Researchers conducted a systemic analysis of patients living with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia and identified a high prevalence of thrombocytopenia and leucopenia in the population. According to the study’s authors, their findings signal the need for regular screening for hematological discrepancies in patients with HIV/AIDS with associated treatment and follow-up in order to improve quality of life and reduce HIV-associated mortality. The report was published in PLoS One.

Additionally, the study “indicated the importance of early diagnosis of HIV and timely initiation of [highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)] to reduce the advancement of HIV disease and its subsequent hematological complications,” according to lead author Habtye Bisetegn,

The investigators used random effect models to estimate the pooled prevalence of thrombocytopenia and leucopenia among the study population. A total of 13 articles comprised of 3,854 participants were included in the final meta-analysis.

The study’s modelling returned a pooled prevalence of thrombocytopenia of 9.69% (95% CI, 7.40%–11.97%). Significant heterogeneity was observed with an I2 value of 84.7%. The prevalence of thrombocytopenia in non-HAART initiated and HAART-initiated patients with HIV/AIDS was 11.91% and 5.95%, respectively. The authors also reported that the pooled prevalence of leucopenia among HIV/AIDS patients was 17.31% (95% CI, 12.37%–22.25%).

The review indicated that thrombocytopenia and leucopenia were more abundant in patients with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. These findings should serve as a “clear message” that regular screening, treatment, and follow-up for these HIV comorbidities is needed, according to the authors. They also posited that early diagnosis and initiation of HAART was highly beneficial for patients living with an infection.

Source: PLoS One