Article abstract

Introduction: although combined Anti-Retroviral Therapy (cART) has improved the quality of life and survival in people living with HIV-AIDS (PLWHA), there have been reports of increased non-AIDS related co-morbidities such as coagulopathies. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of cART on the coagulation profile of PLWHA.


Methods: this case-control study recruited 110 PLWHA (65 patients on cART, and 45 cART na´ve patients) from the antiretroviral therapy unit of Volta Regional Hospital, Ho. Blood was collected for prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT)and platelet count.


Results: cART na´ve individuals had a high PT (p <0.001; 17.2 vs 13.8) and APTT (p = 0.081; 59.7 vs 55.3) compared to their counterparts on cART. Also, INR was significantly lower in cART-treated PLWHA (p<0.001). Platelet count was high in participants on therapy compared to their na´ve counterparts (204.7 vs 193.6, p = 0.402). Patients on zidovudine + nevirapin + efavirenz therapy had a significantly lower PT compared to those on zidovudine + lamivudine + efavirenz therapy {p = 0.02, 13.23 vs 14.66}. Additionally, PLWHA on zidovudine + nevirapin + efavirenz had reduced APTT compared to those on zidovudine + lamivudine + efavirenz therapy, or zidovudine + lamivudine+ nevirapine therapy (p = 0.058; 47.55 vs 56.81 vs 56.85 respectively).


Conclusion: HIV infection adversely affects the coagulation profile in PLWHA which improves with cART. Barring the existence of other comorbidities, cART with zidovudine + nevirapin + efavirenz combination could be the treatment of choice as it significantly improves the coagulation profile in PLWHA.