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HIV infection, digestive system, chronic viral hepatitis, family medicine

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Introduction. In the current situation of the HIV-infection epidemic, every 100-th citizen of Ukraine aged between 15 and 49 is infected with HIV. It is one of the highest rates among countries in the European Region. The issue of retaining HIV-positive patients in the medical surveillance system and support for adherence to ART treatment are becoming particularly relevant. At the same time, the comorbidity of HIV-infection with digestive system lesion is one of the main elements of pathological changes, both in the progression of HIV infection and in the occurrence of various complications leading to interruptions or failure to receive continuous antiretroviral therapy (ART).

The purpose of the study is to examine the features of the digestive system lesions of HIV-infected patients and their impact on the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy.

Materials and methods. The study was conducted on randomly selected 215 HIV-infected patients in compliance with the bioethical and scientific standards, in accordance with industry standards and clinical guidelines approved by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

Results and Discussion. Patients were divided into two comparison groups: the main group (MG) had 158 (73.5%) of HIV-infected persons with pathology of the digestive system, the controlled group (СG) had 57 (26.5%) of HIV-infected patients with no signs of gastric lesions of the gastrointestinal tract. Among the lesions of the digestive system in HIV-infected patients, hepatitis of viral and/or toxic genesis, chronic inflammatory diseases of the esophagus and gastroduodenal zone, chronic pancreatitis and cholecystitis were most often observed. In 61.4%, the pathology of the digestive tract was combined. When evaluating the efficacy of ART, no statistical difference was found between MG and CG in the frequency of the virologic response and the level of viral load at the beginning of the study and at 6 months of follow-up. However, MG patients had a worse immunologic response compared to CG, they were significantly more likely to switch the initial ART regimen, have breaks in treatment and development of adverse reactions. Patients treated for comorbid digestive system disorders had ART replacements less frequently and after 6 months of treatment they had an average level of CD4 + lymphocytes, which corresponded to the normal value.

Conclusions. A significant majority of the examined patients with HIV-infection had digestive system lesions (73.5%). HIV-infected patients with digestive system pathology had more treatment interruptions, switch of ART regimens, and a worse immunological response, compared with the controlled group. Untreated diseases of the digestive system could be predictors of an increased break rate of ART, switch of treatment regimens, and decreased treatment efficacy. The introduction of an integrated, patient-oriented approach to the management of these nosologies in family medicine practice is proposed.;8(1):72-83
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