Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in HIV-1-infected patients in the late-HAART era in developed countries

Josep M Llibre, Boris Revollo, Samuel Vanegas, Juan J Lopez-Nuñez, Arelly Ornelas, Joan M Marin, Jose R Santos, Paola Marte, Marta Morera, Paola Zuluaga, Jordi Tor, Bonaventura Clotet
Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 2013, 45 (8): 635-44

BACKGROUND: In developed countries with free access to health care, primary chemoprophylaxis with co-trimoxazole, and antiretroviral treatment, Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in HIV-infected subjects should be restricted to undiagnosed late presenters.

METHODS: We retrospectively identified confirmed PCP hospital admissions in HIV-1 patients (period 1986-2010) and examined their characteristics and factors associated with mortality.

RESULTS: Three hundred and twelve episodes (median CD4 27 cells/μl) were identified during 3 periods: pre-HAART (1986-1995), 49%; early-HAART (1996-1999), 17.3%; and late-HAART (2000-2010), 33.7%. PCP was the initial AIDS-defining diagnosis in only 86 (27.6%). Thirty-four (10.9%) patients died during their hospital stay, without a significant reduction in mortality in recent periods (p = 0.311). However, the 12-month mortality decreased through the periods (33.3% to 16.2%; p = 0.003). Drug users (p = 0.001) and those naïve to HAART (p < 0.001) decreased in the late-HAART era, while heterosexuals (p = 0.001), immigrants (p < 0.001), and HAART initiation before hospital discharge (p < 0.001) increased. A partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) ≤ 55 (p = 0.04), intensive care admission (p < 0.001), and the absence of HAART initiation before discharge (p = 0.02) were correlated with mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: The epidemiology and 12-month mortality of HIV-1-infected subjects with PCP have changed significantly in the late-HAART era, while mortality during hospital stay has remained unchanged. HIV diagnosed individuals lost to follow-up in care have emerged as the main driver of PCP in developed countries. Like HIV late presenters, they are more likely to have AIDS-defining illnesses, to be hospitalized, and to die. This finding has important implications for the design of better strategies to retain HIV-1-infected individuals in care.

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