Publications by authors named "Intira J Collins"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Optimizing infant HIV diagnosis with additional screening at immunization clinics in three sub-Saharan African settings: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

J Int AIDS Soc 2021 01;24(1):e25651

Medical Practice Evaluation Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Introduction: Uptake of early infant HIV diagnosis (EID) varies widely across sub-Saharan African settings. We evaluated the potential clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of universal maternal HIV screening at infant immunization visits, with referral to EID and maternal antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation.

Methods: Using the CEPAC-Pediatric model, we compared two strategies for infants born in 2017 in Côte d'Ivoire (CI), South Africa (SA), and Zimbabwe: (1) existing EID programmes offering six-week nucleic acid testing (NAT) for infants with known HIV exposure (EID), and (2) EID plus universal maternal HIV screening at six-week infant immunization visits, leading to referral for infant NAT and maternal ART initiation (screen-and-test). Model inputs included published Ivoirian/South African/Zimbabwean data: maternal HIV prevalence (4.8/30.8/16.1%), current uptake of EID (40/95/65%) and six-week immunization attendance (99/74/94%). Referral rates for infant NAT and maternal ART initiation after screen-and-test were 80%. Costs included NAT ($24/infant), maternal screening ($10/mother-infant pair), ART ($5 to 31/month) and HIV care ($15 to 190/month). Model outcomes included mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) among HIV-exposed infants, and life expectancy (LE) and mean lifetime per-person costs for children with HIV (CWH) and all children born in 2017. We calculated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) using discounted (3%/year) lifetime costs and LE for all children. We considered two cost-effectiveness thresholds in each country: (1) the per-capita GDP ($1720/6380/2150) per year-of-life saved (YLS), and (2) the CEPAC-generated ICER of offering 2 versus 1 lifetime ART regimens (e.g. offering second-line ART; $520/500/580/YLS).

Results: With EID, projected six-week MTCT was 9.3% (CI), 4.2% (SA) and 5.2% (Zimbabwe). Screen-and-test decreased total MTCT by 0.2% to 0.5%, improved LE by 2.0 to 3.5 years for CWH and 0.03 to 0.07 years for all children, and increased discounted costs by $17 to 22/child (all children). The ICER of screen-and-test compared to EID was $1340/YLS (CI), $650/YLS (SA) and $670/YLS (Zimbabwe), below the per-capita GDP but above the ICER of 2 versus 1 lifetime ART regimens in all countries.

Conclusions: Universal maternal HIV screening at immunization visits with referral to EID and maternal ART initiation may reduce MTCT, improve paediatric LE, and be of comparable value to current HIV-related interventions in high maternal HIV prevalence settings like SA and Zimbabwe.
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January 2021

Characterizing the double-sided cascade of care for adolescents living with HIV transitioning to adulthood across Southern Africa.

J Int AIDS Soc 2020 01;23(1):e25447

Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Introduction: As adolescents and young people living with HIV (AYLH) age, they face a "transition cascade," a series of steps associated with transitions in their care as they become responsible for their own healthcare. In high-income countries, this usually includes transfer from predominantly paediatric/adolescent to adult clinics. In sub-Saharan Africa, paediatric HIV care is mostly provided in decentralized, non-specialist primary care clinics, where "transition" may not necessarily include transfer of care but entails becoming more autonomous for one's HIV care. Using different age thresholds as proxies for when "transition" to autonomy might occur, we evaluated pre- and post-transition outcomes among AYLH.

Methods: We included AYLH aged <16 years at enrolment, receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) within International epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS Southern Africa (IeDEA-SA) sites (2004 to 2017) with no history of transferring care. Using the ages of 16, 18, 20 and 22 years as proxies for "transition to autonomy," we compared the outcomes: no gap in care (≥2 clinic visits) and viral suppression (HIV-RNA <400 copies/mL) in the 12 months before and after each age threshold. Using log-binomial regression, we examined factors associated with no gap in care (retention) in the 12 months post-transition.

Results: A total of 5516 AYLH from 16 sites were included at "transition" age 16 (transition-16y), 3864 at 18 (transition-18y), 1463 at 20 (transition-20y) and 440 at 22 years (transition-22y). At transition-18y, in the 12 months pre- and post-transition, 83% versus 74% of AYLH had no gap in care (difference 9.3 (95% confidence interval (CI) 7.8 to 10.9)); while 65% versus 62% were virally suppressed (difference 2.7 (-1.0 to 6.5%)). The strongest predictor of being retained post-transition was having no gap in the preceding year, across all transition age thresholds (transition-16y: adjusted risk ratio (aRR) 1.72; 95% CI (1.60 to 1.86); transition-18y: aRR 1.76 (1.61 to 1.92); transition-20y: aRR 1.75 (1.53 to 2.01); transition-22y: aRR 1.47; (1.21 to 1.78)).

