Background and Objective: To compare the immunological response to antiretroviral therapy between genders and to identify other factors that could affect the immunological response. Methods: This was a prospective, observational study of 171 HIV patients with a follow-up at six months. The exposure to be measured was gender and the outcome of interest included CD4 count (immunological response) which was classified as adequate, suboptimal and immunological failure. Results: A total of 171 patients completed the study out of which 88 (51.5%) were males and 83 (48.5%) were females. Overall, 130 patients out of 171 (76.0%) showed an adequate response at the end of the first six months of ART. The response was comparable in both men and women, and no significant difference was seen (p = 0.216). Though not statistically significant, more than 80% of the patients with a baseline CD4 cell count less than 300 cells/ mm3 showed an adequate response. Also, the baseline BMI (classified as underweight, normal, overweight, obese) did not affect the immunological response significantly. Conclusion: Gender did not play a role in the immunological response following the initiation of antiretroviral therapy in treatment naïve patients. The baseline CD4 count and the baseline BMI did not significantly affect the immunological response.
Key words: Antiretroviral therapy, Immunological response, Response to antiretroviral therapy, Gender and HIV.