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Editor,—To assess the features of AIDS defining illnesses during the HAART era versus those observed before the introduction of HAART, the characteristics of 72 consecutive patients, diagnosed in 1997–9, were compared with those of 144 subjects randomly selected from the 436 patients diagnosed from 1985 to 1995, in a case-control study.
An impressive drop in AIDS diagnosis was seen shortly after the introduction of HAART, with only 38, 21, and 13 cases per ∼1000 patient years observed in 1997, 1998, and 1999 respectively, versus a mean frequency >60 cases per ∼1000 patient years, demonstrated during 1991–5. A tendency towards an increased incidence of female sex was shown in 1997–9 compared with 1985–95 (33.3% versus 27.1%), together with a rise of mean CD4+ lymphocyte count (86.8 (SD 99.4) versus 72.1 (93.7) cells ×106/l), while …