Conclusions: AYLH with gaps in care need targeted support to prevent non-retention as they take on greater responsibility for their healthcare. Interventions to increase virologic suppression rates are necessary for all AYLH ageing to adulthood.
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January 2020

The cascade of care for children and adolescents with HIV in the UK and Ireland, 2010 to 2016.

J Int AIDS Soc 2019 09;22(9):e25379

MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, London, UK.

Introduction: The UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets for the cascade of care are widely used to monitor the success of HIV care programmes but there are few studies in children. We assessed the cascade for children and adolescents living with HIV in the national Collaborative HIV Paediatric Study (CHIPS) in the UK and Ireland.

Methods: Utilizing longitudinal data from CHIPS we compared the cascade of care for 2010, 2013 and 2016. Among children diagnosed with HIV and not known to be lost to follow-up at the start of each calendar year, we summarized the proportion in active paediatric care during that year (defined as having ≥1 clinic visit, CD4 or viral load measurement, or change to antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen), and of these, the proportion on ART at last visit in that year. Among those on ART, the proportion with viral suppression (<200 copies/mL) and good immune status (WHO immunological stage none-/mild-for-age) at last visit in the year were summarized. Among those in care in 2016, outcomes were compared by current age, place of birth (born abroad vs. UK/Ireland) and sex.

Results: Of children in paediatric HIV care at the start of 2010, 2013 and 2016 (n = 1249, 1157, 905 respectively), the proportion in active care during that calendar year was high throughout at 97 to 99%. Of those in active care, the proportion on ART increased from 79% to 85% and 92% respectively (p < 0.001). Among those on ART, the proportion with viral suppression and good immune status was stable at 83% to 86% and 85% to 88%, respectively, across the years. Among children in care in 2016, those aged ≥15 years were less likely to be virally suppressed (79% vs. 91%, p < 0.001) or to have good immune status (78% vs. 94%, p < 0.001) compared to younger children; there were no differences by place of birth or sex.

Conclusions: Children and adolescents in the UK and Ireland national cohort had high retention in care. The proportion on ART increased significantly over time although there was no change in viral suppression or good immune status. Poorer outcomes among adolescents highlight the need for targeted support for this population.
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September 2019

Review article: direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of HCV during pregnancy and lactation - implications for maternal dosing, foetal exposure, and safety for mother and child.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2019 10 25;50(7):738-750. Epub 2019 Aug 25.

Department of Pharmacy, Radboud Institute of Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Background: With the global efforts to eradicate hepatitis C virus (HCV), treatment during pregnancy is becoming a priority for research as this, and maternal cure should reduce vertical transmission. However, as information on the efficacy and safety of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in pregnancy is generally lacking, treatment of HCV infection during pregnancy is not currently recommended.

Aim: To provide an overview of current knowledge regarding maternal exposure, placental handling and safety of DAAs during pregnancy and lactation METHODS: A literature search was performed focusing on the effect of pregnancy on maternal exposure to DAAs, the placental handling of DAAs, the safety of DAAs for mother and child during pregnancy and the safety of DAAs during lactation.

Results: Exposure to all DAAs studied is likely to be altered during pregnancy, mostly related to pregnancy-induced effects on drug absorption and metabolism. Although animal studies show that most DAAs are reported to cross the placenta and transfer into breast milk, most DAA combinations show a favourable safety profile. Because of the rapid viral decline after treatment initiation, and to avoid the critical period of organogenesis, treatment may be started at the end of the second trimester or early third trimester.

Conclusions: Treatment of HCV infection during pregnancy is realistic, as DAAs are highly effective and treatment duration is relatively short. There is an urgent need to study DAAs during pregnancy and lactation to contribute to the goal of HCV elimination.
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October 2019

The epidemiology of adolescents living with perinatally acquired HIV: A cross-region global cohort analysis.

PLoS Med 2018 03 1;15(3):e1002514. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), US National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America.

Background: Globally, the population of adolescents living with perinatally acquired HIV (APHs) continues to expand. In this study, we pooled data from observational pediatric HIV cohorts and cohort networks, allowing comparisons of adolescents with perinatally acquired HIV in "real-life" settings across multiple regions. We describe the geographic and temporal characteristics and mortality outcomes of APHs across multiple regions, including South America and the Caribbean, North America, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.

