Volume 7 Supplement 1

16th International Symposium on HIV and Emerging Infectious Diseases

Open Access

Prolonged elevation of viral loads in HIV-1-infected children in a region of intense malaria transmission in Northern Uganda

Retrovirology20107(Suppl 1):P72

DOI: 10.1186/1742-4690-7-S1-P72

Published: 11 May 2010

Background

Introduction

Malaria and HIV-1 infection cause significant morbidity and mortality in children in sub-Saharan Africa. Recurrent malaria infection increases HIV-1 viral load in adults and increases the rate of progression of HIV-1 infection to AIDS. The effect of malaria on viral loads in Children living with AIDS (CLWA) is not clearly known.

Objective

To assess the effect of malaria on HIV-1 viral loads in CLWA.

Methods

One hundred thirty five afebrile HIV-1 positive children having negative blood slides for malaria were recruited at Apac Hospital and followed up for one year. They were monitored for development of P. falciparum malaria, which was treated with CQ+SP and the children followed up for 28 days. HIV-1 viral loads were measured over three time-points: at enrolment (no malaria), during an episode of malaria, and at a visit about 8 weeks (range 6-19 weeks) after the malaria visit when the child had neither parasites nor any intervening malaria episodes (post-malaria). Primary analyses were restricted to children who on follow up had HIV-1 viral loads measured at the three relevant time-points.

Results

Baseline characteristics, Table 1.

Table 1

SEX

MALE/FEMALE

41.1%/58.9%

AGE (yrs)

(1.5-5)/(6-12)

44.7%/55.3%

WHO CLASSIFICATION 1, 2, 3, 4

n = 30, 55, 48, 02

percentage = 22.2%, 40.7%, 35.6%, 1.48%

HAEMOGLOBIN median, IQR

10.5

9.8 - 13.8

Malaria increased HIV-1 viral load significantly in CLWA. Low parasitaemia <= 5/HPF transiently increased viral load by 0.42 log (95% CI 0.29-0.78, p = 0.0002), higher than that reported in adults. These patients' viral loads returned to levels similar to those at baseline after treatment. In 13 patients with high parasitaemia (10-20/HPF), the mean increase in viral load was 0.53 log (0.14 to 0.51), p < 0.0001, remaining significantly higher than at baseline after treatment ie. mean difference (signed-rank test) in viral load "before" and "after" malaria was significant.

Discussion

P. falciparum malaria increased HIV-1 viral loads in children, with some viral loads remaining elevated several weeks after antimalarial treatment. Prolonged post-treatment elevation has important implications for the clinical course and the potential for transmission in sexually active adults.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
medbiotech Laboratories
(2)
Nsambya Hospital

Copyright

© Kiyingi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

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