POZ - XVI International AIDS Conference (2006) : IAC: Meds Improve Growth and Body Composition - by Tim Horn

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Conference Coverage » XVI International AIDS Conference (2006)


IAC: Meds Improve Growth and Body Composition
by Tim Horn

August 16, 2006 (AIDSmeds)—New data reported at the XVI International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto indicates that HIV treatment dramatically improves growth and body composition in HIV-positive children. In fact, the AIDS Clinical Trials Group study concludes that HIV-positive children starting or switching HIV treatment actually have higher gains in weight, height, and lean body mass than HIV-uninfected children.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that HIV-positive children suffer from poor growth and body composition (water, fat, and muscle), which has been shown to be associated with more rapid disease progression. While the exact cause, or causes, of poor growth in these children has not been fully determined, data collected over the past ten years suggests that HIV treatment can lead to improvements in growth and body composition.

Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group study 1010, reported during an IAC session on Monday by Caroline Chantry, MD, of the University of California Davis Medical Center, was conducted to evaluate changes in growth in children starting or changing HIV treatment. It was a 48-week clinical trial that enrolled HIV-positive children between one month and 13 years of age. All children were either starting treatment or switching to a protease inhibitor-based regimen for the first time.

Ninety-seven pediatric patients were enrolled. Nine percent were infants, 15% were toddlers, 34% were between three and eight years of age, and 41% were between eight and 13 years of age. The average viral load upon entering the study was approximately 50,000 and the average CD4 cell percentage (T cell percentage) – considered to be a more accurate measure of CD4 cell function in children – was 25%. Twenty-nine percent of the children were starting treatment for the first time and 24% were switching to a protease inhibitor-based regimen for the first time.

The HIV-positive children were compared to a large cohort of 6,819 HIV-negative children participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

After 48 weeks of treatment, which was chosen for each patient by the study researchers, 54% of the children had viral loads below 50. There were also significant increases in weight and height, along with a significant increase in fat-free mass, a good indicator of improved body composition.

Additional analysis of the study data demonstrated that the status of the children at study entry – not the viral load and CD4 count responses to therapy, nor the HIV treatments used during the study – was the best predictor of growth and body composition improvements. Lower body composition, CD4 cell percentage, and age at study entry were predictive of the greatest increases in weight. As for height, waist circumference, body fat percentage, and body composition measurements of triceps skinfold thickness and mid-arm muscle circumference, a lower body mass at baseline was the most predictive value.

Finally, compared to the children of similar ages in the NHANES cohort, the HIV-positive children – after 48 weeks of treatment – had significantly greater body weight, height, and fat-free mass. In other words, not only does HIV treatment improve growth and body composition in HIV-positive children, it actually boosts healthy growth and body composition to above-normal levels. These data, the study authors concluded, are encouraging.


[Go to top]

POZ Exclusives

Sexy ‘Fashion Roars’ Fundraiser for Generation Ubuntu

The Treatment Divide: When’s the Best Time to Start HIV Meds?

(RED) and Moleskine Join Forces to Fight AIDS

» More

What's That Mean?
(just double-click it!)

NEW! If you don't understand one of the words in this article, just double-click it. A window will open with a definition from mondofacto's On-line Medical Dictionary. If the double-click feature doesn't work in your browser, you can enter the word below:

What You're Talking About

Mouth Full of Problems: A Crisis in HIV Dental Care (24)

Sex Crime (23)

HPV Vaccine for Boys: Public Comments Welcome (18)

Sir Elton John Denied Request to Adopt HIV-Positive Ukrainian Child (13)

HIV-Positive Sailor Sentenced for Consensual, Unprotected Sex (8)

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

15 Years Ago In POZ

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Should the U.S. gay blood ban end?

Smoke Signals

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.