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Clinical Features and Patterns of CD4+ T Lymphocyte Counts Among HIV/AIDS Patients Attending A University Teaching Hospital in North-Central Nigeria

Godwin T. Jombo1 , Jeremiah Oloche2 , James O. Tsor3 , Joseph Mamfe1 , Alfred Orinya

Journal Title:International Journal of Current Medical Science and Dental Research

Background:The use of CD4+ T Lymphocyte count as a vital component to ascertain the stage of HIV/AIDS disease as well as monitor the progress of the disease continues to take centre stage in the management of HIV/AIDS in Africa and beyond. Most health centres in Sub-saharan Africa rely on cut off reference values from different races and distant parts of the world. Aim:This study was designed to establish the range of CD4+ T Lymphocyte counts among the HIV-negative individuals and also HIV-positive patients at initial booking in the anti-retroviral clinic of our hospital where clinical diagnosis was established. Methods:Patients were recruited into the study as they report to the hospital on daily basis; structured questionnaires were administered where socio-demograhic and relevant clinical information were obtained. Blood samples (3-5mls) were collected using aseptic techniqueand processed where HIV screening was conducted, and CD4+ T Lymphocyte cell count was carried out using Cyflow (Partec, Germany). Results were fed into Microsoft excel 2007 version and analysed using SPSS 14. Results:A total of 386 HIV-positive and 145 HIV-negative individuals were recruited into the study. The average CD4+ T Lymphocytes count among the HIV negative individuals was 850 cells /µL and ranged from 200 to 1950 cells/µL with CD4+ T Lymphocyte counts of less than 300 cells/µL being 5 (3.4%). The CD4+ T Lymphocyte counts of less than 500 cells/µL among the HIV-negative individuals was 19(13.1%). However, the CD4+ T Lymphocyte counts among HIV-infected individuals ranged from 50 to 1450 cells/µL, 0.8% (n=3) while 45.9% (n=177) presented with CD4+ T Lymhocyte counts of 50 or less and less than 250 cells/µL respectively. The fact that 75.9% (n=293) of the patients had a CD4+ T Lymphocyte counts of less than 500 cells/µL shows the general late presentation of patients with HIV infection at our health settings, and as much as 50% of these were aware of their HIV status the very first time. Conclusion:Late presentation of patients at the HIV clinic is still a major challenge as many are still not aware of their HIV status. More awareness and sensitization campaigns should be deployed to bridge this gap. Also,very Low CD4+ T Lymphocyte counts may as well be recorded in HIV-negative individuals and hence CD4 T Lymphocyte values should be interpreted based on this understanding.