Jpn. J. Infect. Dis., 59 (5), 311-316, 2006

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Original Article

Changes in the Clinical Spectrum of Opportunistic Illnesses in Persons with HIV Infection in Taiwan in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

Hsin-Yun Sun, Mao-Yuan Chen, Szu-Min Hsieh, Wang-Huei Sheng, Sui-Yuan Chang1,2, Chin-Fu Hsiao3,4, Chien-Ching Hung* and Shan-Chwen Chang

Department of Internal Medicine and 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine; 2School and Graduate Institute of Medical Technology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine; 3National Taipei College of Nursing, Taipei; and 4Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan Town, Taiwan

(Received May 19, 2006. Accepted July 31, 2006)

*Corresponding author: Mailing address: Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei, Taiwan. Tel: +886-2-23123456 ext. 7552, Fax: +886-2-23707772, E-mail:

SUMMARY: We compared changes in the relative frequencies of opportunistic illnesses (OIs) among 1,044 Taiwanese persons with HIV infection who were enrolled in three study periods from June 1994 to June 2004: before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART); early HAART; and late HAART. Nearly two-thirds of those newly diagnosed with HIV infection had CD4 counts below 200/mm3. Among a total of 1,182 OIs, candidiasis, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, and tuberculosis were the most common in all three study periods within 3 months after enrollment. Within 3 to 12 months after enrollment, the number of OIs declined significantly. Only 81 cases of OIs were diagnosed, the most common of which were cytomegalovirus disease, tuberculosis, candidiasis, and Mycobacterium avium complex infection. Except for the decreasing frequency of Kaposi's sarcoma, there was no significant change in the relative frequency of each individual OI within 3 months and within 3 - 12 months after enrollment across the three study periods. We concluded that despite the significant decrease in the number of AIDS-related OIs, the relative frequencies of common OIs did not change significantly after the introduction of HAART.

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