Antiretroviral therapy improves survival among TB-HIV co-infected patients who have CD4+ T-cell count above 350cells/mm3

Simon Mutembo, Jane N. Mutanga, Kebby Musokotwane, Lutangu Alisheke, Christopher C. Whalen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Co-infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among HIV infected individuals especially in developing countries. Early initiation of cART in these patients when CD4+ T cell count is less than 200cells/mm3 has reduced disease progression and mortality. However for patients with higher CD4+ T cell counts greater than 350cells/mm3 evidence is conflicting. In this study we seek to evaluate the effectiveness of cART in reducing mortality among TB-HIV co-infected patients with CD4+T cells above 350cells/mm3 at the time of TB diagnosis. Method: In a retrospective cohort study we analyzed 337 HIV-TB co-infected patients with CD4+ T cells above 350cells/mm3 at baseline who were diagnosed between 2006 and 2012 in the southern province of Zambia. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. We estimated the effect of cART by comparing survival according to cART and controlling for differential loss to follow-up. Results: Of the 257 patients on cART, 22 died (9%) and 20 (8%) were lost to follow-up; of 80 patients not on cART, 20 died (25%) and 19 (24%) were lost to follow-up. Patients treated with cART had better survival compared to those not treated (P<00001, log-rank test). In a proportional hazard regression adjusting for Cotrimoxazole, the risk of death was reduced by 78% with cART (95% CI: 047, 091). In a propensity score analysis, the effect of cART was still beneficial. Conclusion: In patients with HIV-associated TB and CD4+ T cells above 350cells/mm3, treatment with cART reduced mortality for up to 4years as compared to no cART and was associated with better retention in care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number572
JournalBMC infectious diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 17 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • CD4+ T-cell count>350cells/mm
  • HIV
  • Survival
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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