Research Article

Progression of HIV disease in a haemophilic cohort followed for 11 years and the effect of treatment.

BMJ 1991; 303 doi: (Published 02 November 1991) Cite this as: BMJ 1991;303:1093
  1. C A Lee,
  2. A N Phillips,
  3. J Elford,
  4. G Janossy,
  5. P Griffiths,
  6. P Kernoff
  1. Academic Department of Haematology, Royal Free Hampstead.


    OBJECTIVE--To describe the progression of HIV disease in a haemophilic cohort and to show the influence of treatment. DESIGN--11 year longitudinal clinical and laboratory study. SETTING--A haemophilia centre. PATIENTS--111 patients infected with HIV during October 1979 to July 1985. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Symptoms of HIV infection, AIDs, and death. INTERVENTIONS--26 asymptomatic patients started taking zidovudine or placebo (1000 mg/day) during November 1988 to February 1990; 10 patients with CD4+ counts of 0.2 x 10(9)/l started zidovudine 500 mg/day during January to November 1990. 35 patients used pentamidine for primary or secondary prophylaxis. RESULTS--At 11 years from seroconversion the estimated rate of progression to AIDS was 42% (95% confidence interval 27% to 57%); to symptoms 85% (75% to 95%); and to death 41% (25% to 57%). Progression to AIDS was significantly faster in patients aged 25 and over than in those aged less than 25 (relative risk 5.0 (2.4 to 10.4); p less than 0.00001) and in those with previous cytomegalovirus infection than in those not infected (relative risk 3.0 (1.4 to 6.8); p = 0.006). 16 of 27 (59%) patients with p24 antigenaemia developed AIDS compared with 17 of 84 (20%) patients without p24 antigen (p less than 0.001). The risk of progression to AIDS before 30 November 1988 in patients with CD4+ counts less than or equal to 0.2 x 10(9)/l was higher than after November 1988 (relative risk 1.9 (0.85 to 4.43); p = 0.1). For 1989 and 1990 the observed cumulative numbers of AIDS cases (among 81 patients with sufficient CD4+ counts) were 22 and 25 compared with 29 and 37 predicted from the rate of fall of CD4+ counts up to the end of 1988 (p = 0.03). CONCLUSION--Treatment seems to be reducing the progression of HIV disease in this haemophilic cohort.