Long-term antiretroviral treatment outcomes in seven countries in the Caribbean

Koenig SP, Rodriguez LA, Bartholomew C, Edwards A, Carmichael TE, Barrow G, Cabié A, Hunter R, Vasquez-Mora G, Quava-Jones A, Adomakoh N, Peter Figueroa J, Liautaud B, Torres M, Pape JW

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012 Apr 1;59(4):e60-71



To report long-term HIV treatment outcomes in 7 Caribbean countries.


Observational cohort study.


We report outcomes for all antiretroviral therapy (ART) naive adult patients enrolled on ART from program inception until study closing for cohorts in Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Puerto Rico. Incidence and predictors of mortality were analyzed by time-to-event approaches.


A total of 8203 patients were on ART from 1998 to 2008. Median follow-up time was 31 months (interquartile range: 14-50 months). The overall mortality was 13%: 6% in Martinique, 8% in Jamaica, 11% in Trinidad, 13% in Haiti, 15% in the Dominican Republic, 15% in Barbados, and 24% in Puerto Rico. Mortality was associated with male gender [hazard ratio (HR), 1.58; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.33 to 1.87], body weight (HR, 0.85 per 10 pounds; 95% CI: 0.82 to 0.89), hemoglobin (HR, 0.84 per g/dL; 95% CI: 0.80 to 0.88), CD4 cell count (0.90 per 50 CD4 cells; 95% CI: 0.86 to 0.93), concurrent tuberculosis (HR, 1.58; 95% CI: 1.25 to 2.01) and age (HR, 1.19 per 10 years; 95% CI: 1.11 to 1.28). After controlling for these variables, mortality in Martinique, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Haiti was not significantly different. A total of 75% of patients remained alive and in care at the end of the study period.


Long-term mortality rates vary widely across the Caribbean countries. Much of the difference can be explained by disease severity at ART initiation, nutritional status, and concurrent tuberculosis. Earlier ART initiation will be critical to improve the outcomes.

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