Retrospective observational study on the epidemiological profile of people living with HIV/AIDS in Pernambuco state, Brazil
Keywords:Public health, infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, epidemiology, population characteristics
Introduction: HIV/AIDS is a major global public health concern. In Pernambuco state, Brazil, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is among the highest in the country. Herein, a cross-sectional retrospective observational study was carried out with 811 PLWHA followed up at the Clinical Hospital, Pernambuco, Brazil, between 2013 and 2017.
Methodology: The patients’ sociodemographic and behavioral data were obtained by interview. Information about HIV load and CD4 T lymphocyte count were obtained from patients’ records. Data were analyzed for both the total number of PLWHA and gender.
Results: Recife municipality had the highest number of PLWHA. Most PLWHA were 40-44 years old, male, brown ethnicity, heterosexual, single, with elementary education, used condoms regularly, shared sharp objects, had surgery, had no non-HIV sexual infection, did not receive transfusions, did not use injectable drugs, and had no tattoo. The median of first and last CD4 T lymphocyte counts were 241 and 549.5 cells/mm³, respectively. The first HIV load had a median of 14,882 copies/mL (IQR = 613-109,750 copies/mL). Regarding the last viral load, 63.74% had an undetectable load. All patients were using antiretroviral therapy, mean time of 5.9 (± 5.5) years. This epidemiological and medical profile was maintained when PLWHA were analyzed according to gender, except for the report of another sexually transmitted infection, in which 51.4% of men (268/521) reported having/or having had it.
Conclusions: The epidemiological profile of PLWHA in Pernambuco, Brazil, was described. This regional characterization is useful for directing public health policies, contributing to population-directed decision making.
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