Methods And Findings: Through the Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER), individual retrospective longitudinal data from 12 cohort networks were pooled. All children infected with HIV who entered care before age 10 years, were not known to have horizontally acquired HIV, and were followed up beyond age 10 years were included in this analysis conducted from May 2016 to January 2017. Our primary analysis describes patient and treatment characteristics of APHs at key time points, including first HIV-associated clinic visit, antiretroviral therapy (ART) start, age 10 years, and last visit, and compares these characteristics by geographic region, country income group (CIG), and birth period. Our secondary analysis describes mortality, transfer out, and lost to follow-up (LTFU) as outcomes at age 15 years, using competing risk analysis. Among the 38,187 APHs included, 51% were female, 79% were from sub-Saharan Africa and 65% lived in low-income countries. APHs from 51 countries were included (Europe: 14 countries and 3,054 APHs; North America: 1 country and 1,032 APHs; South America and the Caribbean: 4 countries and 903 APHs; South and Southeast Asia: 7 countries and 2,902 APHs; sub-Saharan Africa, 25 countries and 30,296 APHs). Observation started as early as 1982 in Europe and 1996 in sub-Saharan Africa, and continued until at least 2014 in all regions. The median (interquartile range [IQR]) duration of adolescent follow-up was 3.1 (1.5-5.2) years for the total cohort and 6.4 (3.6-8.0) years in Europe, 3.7 (2.0-5.4) years in North America, 2.5 (1.2-4.4) years in South and Southeast Asia, 5.0 (2.7-7.5) years in South America and the Caribbean, and 2.1 (0.9-3.8) years in sub-Saharan Africa. Median (IQR) age at first visit differed substantially by region, ranging from 0.7 (0.3-2.1) years in North America to 7.1 (5.3-8.6) years in sub-Saharan Africa. The median age at ART start varied from 0.9 (0.4-2.6) years in North America to 7.9 (6.0-9.3) years in sub-Saharan Africa. The cumulative incidence estimates (95% confidence interval [CI]) at age 15 years for mortality, transfers out, and LTFU for all APHs were 2.6% (2.4%-2.8%), 15.6% (15.1%-16.0%), and 11.3% (10.9%-11.8%), respectively. Mortality was lowest in Europe (0.8% [0.5%-1.1%]) and highest in South America and the Caribbean (4.4% [3.1%-6.1%]). However, LTFU was lowest in South America and the Caribbean (4.8% [3.4%-6.7%]) and highest in sub-Saharan Africa (13.2% [12.6%-13.7%]). Study limitations include the high LTFU rate in sub-Saharan Africa, which could have affected the comparison of mortality across regions; inclusion of data only for APHs receiving ART from some countries; and unavailability of data from high-burden countries such as Nigeria.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, our study represents the largest multiregional epidemiological analysis of APHs. Despite probable under-ascertained mortality, mortality in APHs remains substantially higher in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and South America and the Caribbean than in Europe. Collaborations such as CIPHER enable us to monitor current global temporal trends in outcomes over time to inform appropriate policy responses.
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March 2018

Long-term trends in mortality and AIDS-defining events after combination ART initiation among children and adolescents with perinatal HIV infection in 17 middle- and high-income countries in Europe and Thailand: A cohort study.

PLoS Med 2018 01 30;15(1):e1002491. Epub 2018 Jan 30.

Perinatal Prevention of AIDS Initiative, Odessa, Ukraine.

Background: Published estimates of mortality and progression to AIDS as children with HIV approach adulthood are limited. We describe rates and risk factors for death and AIDS-defining events in children and adolescents after initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in 17 middle- and high-income countries, including some in Western and Central Europe (W&CE), Eastern Europe (Russia and Ukraine), and Thailand.

