Background and Objective: The recognition and the assessment of the carotid intimal thickness helps in predicting the risk of the cardiovascular events in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected patients who are on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART). The objective of this study was to assess and compare the carotid intimal thickness in HIV positive individuals who were on antiretroviral therapy with HIV positive individuals who were not on anti-retroviral therapy.
Subjects and Methods: All the HIV positive individuals who were 20 years old and above, who had been diagnosed by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) guidelines were included in the study. The HIV positive individuals who were diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and hypertension were excluded from the study. The study subjects were divided into 2 groups i.e. HIV patients who were on anti-retroviral therapy and HIV patients who were not on anti-retroviral therapy. The patients had to be on anti-retroviral therapy for a minimum of 6 months for them to be included in the first group. The data was collected by using a semi structured, pre-tested proforma, which included the demographic details, the duration of the HIV infection, details of the antiretroviral treatment, a history of smoking/ alcohol consumption and details on the assessments of the metabolic syndrome.
Results: A total of 42 patients were included in the study. Among them, 28 were males (66.7%) and 14 were females (33.3%). Twenty six patients were on ART and the remaining patients were treatment naive. There were significant differences with regards to their age and the duration of the HIV infection, which was longer in the patients who were on ART (p= 0.049, p=0.003 respectively). The Body Mass Index (BMI), the waist: hip ratio, the mid-arm circumference, the waist circumference, the skin fold thickness and the carotid intimal-media thickness were higher in the HIV patients who were on ART as compared to those in the treatment naive patients, though the difference was statistically insignificant.
Conclusion: The carotid intimal thickness was higher in the HIV patients who were on ART as compared to those in the treatment naïve HIV infected patients.