The Prognosis of Late Presenters in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in Serbia

Djordje Jevtović1, Dubravka Salemović1, Jovan Ranin1, Branko Brmbolić1, Ivana Pešić-Pavlović1, Sonja Žerjav1, Olgica Djurković-Djaković*, 2
1 Institute for Infectious & Tropical Diseases, University of Belgrade School of Medicine, Belgrade, Serbia
2 Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

© Jevtović et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

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* Address correspondence to this author at the Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Dr. Subotića 4, P.O. Box 102, 11129 Belgrade, Serbia; Tel: +381 11 2685 788; Fax: +381 11 2643 691; E-mail:


To examine the prognosis of patients who present with very advanced HIV-induced immunodeficiency, and their response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), a series of 101 treatment naïve patients from the Serbian cohort of HIV infected patients, who presented with a CD4 count of ≤ 50/µL before commencing HAART, was retrospectively analyzed and factors influencing response to HAART and survival investigated. After a mean of three years (range 1-9) of treatment with PI-based and/or NNRTI-based regimens, a favorable response was achieved in 54.5% of the patients, treatment failure occurred in 13.9%, while 31.7% had a dissociative immunological/virological response. The overall estimated survival was eight years. Achievement of undetectable viremia during treatment appeared life saving (OR = 42.5, 95% CI 7.1 – 251.9, P = 0.000, as was a rise in CD4 cell count to over 200/μL (OR = 6.4, 95% CI 1.2- 31.8, P = 0.023). However, undetectable viremia was the single predictor of longer survival (OR = 42.5, 95% CI 7.1 – 251.9, P = 0.000), regardless of the level of immune reconstitution (log rank, P = 0.31). Late presenters had a high probability of developing the metabolic syndrome while on HAART, with a median time to hyperlipidemia and lypodystrophy of 5 and 6 years, respectively. We conclude that late presenters on HAART may have a good prognosis, a prerequisite for which is sustained undetectable viremia regardless of the immune recovery.

Keywords: Late presenters, HAART, survival..