Background: Cytopenias are common complications in HIV-positive individuals, generally correlated to the stage of the disease. Prevalence of cytopenias depends on the stage of HIV infection, gender, race, geographic location, and nutritional status. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of cytopenias in treatment-naive HIV infected patients in two ethnically, geographically and socio-economically different countries, Turkey and Somali. Results: The most common cytopenia in this study was normocytic normochromic anemia. Anemia was significantly more common among Somalia patients than their Turkish counterparts. The second common hematological abnormality among Somalian patients was leucopenia and among Turkish patients was thrombocytopenia. Leucopenia was rare in Turkish patients.
Conclusion: The hematological findings of our study have implications for the selection of antiretroviral drugs and other agents in HIV-positive individuals and also in monitoring the development of side effects. These results vary between countries with socioeconomic and geographical differences.
Key words: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, anemia, cytopenia, Turkey, Somali