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Epidemiological and mortality analysis of older adults with HIV in eastern China

Authors Xie T, Wu N

Received 28 August 2013

Accepted for publication 7 October 2013

Published 19 November 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 1519—1525


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Tiansheng Xie,1,2 Nanping Wu1,2

1State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, 2Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China

Objective: The aims of this study were to systematically review epidemiological characteristics in older people living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) (PLWHA) in low endemic areas of the People's Republic of China, analyze the causes of death and mortality, and provide a basis for targeted prevention in these populations.
Methods: Nine counties representative of the distribution and epidemiological factors of the HIV epidemic in Zhejiang Province were selected, and data from 1,115 HIV-positive individuals, including 196 older people (≥50 years), who were confirmed as PLWHA from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2012, were retrospectively analyzed.
Results: The proportion of older PLWHA increased from 0% in 2000 to 22.45% in 2012. Sexual transmission was the main route, accounting for 82.65% of infections in this group. Compared with the younger group (range from 14 to 49 years old), the older group had significantly lower CD4+ cell counts (291.64 versus 363.63; P<0.001) when first diagnosed, and more of this group presented in the AIDS state with opportunistic infections (51.02% versus 34.06%; P<0.001). In the older group, 25 (12.76%) patients died directly of AIDS and 171 (87.24%) were censored, and in the younger group 50 (5.44%) patients died directly of AIDS and 869 (94.56%) were censored. Estimated survival time since HIV diagnosis in the older group was 11.54±0.49 years (95% confidence interval [CI] 10.59–12.50), while in the younger group it was 13.85±0.46 years (95% CI 12.94–14.76), the log rank (Mantel–Cox) test gave a chi-square value of 3.83, and there was significant difference between the groups (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The number of older PLWHA increased steadily over the study period in low HIV endemic provinces of a developing country. Later discovery and preexisting disease perhaps contributed to a shorter estimated survival time for older PLWHA and higher mortality.

Keywords: HIV, AIDS, older people, People's Republic of China, survival analysis

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