HAART THERAPY IN GHANA: COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DIFFERENT HAART COMBINATIONS AT KOMFO ANOKYE TEACHING HOSPITAL
Objective: Although all marketed antiretrovirals (ARVs) have proven efficacy, genetic differences can result in varied effectiveness. This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of different Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) combinations among patients attending HIV clinic at a Major Teaching Hospital in Ghana.
Methods: The study was a retrospective study involving 500 patients at an HIV clinic in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
Results: Twelve major antiretroviral combinations for HAART were prescribed at the study center. The most prescribed drug combinations were AZT+3TC+EFV and AZT+3TC+NVP. The study identified that HAART, irrespective of the kind of drug combination used, was effective at increasing CD4 count within the first 6 mo of therapy initiation in the study population. However, the magnitude of the increases differed from combination to combination. All HAART combinations with zidovudine as one of the drugs resulted in higher CD4 counts compared with combinations containing stavudine. HAART with nevirapine also resulted in a higher CD4 count than those with efavirenz. However, efavirenz-based combinations appeared to be more effective in critically ill patients and patients with mean CD4+T helper cells count below 100 cell/mm3. More importantly, efavirenz was common among all HAART combinations that resulted in treatment failure.
Conclusion: There was significant variation in response to different HAART combination among Ghanaian HIV patients. However, there was no statistically significant difference in mean CD4 count between the two most predominately used HAART i. e AZT+3TC+EFV and AZT+3TC+NVP.
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