Methods And Findings: Children with perinatal HIV aged <18 years initiating cART were followed until their 21st birthday, transfer to adult care, death, loss to follow-up, or last visit up until 31 December 2013. Rates of death and first AIDS-defining events were calculated. Baseline and time-updated risk factors for early/late (≤/>6 months of cART) death and progression to AIDS were assessed. Of 3,526 children included, 32% were from the United Kingdom or Ireland, 30% from elsewhere in W&CE, 18% from Russia or Ukraine, and 20% from Thailand. At cART initiation, median age was 5.2 (IQR 1.4-9.3) years; 35% of children aged <5 years had a CD4 lymphocyte percentage <15% in 1997-2003, which fell to 15% of children in 2011 onwards (p < 0.001). Similarly, 53% and 18% of children ≥5 years had a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 in 1997-2003 and in 2011 onwards, respectively (p < 0.001). Median follow-up was 5.6 (2.9-8.7) years. Of 94 deaths and 237 first AIDS-defining events, 43 (46%) and 100 (42%) were within 6 months of initiating cART, respectively. Multivariable predictors of early death were: being in the first year of life; residence in Russia, Ukraine, or Thailand; AIDS at cART start; initiating cART on a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based regimen; severe immune suppression; and low BMI-for-age z-score. Current severe immune suppression, low current BMI-for-age z-score, and current viral load >400 c/mL predicted late death. Predictors of early and late progression to AIDS were similar. Study limitations include incomplete recording of US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) disease stage B events and serious adverse events in some countries; events that were distributed over a long time period, and that we lacked power to analyse trends in patterns and causes of death over time.

Conclusions: In our study, 3,526 children and adolescents with perinatal HIV infection initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) in countries in Europe and Thailand. We observed that over 40% of deaths occurred ≤6 months after cART initiation. Greater early mortality risk in infants, as compared to older children, and in Russia, Ukraine, or Thailand as compared to W&CE, raises concern. Current severe immune suppression, being underweight, and unsuppressed viral load were associated with a higher risk of death at >6 months after initiation of cART.
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January 2018

Incidence of Tuberculosis and Associated Mortality in a Cohort of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Children Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy.

J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 2017 Jun;6(2):161-167

Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement, Unité Mixte Internationale 174-Program for HIV Prevention and Treatment, Marseille, France.

Background.: We assessed the incidence of tuberculosis, risk factors for tuberculosis, and the contribution of tuberculosis on mortality in a large cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children <15 years of age initiating first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) between 1999 and 2012 in Thailand, one of the 22 high tuberculosis burden countries.

Methods.: A physician reviewed and classified tuberculosis cases. Incidence was the number of children with incident tuberculosis, defined as a first or recurrent tuberculosis diagnosis >30 days after ART initiation, divided by the total person-years of follow-up (PYFU). Risk factors for incident tuberculosis were identified using Fine and Gray's competing risks models, with death from other causes treated as a competing event, and risk factors for death were identified using Cox models.

Results.: At ART initiation, 670 children (55% female) had a median age of 6.4 years (interquartile range, 2.0-9.6), body mass index-for-age z-score -0.8 (-1.9 to 0.0), HIV ribonucleic acid viral load 5.1 log10 copies/mL (4.6-5.6), and CD4 9% (3-17). Median duration of follow-up was 7.7 years. Tuberculosis incidence was 7 per 1000 PYFU (95% confidence interval [CI], 5-11) and decreased with ART duration. Lower age-adjusted hemoglobin, hematocrit, and CD4 at ART initiation were associated with a higher risk of incident tuberculosis. Of the 30 incident tuberculosis cases, 9 died. Diagnosis of incident tuberculosis was associated with mortality (unadjusted hazard ratio = 10.2, 95% CI = 4.8-21.5, P < .001 and adjusted hazard ratio = 5.4, 95% CI = 2.5-11.7, P < .001).

Conclusions.: Incident tuberculosis was strongly associated with mortality. CD4 counts or hemoglobin or hematocrit levels may prompt clinicians to consider a possible tuberculosis infection.
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June 2017

Interventions to improve treatment, retention and survival outcomes for adolescents with perinatal HIV-1 transitioning to adult care: moving on up.

Curr Opin HIV AIDS 2016 09;11(5):477-486

aMRC Clinical Trials Unit at University College London, London, UKbTREAT Asia/amfAR - The Foundation for AIDS Research, Bangkok, Thailand.

Purpose Of Review: There is an increasing number of deaths among adult survivors of perinatal HIV. Multiple and complex factors drive this mortality, including problems with retention in care and adherence during adolescence, coupled with the critical period of transition from paediatric to adult care, increasing their risk of treatment failure and severe immunosuppression. We reviewed studies that evaluated the impact of service delivery interventions to improve the health of perinatally infected adolescents living with HIV (P-ALHIV) to gain insight into what might help them survive the vulnerable period of adolescence.

Recent Findings: Youth-focused health services and individual-level interventions may improve P-ALHIV adherence and retention in care. However, there have been few studies, many with small sample sizes and with short durations of follow-up that end before the transition period. Studies from other childhood-onset chronic diseases are similarly limited.

