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1.  HIV-1 Drug Resistance Emergence among Breastfeeding Infants Born to HIV-Infected Mothers during a Single-Arm Trial of Triple-Antiretroviral Prophylaxis for Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission: A Secondary Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(3):e1000430.
Analysis of a substudy of the Kisumu breastfeeding trial by Clement Zeh and colleagues reveals the emergence of HIV drug resistance in HIV-positive infants born to HIV-infected mothers treated with antiretroviral drugs.
Background
Nevirapine and lamivudine given to mothers are transmitted to infants via breastfeeding in quantities sufficient to have biologic effects on the virus; this may lead to an increased risk of a breastfed infant's development of resistance to maternal antiretrovirals. The Kisumu Breastfeeding Study (KiBS), a single-arm open-label prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) trial, assessed the safety and efficacy of zidovudine, lamivudine, and either nevirapine or nelfinavir given to HIV-infected women from 34 wk gestation through 6 mo of breastfeeding. Here, we present findings from a KiBS trial secondary analysis that evaluated the emergence of maternal ARV-associated resistance among 32 HIV-infected breastfed infants.
Methods and Findings
All infants in the cohort were tested for HIV infection using DNA PCR at multiple study visits during the 24 mo of the study, and plasma RNA viral load for all HIV-PCR–positive infants was evaluated retrospectively. Specimens from mothers and infants with viral load >1,000 copies/ml were tested for HIV drug resistance mutations. Overall, 32 infants were HIV infected by 24 mo of age, and of this group, 24 (75%) infants were HIV infected by 6 mo of age. Of the 24 infants infected by 6 mo, nine were born to mothers on a nelfinavir-based regimen, whereas the remaining 15 were born to mothers on a nevirapine-based regimen. All infants were also given single-dose nevirapine within 48 hours of birth. We detected genotypic resistance mutations in none of eight infants who were HIV-PCR positive by 2 wk of age (specimens from six infants were not amplifiable), for 30% (6/20) at 6 wk, 63% (14/22) positive at 14 wk, and 67% (16/24) at 6 mo post partum. Among the 16 infants with resistance mutations by 6 mo post partum, the common mutations were M184V and K103N, conferring resistance to lamivudine and nevirapine, respectively. Genotypic resistance was detected among 9/9 (100%) and 7/15 (47%) infected infants whose mothers were on nelfinavir and nevirapine, respectively. No mutations were detected among the eight infants infected after the breastfeeding period (age 6 mo).
Conclusions
Emergence of HIV drug resistance mutations in HIV-infected infants occurred between 2 wk and 6 mo post partum, most likely because of exposure to maternal ARV drugs through breast milk. Our findings may impact the choice of regimen for ARV treatment of HIV-infected breastfeeding mothers and their infected infants.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00146380
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Globally, more than 2 million children are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and half a million children are newly infected every year. These infections are mainly the result of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or through breastfeeding. MTCT can be greatly reduced by treating HIV-positive mothers and their babies with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). Without ARVs, up to half of babies born to HIV-positive mothers become infected with HIV. This rate of transmission falls to below 5% if a combination of three ARVs is given to the mother throughout pregnancy. Unfortunately, this triple-ARV therapy is too expensive for use in the resource-limited countries where most MTCT occurs. Instead, many such countries have introduced simpler, shorter ARV regimens such as a daily dose of zidovudine (a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor or NRTI) given to HIV-positive women during late pregnancy coupled with single-dose nevirapine (a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor or NNRTI) at the onset of labor, zidovudine and lamivudine (another NRTI) during labor and delivery, and single-dose nevirapine given to the baby at birth.
Why Was This Study Done?
