Effect of Simultaneous Administration of Antiretroviral Therapy and Nutritional Supplements on Cd4 Count of HIV-Infected Persons in Selected Communities of South Eastern Nigeria

The simultaneous effect of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) and nutritional supplements on cluster of differentiation4 (CD4)count of 100 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) was investigated. CD4 cell count was determined using the Cyflow SL-3. Individuals with baseline CD4 counts less than 200 cells/ìl were placed on HAART for a period of 8 weeks at 4 weekly intervals. Total white blood cell (TWBC), haemoglobin (Hb)/ packed cell volume (PVC) were estimated using Sysmex KX-21N automated machine; Body mass index (BMI) calculated using World Health Organization’s BMI Reference Standards. Dietary intake and feeding history were recorded, followed by a 24 hourly dietary recall with Recommended Dietary Intake [RDA] of ELERON nutritional supplement. Eighty-one percent of treated subjects had increased CD4 count (P<0.05): TWBC had 24% increase; mean value (P<0.05). Haemoglobin and PCV showed significant increase (P < 0.05) at 5% or 10% levels. Concomitant effect of HAART and nutritional supplements on the CD4 count, Hb/PCV, BMI were significant at 5% or 10% levels. Mean BMI value was highly significant (20.23 kg/m2) compared with 16.40 kg/m2 (P=0.004). Immunological reconstitution of patients was observed following improved nutritional supplementation with HAART as effective adjunctive therapy/or clinical outcome-enhancer for PLWHA in rural and resource poor communities.

 UME Dibua, SU Onoja, JAC Ugonabo