Summary: Further studies are urgently needed to identify optimal intervention strategies to reduce mortality and poor outcomes as the adolescent population expands and ages into adult care. Until we have a more robust evidence base, programmes can develop transition plans based on best practice recommendations to optimize the health and longevity of ALHIV in adulthood.
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September 2016

Prevalence, incidence, and associated risk factors of tuberculosis in children with HIV living in the UK and Ireland (CHIPS): a cohort study.

Lancet HIV 2015 Dec 29;2(12):e530-9. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

MRC Clinical Trials Unit, Institute of Clinical Trials & Methodology, University College London, London, UK.

Background: Tuberculosis is the most common serious co-infection in people living with HIV worldwide, but little is known about its incidence in HIV-infected children living in high-resource settings with low tuberculosis prevalence. We aimed to assess the incidence and prevalence of tuberculosis in children with HIV living in the UK and Ireland to understand rates, risk factors, and outcomes of the disease in this group.

Methods: We did an analysis of children enrolled in CHIPS, an observational multicentre cohort of children receiving HIV care in the UK and Ireland. We assessed characteristics and prevalence of tuberculosis at baseline, measured incidence of disease through the follow-up period using the CHIPS database, and calculated associated risk factors in these children with multivariable logistic and Cox regression models.

Findings: Between Jan 1, 1996, to Sept 18, 2014, data for 1848 children with 14 761 years of follow-up were reported to CHIPS. 57 (3%) children were diagnosed with tuberculosis: 29 children had tuberculosis at presentation (prevalent tuberculosis) and 29 had the disease diagnosed during follow-up (incident tuberculosis), including one child with recurrent tuberculosis events. Median age at diagnosis was 9 years (IQR 5-12). 25 (43%) children had pulmonary tuberculosis, 24 (41%) had extrapulmonary tuberculosis with or without pulmonary involvement, and the remainder (n=9; 16%) had unspecified-site tuberculosis. The overall incidence rate for the follow-up period was 196 cases per 100 000 person-years (95% CI 137-283). In our multivariable model, tuberculosis at presentation was associated with more severe WHO immunological stage at baseline (odds ratio 0·25, 95% CI 0·08-0·74; p=0·0331; for none vs severe) and being born abroad (odds ratio 0·28, 0·10-0·73; p=0·0036; for UK and Ireland vs abroad). Incident tuberculosis was associated with time-updated more severe WHO immunological stage (hazard ratio 0·15, 95% CI 0·06-0·41; p=0·0056; for none vs severe) and older age at baseline (1·11, 0·47-2·63; p=0·0027; for age >10 years vs 5-9 years).

Interpretation: Tuberculosis rates in HIV-infected children in the UK and Ireland were higher than those reported in the general paediatric population. Further study is warranted of tuberculosis screening and preventive treatment for children at high-risk of this disease to avoid morbidity and mortality in this population.

Funding: NHS England, PENTA Foundation.
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December 2015

Early infant diagnosis of HIV infection in low-income and middle-income countries: does one size fit all?

Lancet Infect Dis 2014 Jul 21;14(7):650-5. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

MRC Clinical Trials Unit, London, UK.

Despite expansion of services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), about 700 infants acquire HIV every day. Early initiation of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected infants reduces mortality but requires diagnosis by virological testing, which is complex, expensive, and inaccessible in many settings. Little cost-effectiveness evidence exists about different strategies to deliver early infant diagnosis services. Cost-effectiveness will vary depending on entry points for testing, underlying prevalences of HIV, PMTCT coverage, treatment availability, programme attrition, and other factors. Appropriate policy responses are therefore context-specific. In most cases, early infant diagnosis should be concentrated at entry points where underlying infant HIV prevalence is highest (eg, malnutrition wards). This strategy contrasts with the tendency at present to test mainly within PMTCT programmes. If testing is undertaken in PMTCT programmes with high coverage, addition of a virological test at birth might have advantages, including greater predictive value, earlier diagnosis, and better infant follow-up. National programme managers should recognise the opportunity costs of the limited resources available, acknowledge the changing scenario of PMTCT scale-up, ensure implementation of provider-initiated testing and counselling, and tailor early infant diagnosis programmes to maximise health gains for children.
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July 2014

Immediate antiretroviral therapy in young HIV-infected children: benefits and risks.

Curr Opin HIV AIDS 2014 Jan;9(1):87-94

MRC Clinical Trials Unit at University College London, London, UK.

Purpose Of Review: Recent WHO guidelines recommend immediate initiation of lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) in all children below 5 years, irrespective of immune/clinical status, to improve access to paediatric ART. Interim trial results provide strong evidence for immediate ART during infancy because of high short-term risk of mortality and disease progression, but there is wider debate regarding the potential risks and benefits of immediate ART in asymptomatic children aged above 1 year. Concerns include long-term toxicities and treatment failure, particularly in resource-constrained settings with limited paediatric treatment options.

