Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-29

Causes of death in the human immunodeficiency virus population in Western Jamaica

1 Department of Medicine, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, West Indies
2 Cornwall Regional Hospital, Jamaica, West Indies

Correspondence Address:
Michael G Lee
Department of Medicine, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobag
West Indies
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.145006

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Background: Monitoring the causes of death in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the era of expanding access to antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings has implications as more deaths are reported for reasons other than AIDS. Aims: To determine the causes of mortality in HIV-infected adults in Western Jamaica. Materials and Methods: Patients with HIV infection with a death certificate with a known cause of death between 2005 and 2010 were reviewed. Results: There were 189 patients. Co-morbidities were present in 25.3%. The mean age at death was 42.4 years. Early disease (World Health Organization [WHO] stages 1 or 2) was the presentation in 21.5% while 78.6% presented with advanced disease (WHO stages 3 or 4). The mean CD4 count at diagnosis was 95 cells/mm 3 . In patients presenting with early disease, 14.2% presented with sexually transmitted infections, 22.8% skin manifestations, and 14.2% lymphadenopathy. In patients presenting with late disease, 41.7% had Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), 18.9% central nervous system (CNS) toxoplasmosis, 11.3% HIV-associated nephropathy, and 5% cryptococcal meningitis. At death, 72.6% were in WHO class 4, and 21.2% class 3. The average CD4 count at death was 75.5 cells/mm 3 . Overall, 55.2% of the patients had received highly active antiretroviral therapy. PCP accounted for 42.9% of deaths, 27.3% had CNS opportunistic infections, HIV nephropathy 16.4%, and 4.6% had malignancies. About 52.3% of patients died within 1 year of diagnosis with HIV, while 68.3% died within 2 years. Conclusion: Patients with HIV are presenting with late disease and dying of conditions that are AIDS-related. Efforts to improve early diagnosis and treatment are urgently needed in Jamaica.

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