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Loredana Manolescu and Paul Marinescu

Abstract

Introduction: Prior studies assessing sex differences correlated with the levels of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA and absolute CD4 cell count in adults and children, treated or untreated with antiretroviral (ARV) therapy presented conflicting results. Objective: To assess comparative HIV RNA levels and absolute CD4 cell count in men and women from a large cohort of HIV-infected long term survivors patients. Methods: 462 HIV infected patients were analyzed cross-sectionally and longitudinally after being split into three groups: 156 naïve deceased patients, median age at death 10 years, 197 ARV treated patients, median age 17 years and 109 ARV treated patients, median age 23 years followed up until 2011. HIV RNA and absolute CD4 cell count were measured in all patients enrolled in the study. Results: In cross-sectional analysis of 156 naïve patients HIV RNA median levels were lower in females comparing to males, 4.95 vs. 5.73 HIV RNA log10 (copies/ml). Female absolute CD4 cell count was slightly higher, (median 97 vs. 65.5 cells/μL; P = 0.0001). Cross-sectional analysis of 197 ARV treated patients showed a lower log10 HIV RNA level in females compared to males, (P=0.0001), and also lower median CD4 count values in women, 336 cells/μL vs 456 cells/μL in men, P=.0001. Longitudinal analysis revealed statistically significant results: mean log viral loads were lower in females (F=13.90, P= 0.0009) and absolute CD4 cell count was lower in malse (F=16.72, P<0.0001), almost across all tested ages. Conclusion: We report steady sex differences in HIV RNA levels and absolute CD4 cell count in ART-treated HIV-infected patients, a fact that may suggest a reevaluation of our current treatment strategies according to sex.

Open access

Sorin-George Toma and Paul Marinescu

Abstract

A new approach, called “business excellence”, has emerged in the business world and scientific literature in the past decades. Facing an increasingly turbulent and chaotic environment, more and more companies have implemented business excellence strategies and made quality a key element of their business philosophy. Modern measurement frameworks were created and developed by national or international bodies such as the excellence business models. These models provide guidelines and criteria for evaluation and are used by companies across the world as groundwork for continuous improvement. The paper aims to present and compare three well-known business excellence models in the world: Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the Australian Business Excellence Framework and the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model. In this respect, the authors have displayed the key elements of each business excellence model, followed by their comparison. In order to achieve the previous goals, the paper uses two methods: analysis and comparison. The information were obtained from multiple secondary sources of data- books and academic journal articles from the domains of total quality management and production economics found in libraries and electronic databases- through a desk research based on a significant literature review. The paper contributes to a better understanding of the business excellence models and may help managers to design and implement business excellence strategies. The paper shows that business excellence models provide a holistic approach to continuous improvement for any type of organization. These models are based on sound values, concepts and principles and have proved their viability during the time. Consequently, they gave birth to frameworks that allow organizations to benchmark their performances and demonstrate best practices in their field of activity. Also, the research findings indicate that the American model constituted a landmark for other business excellence models around the world.