Background: Haematological parameters are important monitoring tool for assessing prognosis and treatment in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected patients. Therefore, examining these parameters for abnormalities are absolutely imperative. Objective: This research was conducted to examine the effects of ARV drugs on haematological indices of HIV–infected patients under treatment. Research approach: The study was conducted in President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Clinic of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria between October, 2012 and April, 2013. The blood samples of 275 HIV–infected patients on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and 109 patients yet to receive ARVs were analysed for haematological parameters with automated blood analyser. Findings: A higher incidence of anaemia, thrombocytopenia and lymphocytopenia were observed in those patients that were yet to commence ARV drugs. Leucopoenia and neutropenia were prominent among HIV–infected patients on ARV drugs. Microcytic anaemia was more frequent in patients that were about to start drugs, while macrocytic anaemia was identified among HIV–infected patients on ARV drugs. Conclusion: All types of anaemia except life threatening were found in patients receiving ARV drugs. The anaemia, leucopoenia and neutropenia found in patients on ARV drugs were associated with first–line Tenofovir–based regimen. Research Value: Further research is needed to ascertain the safety of Tenofovir– based therapy in managing HIV–infected patients.
Key words: Human immunodeficiency virus, Anaemia, Leucopenia, Neutropenia, Cytopenia, Antiretroviral drugs.
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