Raised IL-6 Levels: A Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Associated Complications in HIV Positive Zambians Presenting at the University Teaching Hospital before Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)
Objectives - The objectives of the study were to compare plasma levels of IL-6 in HIV positive and HIV negative individuals and to correlate them with CD4 count
Materials and methods - A cross-sectional study was carried out at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. IL-6 and CD4 were assessed in HIV positive on ART, HIV positive ART- naïve and HIV negative control participants.
Results and Conclusion - Our study showed that HIV ART naïve participants had higher IL-6 concentrations (2.83 ± 1.60 ng/ml) than those on ART (2.49 ± 1.21 ng/ml) p = 0.020. HIV negative control participants however, had higher concentrations of IL-6 (3.24 ± 1.33 ng/ml) than HIV positive participants on ART (2.49 ± 1.21) p = 0.002. HIV positive ART naïve individuals therefore, had the highest IL-6 levels. The results also showed that ART lowers inflammation in HIV and this may explain why ART reduces the risk of developing opportunistic tumours and other infections in HIV.
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