Background: This study was undertaken to address the controversy regarding immunologic response to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) among older patients. Methods: In a cross-sectional study all patients attending the HIV Clinic at Imam Khomeini Hospital (Tehran) from 2010 to 2011 were evaluated. Immunologic response was investigated using consecutive CD4+ T-cell counts in a one-year interval and outcomes were analyzed for older (>=50 yrs) and younger (<50 yrs) patients using SPSS version 16.0. Results: A total of 714 patients were actively enrolled in the clinic while 24 were 50 years or older, and had initiated ART; a similar random group of younger patients was selected as the control. Hepatitis C was the most prevalent co-infection in both groups. Patients with no serologic evidence of hepatitis B and C had significantly higher CD4+ T-cell counts than HIV/HBV co-infected patients after 12 months (p = 0.04). The average increased CD4+ T-cell counts in 6, 9, and 12 months of cART initiation were lower among older patients but the difference was not significant (50.75 vs. 123.08; p = 0.37, 132.87 vs. 710.58; p = 0.25, 271.27 vs. 500; p = 0.65). Conclusion: About 11% of the registered HIV-positive patients at our clinic were 50 years or older while their immunologic response to cART showed to be different. Specific needs of older HIV infected patients are highly recommended to be addressed in future treatment and care programs.
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