Hospitalization risk following initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy

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Objectives: While highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) decreases long-term morbidity and mortality, its short-term effect on hospitalization rates is unknown. The primary objective of this study was to determine hospitalization rates over time in the year after HAART initiation for virological responders and nonresponders. Methods: Hospitalizations among 1327 HAART-naïve subjects in an urban HIV clinic in 1997-2007 were examined before and after HAART initiation. Hospitalization rates were stratified by virological responders (≥1 log10 decrease in HIV-1 RNA within 6 months after HAART initiation) and nonresponders. Causes were determined through International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision (ICD-9) codes and chart review. Multivariate negative binomial regression was used to assess factors associated with hospitalization. Results: During the first 45 days after HAART initiation, the hospitalization rate of responders was similar to their pre-HAART baseline rate [75.1 vs. 78.8/100 person-years (PY)] and to the hospitalization rate of nonresponders during the first 45 days (79.4/100 PY). The hospitalization rate of responders fell significantly between 45 and 90 days after HAART initiation and reached a plateau at approximately 45/100 PY from 91 to 365 days after HAART initiation. Significant decreases were seen in hospitalizations for opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections. Conclusions: The first substantial clinical benefit from HAART may be realized by 90 days after HAART initiation; providers should keep close vigilance at least until this time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-298
Number of pages10
JournalHIV Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • AIDS-defining illness
  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Healthcare utilization
  • Hospitalization
  • Immune reconstitution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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