Recent Findings: Benefits of immediate ART among infants appear to be maintained in the mid-term to long-term, with low risk of treatment failure, and better neurodevelopmental outcomes. In contrast, a trial reported no benefits of immediate versus deferred ART in asymptomatic children aged above 1 year. However, observational studies suggest that ART initiation at older ages and lower CD4 reduces the probability of immune reconstitution, with unclear implications on risk of clinical events or treatment change. A recent trial on treatment interruption following early intensive ART suggest that this may be a safe alternative approach.

Summary: Although there are clear benefits of immediate ART among infants, there remains conflicting evidence on the benefits for older children.
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January 2014

Switching HIV treatment in adults based on CD4 count versus viral load monitoring: a randomized, non-inferiority trial in Thailand.

PLoS Med 2013 Aug 6;10(8):e1001494. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Unité Mixte Internationale 174, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)-Programs for HIV Prevention and Treatment (PHPT), Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Background: Viral load (VL) is recommended for monitoring the response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) but is not routinely available in most low- and middle-income countries. The purpose of the study was to determine whether a CD4-based monitoring and switching strategy would provide a similar clinical outcome compared to the standard VL-based strategy in Thailand.

Methods And Findings: The Programs for HIV Prevention and Treatment (PHPT-3) non-inferiority randomized clinical trial compared a treatment switching strategy based on CD4-only (CD4) monitoring versus viral-load (VL). Consenting participants were antiretroviral-naïve HIV-infected adults (CD4 count 50-250/mm(3)) initiating non-nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based therapy. Randomization, stratified by site (21 public hospitals), was performed centrally after enrollment. Clinicians were unaware of the VL values of patients randomized to the CD4 arm. Participants switched to second-line combination with confirmed CD4 decline >30% from peak (within 200 cells from baseline) in the CD4 arm, or confirmed VL >400 copies/ml in the VL arm. Primary endpoint was clinical failure at 3 years, defined as death, new AIDS-defining event, or CD4 <50 cells/mm(3). The 3-year Kaplan-Meier cumulative risks of clinical failure were compared for non-inferiority with a margin of 7.4%. In the intent to treat analysis, data were censored at the date of death or at last visit. The secondary endpoints were difference in future-drug-option (FDO) score, a measure of resistance profiles, virologic and immunologic responses, and the safety and tolerance of HAART. 716 participants were randomized, 356 to VL monitoring and 360 to CD4 monitoring. At 3 years, 319 participants (90%) in VL and 326 (91%) in CD4 were alive and on follow-up. The cumulative risk of clinical failure was 8.0% (95% CI 5.6-11.4) in VL versus 7.4% (5.1-10.7) in CD4, and the upper-limit of the one-sided 95% CI of the difference was 3.4%, meeting the pre-determined non-inferiority criterion. Probability of switch for study criteria was 5.2% (3.2-8.4) in VL versus 7.5% (5.0-11.1) in CD4 (p=0.097). Median time from treatment initiation to switch was 11.7 months (7.7-19.4) in VL and 24.7 months (15.9-35.0) in CD4 (p=0.001). The median duration of viremia >400 copies/ml at switch was 7.2 months (5.8-8.0) in VL versus 15.8 months (8.5-20.4) in CD4 (p=0.002). FDO scores were not significantly different at time of switch. No adverse events related to the monitoring strategy were reported.

Conclusions: The 3-year rates of clinical failure and loss of treatment options did not differ between strategies although the longer-term consequences of CD4 monitoring would need to be investigated. These results provide reassurance to treatment programs currently based on CD4 monitoring as VL measurement becomes more affordable and feasible in resource-limited settings.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.govNCT00162682 Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
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August 2013

Hospitalization trends, costs, and risk factors in HIV-infected children on antiretroviral therapy.

AIDS 2012 Sep;26(15):1943-52

Institut de Recherche pour le Dévecnt (IRD URI 174), Marseille, France.

Objective: To assess hospitalization trends in HIV-infected children on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Thailand, an important indicator of morbidity, ART effectiveness, and health service utilization.

Design: Prospective observational cohort

Method: Children initiating ART in 1999-2009 were followed in 40 public hospitals. Hospitalization rate per 100 person-years were calculated from ART initiation to last follow-up/death. Costs to the healthcare provider were calculated using WHO inpatient estimates for Thailand. Zero-inflated Poisson models were used to examine risk factors for early (<12 months of ART) and late hospitalization (≥12 months) and frequency of admissions.

