterwards. Before 42 months, the decrease was greater in patients with clinical stage CDC-C at baseline and with a viral load remaining below 1000 cp/mL but was uniform across CD4 strata (p = 0.1). After 42 months, 293 patients were still at risk. The current CD4 and viral load were associated with ADI incidence (decrease of 21% per 50 CD4/mm3 and of 61% for patients with a viral load < 1000 cp/mL).


During the first four years, a uniform decline of ADI incidence was observed even in patients with low CD4-cell counts at HAART initiation as long as the viral load remained undetectable. An increase was noted later in patients with immunologic and virological failures but also in patients with only virological failure.