HIV-1 subtype E progression among northern Thai couples: Traditional and non-traditional predictors of survival

C. Costello, K. E. Nelson, V. Suriyanon, S. Sennun, S. Tovanabutra, C. M. Heilig, S. Shiboski, D. J. Jamieson, V. Robison, K. Rungruenthanakit, A. Duerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In the continuing effort to introduce antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings, there is a need to understand differences between natural history of HIV in different populations and to identify feasible clinical measures predictive of survival. Methods: We examined predictors of survival among 836 heterosexuals who were infected with HIV subtype CRF01-AE in Thailand. Results: From 1993 to 1999, 269 (49.4%) men and 65 (25.7 %) women died. The median time from the estimated seroconversion to death was 7.8 years (95% confidence interval 7.0-9.1). Men and women with enrolment CD4 counts <200 cells/μl had about 2 and 11 times greater risk of death than those with CD4 counts of 200-500 and >500, respectively. Measurements available in resource-limited settings, including total lymphocyte count (TLC), anaemia, and low body mass index (BMI), also predicted survival. Men with two or more of these predictors had a median survival of 0.8 (0.5-1.8) years, compared with 2.7 (1.9-3.3) years for one predictor and 4.9 (4.1-5.2) years for no predictors. Conclusions: The time from HIV infection to death appears shorter among this Thai population than among antiretroviral naïve Western populations. CD4 count and viral load (VL) were strong, independent predictors of survival. When CD4 count and VL are unavailable, individuals at high risk for shortened HIV survival may be identified by a combination of low TLC, anaemia, and low BMI. This combination of accessible clinical measures of the disease stage may be useful for medical management in resource-limited settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-584
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • CD4 lymphocyte count
  • HIV-1
  • Lymphocyte count
  • Survival
  • Thailand
  • Viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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