Results: A total of 578 children initiated ART, median follow-up being 64 months [interquartile range (IQR) 43-82]; 211 (37%) children were hospitalized with 451 admissions. Hospitalization rates declined from 63 per 100 person-years at less than 6 months to approximately 10 per 100 person-years after 2 years of ART, and costs fell from $35 per patient-month to under $5, respectively. Age less than 2 years, US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention stage B/C, and stunting at ART initiation were associated with early hospitalization. Among those hospitalized, baseline CD4 cell percentage less than 5%, wasting, initiation on dual therapy, late calendar year, and female sex were associated with higher incidence of early admissions (P <0.02). There were no predictors of late hospitalization, although previous hospitalization in less than 12 months of ART was associated with three times higher incidence of late admissions (P < 0.0001).

Conclusion: One in three children required hospitalization after ART. Admissions were highest in the first year of therapy and rapidly declined thereafter. Young age, advanced disease stage, and stunting at baseline were predictive of early hospitalization. Treatment initiation before disease progression would likely reduce hospitalization and alleviate demands on healthcare services.
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September 2012

Predictors of 5-year mortality in HIV-infected adults starting highly active antiretroviral therapy in Thailand.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2012 May;60(1):91-8

Program for HIV Prevention and Treatment (IRD UMI 174), Department of Medical Technology, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Objective: To estimate the early and long-term mortalities and associated risk factors in adults receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in Thailand.

Design: A prospective observational cohort study.

Methods: Previously untreated adults starting HAART in 2002-2009 were followed-up in 43 public hospitals. Kaplan-Meier probability of survival was estimated up to 5 years of therapy. Factors associated with early (≤6 months) and long-term (>6 months) mortalities were assessed using Cox regression analyses.

Results: A total of 1578 adults received HAART (74% women; median age, 33 years; CD4 cell count, 124/mL), with a median follow-up of 50 months (interquartile range, 41-66). Eighty-nine patients (6%) died (37 occurred ≤6 months and 52 occurred >6 months) and 183 (12%) were lost to follow-up. Probability of survival [95% confidence interval (CI)] was 97.5% (96.7% to 98.2%) at 6 months, 96.6% (95.6% to 97.4%) at 1 year, and 93.5% (91.9% to 94.8%) at 5 years. Probability of being alive and on follow-up was 80.8% (78.5% to 82.8%) at 5 years. Early mortality was associated with anemia [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 3.6, 95% CI: 1.7 to 7.5] and low CD4 count (aHR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1 to 2.2 per 50 cells decrease) at treatment initiation. Long-term mortality was associated with persistent anemia (aHR 4.9, 95% CI: 2.1 to 11.6), CD4 increase from baseline <50 cells per cubic millimeter (aHR 3.1, 95% CI: 1.6 to 5.7), and viral load >1000 copies per milliliter (aHR 2.8, 95% CI: 1.3 to 6.1) at 6 months of HAART; male gender; and calendar year of enrollment.

Conclusions: Early mortality was associated with anemia and severe immunosuppression at initiation of therapy. Long-term mortality was associated with persistent anemia, CD4 count increase, and virological response at 6 months of therapy over baseline characteristics, highlighting the importance of laboratory monitoring.
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May 2012

Long-term survival of HIV-infected children receiving antiretroviral therapy in Thailand: a 5-year observational cohort study.

Clin Infect Dis 2010 Dec 5;51(12):1449-57. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Institut de Recherche pour le Développement IRD U174, Paris, France.

Background: There are scarce data on the long-term survival of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in lower-middle income countries beyond 2 years of follow-up.

Methods: Previously untreated children who initiated ART on meeting immunological and/or clinical criteria were followed in a prospective cohort in Thailand. The probability of survival up to 5 years from initiation was estimated using Kaplan-Meier methods, and factors associated with mortality were assessed using Cox regression analyses.

Results: Five hundred seventy-eight children received ART; of these, 111 (19.2%) were followed since birth. At start of ART (baseline), the median age was 6.7 years, 128 children (22%) were aged <2 years, and the median CD4 cell percentage was 7%. Median duration of follow-up was 53 months; 42 children (7%) died, and 38 (7%) were lost to follow-up. Age <12 months, low CD4 cell percentage, and low weight-for-height z score at ART initiation were independently associated with mortality (P < .001). The probability of survival among infants aged <12 months at baseline was 84.3% at 1 year and 76.7% at 5 years of ART, compared with 95.7% and 94.8%, respectively, among children aged ≥1 year. Low CD4 cell percentage and wasting at baseline had a strong association with mortality among older children but weak or no association among infants.

