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1.  Associated factors for treatment delay in pulmonary tuberculosis in HIV-infected individuals: a nested case-control study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:208.
Background
The delay in initiating treatment for tuberculosis (TB) in HIV-infected individuals may lead to the development of a more severe form of the disease, with higher rates of morbidity, mortality and transmissibility. The aim of the present study was to estimate the time interval between the onset of symptoms and initiating treatment for TB in HIV-infected individuals, and to identify the factors associated to this delay.
Methods
A nested case-control study was undertaken within a cohort of HIV-infected individuals, attended at two HIV referral centers, in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Delay in initiating treatment for TB was defined as the period of time, in days, which was greater than the median value between the onset of cough and initiating treatment for TB. The study analyzed biological, clinical, socioeconomic, and lifestyle factors as well as those related to HIV and TB infection, potentially associated to delay. The odds ratios were estimated with the respective confidence intervals and p-values.
Results
From a cohort of 2365 HIV-infected adults, 274 presented pulmonary TB and of these, 242 participated in the study. Patients were already attending 2 health services at the time they developed a cough (period range: 1 – 552 days), with a median value of 41 days. Factors associated to delay were: systemic symptoms asthenia, chest pain, use of illicit drugs and sputum smear-negative.
Conclusion
The present study indirectly showed the difficulty of diagnosing TB in HIV-infected individuals and indicated the need for a better assessment of asthenia and chest pain as factors that may be present in co-infected patients. It is also necessary to discuss the role played by negative sputum smear results in diagnosing TB/HIV co-infection as well as the need to assess the best approach for drug users with TB/HIV.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-208
PMCID: PMC3490888  PMID: 22958583
HIV; Tuberculosis; Delay
2.  Factors Related to Changes in CD4+ T-Cell Counts over Time in Patients Living with HIV/AIDS: A Multilevel Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e84276.
Background
The measurement of CD4+ T-cell (CD4) counts is a strong predictor of progression to AIDS and a means of monitoring antiviral therapy (ART). The success or failure of controlling virus levels in untreated patients or those taking ART may be associated with treatment adherence, habits, correlated infections unrelated to HIV, cancer, immunosuppressive drugs; as well as socio-economic and psychosocial aspects and access to healthcare. The aim of the present study was to identify, using a multilevel model, the factors related to the variations of CD4 counts over time, in patients living with HIV.
Methodology
A cohort study was conducted with patients living with HIV, selected from July 2007 to December 2010. Patients were monitored from records of their first CD4 count after being diagnosed with HIV. A multilevel model with 3 levels of aggregation was applied to analyze the associations of predictor variables and the behavior of CD4 over time.
Principal Findings
A total of 1870 patients were enrolled. The mean number of CD4 at the beginning of the cohort was 393.1 cells/mm3, and there was a mean increase of 1.529 cells/mm3 per month. Patient's age, smoking, use of illicit drugs, hospital treatment, changing doctors and the use of ART, were factors that affected the kinetics of the CD4 count during the follow-up period.
Conclusion/Significance
The results of this study indicated increased levels of CD4 over time in a cohort of patients living with HIV/AIDS and identified factors that may influence this increase and are liable to intervention.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084276
PMCID: PMC3914785  PMID: 24505247

Results 1-2 (2)