Rationale: Low Vitamin D levels have been associated with an increased risk of disease progression in HIV-infected adults. It is important to recognize the immunmodulatory role of Vitamin D for an improved outcome in HIV-infected children. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship of Vitamin D with HIV-1 viral load, CD4 cell count and percent.
Methods: Chart data was retrospectively reviewed from ninety-nine HIV-infected pediatric patients, aged 13 to 25 years, seen in an outpatient setting from 01/01/2013 to 06/30/2015. Data including 25-hydroxy-vitamin D level (25-OH-VitD), HIV-1 viral load and CD4 count obtained during the same clinic visit, and the respective visit dates were collected, and analyzed using linear regression models. Correlations were made between CD4 and 25-hydroxy-vitamin D, HIV viral load and 25-OH-VitD, and between 25-OH-VitD and the respective visit dates.
Results: A positive correlation was found between HIV viral load and 25-OH-VitD in that high HIV viral loads were associated with high 25-hydroxy-vitamin D levels. There was no association between the CD4 count/percent and 25-OH-VitD level. 25-OH-VitD and the month of visit showed a sinusoidal seasonal variation.
Conclusions: In the pediatric HIV population, there is an association between increased 25-OH-VitD levels and elevated HIV viral load. Further studies are ongoing to better understand the immunomodulatory role of Vitamin D in HIV-infected children and adolescents and to further characterize covariates such as type of HIV transmission (perinatal vs. behavioral), age of patient, and duration of antiretroviral therapy.