Conclusions: Children who initiated ART as infants after meeting immunological and/or clinical criteria had a high risk of mortality which persisted beyond the first year of therapy. Among older children, those with severe wasting or low CD4 cell percentage at treatment initiation were at high risk of mortality during the first 6 months of therapy. These findings support the scale-up of early HIV diagnosis and immediate treatment in infants, before advanced disease progression in older children.
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December 2010

Efficacy and safety of 1-month postpartum zidovudine-didanosine to prevent HIV-resistance mutations after intrapartum single-dose nevirapine.

Clin Infect Dis 2010 Mar;50(6):898-908

Institut de Recherche pour le Développement U174, Université Paris Descartes, Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques, Institut de Recherche pour le Développment, F-75006, Paris, France.

Background: Intrapartum single-dose nevirapine plus third trimester maternal and infant zidovudine are essential components of programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in resource-limited settings. The persistence of nevirapine in the plasma for 3 weeks postpartum risks selection of resistance mutations to nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). We hypothesized that a 1-month zidovudine-didanosine course initiated at the same time as single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) would prevent the selection of nevirapine-resistance mutations.

Methods: HIV-infected pregnant women in the PHPT-4 cohort with CD4 cell counts >250 cells/mm3 received antepartum zidovudine from the third trimester until delivery, sdNVP during labor, and a 1-month zidovudine-didanosine course after delivery. These women were matched on the basis of baseline HIV load, CD4 cell count, and duration of antepartum zidovudine to women who received sdNVP in the PHPT-2 trial (control subjects). Consensus sequencing and the more sensitive oligonucleotide ligation assay were performed on samples obtained on postpartum days 7-10, 37-45, and 120 (if the HIV load was >500 copies/mL) to detect K103N/Y181C/G190A mutations.

Results: The 222 PHPT-4 subjects did not differ from matched control subjects in baseline characteristics except for age. The combined group median CD4 cell count was 421 cells/mm3 (interquartile range [IQR], 322-549 cells/mm3), the median HIV load was 3.45 log10 copies/mL (IQR, 2.79-4.00 log10 copies/mL), and the median duration of zidovudine prophylaxis was 10.4 weeks (IQR, 9.1-11.4 weeks). Using consensus sequencing, major NNRTI resistance mutations were detected after delivery in 0% of PHPT-4 subjects and 10.4% of PHPT-2 controls. The oligonucleotide ligation assay detected resistance in 1.8% of PHPT-4 subjects and 18.9% of controls. Major NNRTI resistance mutations were detected by either method in 1.8% of PHPT-4 subjects and 20.7% of controls (P < .001).

Conclusions: A 1-month postpartum course of zidovudine plus didanosine prevented the selection of the vast majority of NNRTI resistance mutations.
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March 2010

Gender and access to HIV testing and antiretroviral treatments in Thailand: why do women have more and earlier access?

Soc Sci Med 2009 Sep 1;69(6):846-53. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

Centre Population et Développement (CEPED), UMR Paris Descartes-IRD-INED, Paris, France.

In the recent scale-up of antiretroviral treatment, gender differences in access to treatment have been reported. In Thailand, as the HIV epidemic became more generalised, there has been a shift from men being disproportionately affected to increased vulnerability of women. In 2007, the Living with Antiretrovirals (LIWA-ANRS 12141) study investigated the gender distribution of all adult patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (N=513 patients) in four community hospitals in northern Thailand and factors influencing the disparities observed. From this retrospective life-event history survey, we found that proportionately more women (53%) were receiving antiretroviral therapy than men, an unexpected result for a country with a higher proportion of infections among men. They were more likely to initiate treatment within one year of diagnosis and were at a more advanced stage of the disease compared to women. This gender distribution is partly explained by the evolving dynamics of the HIV epidemic, initial prioritization of mothers for treatment and earlier access to HIV testing for women. These issues are also entangled with gender differences in the reasons and timing to HIV testing at the individual level. This study found that the majority of men underwent HIV testing for health reasons while the majority of women were tested following family events such as a spouse/child death or during pregnancy. Further qualitative research on gender specific barriers to HIV testing and care, such as perceived low risk of infection, poor access to medical care, lack of social support, actual or anticipated HIV/AIDS-related stigma would provide greater insight. In the meantime, urgent efforts are needed to increase access to voluntary counselling and testing inside and outside the family setting with targeted interventions for men.
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September 2009