Sex differences in HIV outcomes in the highly active antiretroviral therapy era: a systematic review.

Castilho JL, Melekhin VV, Sterling TR
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014 30 (5): 446-56

PMID: 24401107 · PMCID: PMC4010172 · DOI:10.1089/AID.2013.0208

To assess sex disparities in AIDS clinical and laboratory outcomes in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era we conducted a systematic review of the published literature on mortality, disease progression, and laboratory outcomes among persons living with HIV and starting HAART. We performed systematic PubMed and targeted bibliographic searches of observational studies published between January, 1998, and November, 2013, that included persons starting HAART and reported analyses of mortality, progression to AIDS, or virologic or immunologic treatment outcomes by sex. Risk ratios (relative risks, odd ratios, and hazard ratios) and 95% confidence intervals were obtained. Sixty-five articles were included in this review. Thirty-nine studies were from North America and Europe and 26 were from Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Forty-four studies (68%) showed no statistically significant difference in risk of mortality, progression to AIDS, or virologic or immunologic treatment outcomes by sex. Decreased risk of death among females compared to males was observed in 24 of the 25 articles that included mortality analyses [pooled risk ratio 0.72 (95% confidence interval=0.69-0.75)], and decreased risk of death or AIDS was observed in 9 of the 13 articles that examined the composite outcome [pooled risk ratio=0.91 (0.84-0.98)]. There was no significant effect of sex on the risk of progression to AIDS [pooled risk ratio=1.15 (0.99-1.31)]. In this systematic review, females starting HAART appeared to have improved survival compared to males. However, this benefit was not associated with decreased progression to either AIDS or to differences in virologic or immunologic treatment outcomes.

MeSH Terms (8)

Anti-Retroviral Agents Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active Disease Progression Global Health HIV Infections Humans Sex Factors Treatment Outcome

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