Skip to main content

Aging, Trends in CD4/CD8 Ratio and Clinical Outcomes with Persistent HIV Suppression in the HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS)

Novak RM, Armon C, Battalora L, Buchacz K, Li J, Ward D, Carlson K, Palella FJ Jr; HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS) Investigators


Background: Age blunts CD4+ lymphocyte cell count/μl (CD4+) improvements observed with antiretroviral therapy (ART)-induced viral suppression among people with HIV (PWH). Prolonged viral suppression reduces immune dysregulation, reflected by rising CD4+/CD8+ ratios (CD4+/CD8+). We studied CD4+/CD8+ over time to determine whether it predicts risk for select comorbidities and mortality among aging PWH with viral suppression.

Methods: We studied HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS) participants prescribed ART during 2000-2018 who achieved a viral load less than 200 copies/ml on or after 1 January 2000, and remained virally suppressed at least 1 year thereafter. We modeled associations of CD4+/CD8+ with select incident comorbidities and all-cause mortality using Cox regression and controlling for demographic and clinical factors.

Results: Of 2480 eligible participants,1145 (46%) were aged less than 40 years, 835 (34%) 40-49 years, and 500 (20%) ≥ 50 years. At baseline, median CD4+/CD8+ was 0.53 (interquartile range: 0.30-0.84) and similar among all age groups (P = 0.18). CD4+/CD8+ values and percentage of participants with CD4+/CD8+ at least 0.70 increased within each age group (P < 0.001 for all). CD4+/CD8+ increase was greatest for PWH aged less than 40 years at baseline. In adjusted models, most recent CD4+/CD8+less than 1.00 and less than 0.70 were independently associated with higher risk of non-AIDS cancer and mortality, respectively.

Conclusion: Pretreatment immune dysregulation may persist as indicated by CD4+/CD8+ less than 0.70. Persistent viral suppression can improve immune dysregulation over time, reducing comorbidity, and mortality risk. Monitoring CD4+/CD8+ among ART-treated PWH with lower values provide a means to assess for mortality and comorbidity risk.

Read the full article.