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Aims: Long term use of antiretroviral therapy subpopulation living with human immunodeficiency virus is associated with disturbances in blood lipids profiles which are not routinely monitored. More data on such disturbances are needed to persuade the country’s program to institute routine monitoring. This study sought to determine the prevalence and timing of dyslipidaemia in HIV/AIDS naïve people on ART at in Zimbabwe.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at Mpilo Central Hospital Opportunistic Infections Clinic in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe over a period of three months.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in HIV-infected persons receiving highly active anti-retroviral treatment at Mpilo Central Hospital Opportunistic Infections Clinic. Lipid assays were determined by Elisa methods. Viral loads and CD4 were measured using the COBAS® TaqMan® and BD FACSCount™ Flow Cytometer, respectively.
Results: A total of 149 consenting participants were enrolled and most (63.2%) were females. The median age of the respondents was 43 years and their median CD4 count was 436 cells/μl after a median duration on ART of 36 months. Viral load was <40 in the majority (68.6%) of the participants. More females (63.1%) were on HAART and were aged >35 (60.4%) years. NNRTI (90.6%) were the more commonly prescribed HAART. The prevalence of dyslipidaemia was 70.2%. Hypercholesterolaemia was observed in 72 (48.3%) patients with 26 being male and 46 being female. High levels of LDL-cholesterol (LDL-c ≥ 3.0 mmol/L) were found in 115 patients with 74 of them being female. Hypertriacylglycerolaemia (TAG ≥ 2.0 mmol/L) was present in 8 cases. The proportion of patients with a low HDL-cholesterol (HDL-c < 1.0 mmol/L) was 15.3% while those with a ratio of TC/HDL-c ≥ 4.1 were 87.5%.
Conclusion: The study demonstrated a high prevalence of dyslipidaemia in HIV-patients receiving HAART. There is a need for the Country’s HIV program to institute laboratory monitoring of blood lipids in patients over one year on HAART.
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