ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-51

HIV-1 plasma RNA viral load and CD4 cell count in drug-naïve HIV-1 infected patients in Kaduna State, Nigeria


1 Department of Medical laboratory Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
3 Department of Medical Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Mohammed Ibrahim Tahir
Department of Medical laboratory Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jomt.jomt_27_19

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Background: The recent guidelines for HIV treatment initiation in Nigeria do not depend on CD4 cell count or plasma viral load however, assessment of the baseline immunologic and virologic markers could indicate prognosis and transmission index. This study was aimed to estimate CD4 cells and plasma HIV-1 RNA viral load among antiretroviral treatment (ART)-naive populations in three HIV treatment centres in Nigeria. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional hospital-based study of 50 adult ART-naive patients. Whole blood and plasma samples were estimated for CD4 cells and HIV RNA-1 plasma viral load respectively. Results: The median age of the study participants was 35 years and 64% were female. The median CD4 cell count was 176 cell/μl while the median HIV viral load was 158391 copies/mL. There was a significant moderately strong, negative Spearman correlation between HIV-1 plasma viral load and CD4 cell count (r = −0.5007, P = 0.0002). Female recorded relatively higher CD4 cell count and lower plasma viral load. Six percent (6%) of the ART-naïve patients had undetectable viral load. Conclusion: This study indicates the baseline plasma viral load and CD4 cell count which can affect prognosis, disease progression and transmission. The drug-naïve participants reported with undetectable plasma RNA could be ‘elite’ controllers.


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