Published: 2021-03-23

Hemoglobin and CD4 count in HIV patients initiating antiretroviral therapy at a tertiary care hospital in Goa

Chitralekha A. Nayak, Rachita G. Velho, Savita Pinto S. da Silva


Background: Hematological abnormalities are known to be independent predictors of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected patients. The current study was conducted to evaluate the hemoglobin levels and CD4 count at the time of initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS patients attending ART centre at Goa Medical College.

Methods: A hospital based observational retrospective study was carried out in Department of Medicine of Goa Medical College in collaboration with ART centre from October 2015 to January 2016. Patient’s relevant data about the infection was collected from patient’s treatment record card at the ART centre using preformed questionnaire.

Results: The prevalence of anaemia in study participants was 66.35%. The prevalence of severe anaemia and mild-moderate anaemia was 9% and 57.3% respectively, while 33.65% of participants were not anaemic. Significant difference was observed in the prevalence of anaemia among immune deficient male participants (CD4 count <500 cells/mm3) and participants with no significant immune deficiency (CD4 count ≥500 cells /mm3) (77.5% versus 50%). Significant difference was also seen in the prevalence of anaemia among immune deficient female participants (CD4 count <500 cells/mm3) and participants with no significant immune deficiency (CD4 count ≥500 cells /mm3) (93.5% versus 56%).

Conclusions: The current study revealed high prevalence of anemia in HIV patients prior to the initiation of ART in both males as well as females. Mild to moderate anemia was predominant in the study participants than severe anemia. There was significant difference observed in the prevalence of anemia among immune deficient population and participants with normal CD4 count. Prompt diagnosis of anaemia, identification of the underlying cause of anaemia in HIV patients as well as the implementation of appropriate treatment is essential.


Haemoglobin, CD4, Anaemia, HIV, AIDS, Immunodeficiency

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