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Modelling CD4+ count over time in HIV positive patients initiated on HAART in South Africa using linear mixed models.

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HIV is among the highly infectious and pathogenic diseases with a high mortality rate. The spread of HIV is in uenced by several individual based epidemiological factors such as age, gender, mobility, sexual partner pro le and the presence of sexually transmitted infections (STI). CD4+ count over time provided the rst surrogate marker of HIV disease progression and is currently used for clinical management of HIV-positive patients. The CD4+ count as a key disease marker is repeatedly measured among those individuals who test HIV positive to monitor the progression of the disease since it is known that HIV/AIDS is a long wave event. This gives rise to what is commonly known as longitudinal data. The aim of this project is to determine if the patients' weight, baseline age, sex, viral load and clinic site, in uences the rate of change in CD4+ count over time. We will use data of patients who commenced highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) from the Center for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) in the AIDS Treatment Project (CAT) between June 2004 and September 2006, including two years of follow-up for each patient. Analysis was done using linear mixed models methods for longitudinal data. The results showed that larger increase in CD4+ count over time was observed in females and individuals who were younger. However, upon tting baseline log viral load in the model instead of the log viral at all visits was that, larger increase in CD4+ count was observed in females, individuals who were younger, had higher baseline log viral load and lower weight.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2009.


AIDS (Disease), HIV infections., Theses--Statistics and actuarial science.