More than 95% of HIV-exposed children are born in resource-limited settings where breastfeeding is the norm and is crucial for child survival even though it poses a risk of HIV transmission. Consequently, several recent studies have investigated whether MTCT can be further reduced by giving the mother ARVs while she is breastfeeding. In the Kisumu Breastfeeding Study (KiBS), for example, researchers assessed the effects of giving zidovudine, lamivudine, and either nevirapine or nelfinavir (a protease inhibitor) to HIV-infected women from 34 weeks of pregnancy through 6 months of breastfeeding. The results of KiBS indicate that this approach might be a safe, feasible way to reduce MTCT (see the accompanying paper by Thomas and colleagues). However, low amounts of nevirapine and lamivudine are transferred from mother to infant in breast milk and this exposure to ARVs could induce the development of resistance to ARVs among HIV-infected infants. In this KiBS substudy, the researchers investigate whether HIV drug resistance emerged in any of the HIV-positive infants in the parent study.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In KiBS, 32 infants were HIV-positive at 24 months old; 24 were HIV-positive at 6 months old when their mothers stopped taking ARVs and when breastfeeding was supposed to stop. The researchers analyzed blood samples taken from these infants at various ages and from their mothers for the presence of HIV drug resistance mutations (DNA changes that make HIV resistant to killing by ARVs). They detected no resistance mutations in samples taken from 2-week old HIV-positive infants or from the infants who became infected after the age of 6 months. However, they found resistance mutations in a third and two-thirds of samples taken from 6-week and 6-month old HIV-positive infants, respectively. The commonest mutations conferred resistance to lamivudine and nevirapine. Moreover, resistance mutations were present in samples taken from all the HIV-positive infants whose mothers who had received nelfinavir but in only half those taken from infants whose mothers who had received nevirapine. Finally, most of the mothers of HIV-positive infants had no HIV drug resistance mutations, and only one mother-infant pair had an overlapping pattern of HIV drug resistance mutations.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, in this KiBS substudy, the emergence of HIV drug resistance mutations in HIV-infected infants whose mothers were receiving ARVs occurred between 2 weeks and 6 months after birth. The pattern of mutations suggests that drug resistance most likely arose through exposure of the infants to low levels of ARVs in breast milk rather than through MTCT of drug-resistant virus. These findings need confirming but suggest that infants exposed to ARVs through breast milk—a situation that may become increasingly common given the reduction in MTCT seen in KiBS and other similar trials—should be carefully monitored for HIV infection. Providers should consider the mothers' regimen when choosing treatment for infants who are found to be HIV-infected despite maternal triple drug prophylaxis. Infants exposed to a maternal regimen with NNRTI drugs should receive first-line therapy with lopinavir/ritonavir, a protease inhibitor. The significance of the NRTI mutations such as M184V with regard to response to therapy needs further evaluation. The M184V mutation may result in hypersensitization to other NRTI drugs and delay or reverse zidovudine resistance. Given the limited availability of alternative drugs for infants in resource-limited settings, provision of the standard WHO-recommended first-line NRTI backbone, which includes 3TC, with enhanced monitoring of the infant to ensure virologic suppression, could be considered. Such an approach should reduce both illness and morbidity among infants who become HIV positive through breastfeeding.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000430.
The accompanying PLoS Medicine Research article by Thomas and colleagues describes the primary findings of the Kisumu Breastfeeding Study
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on HIV/AIDS
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on children, HIV, and AIDS and on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (in English and Spanish)
UNICEF also has information about children and HIV and AIDS (in several languages)
The World Health organization has information on mother-to-child transmission of HIV (in several languages), and guidance on the use of ARVs for preventing MTCT
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000430
PMCID: PMC3066134  PMID: 21468304
2.  Triple-Antiretroviral Prophylaxis to Prevent Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission through Breastfeeding—The Kisumu Breastfeeding Study, Kenya: A Clinical Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(3):e1001015.
Timothy Thomas and colleagues report the results of the Kisumu breastfeeding study (Kenya), a single-arm trial that assessed the feasibility and safety of a triple-antiretroviral regimen to suppress maternal HIV load in late pregnancy.
Background
Effective strategies are needed for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) in resource-limited settings. The Kisumu Breastfeeding Study was a single-arm open label trial conducted between July 2003 and February 2009. The overall aim was to investigate whether a maternal triple-antiretroviral regimen that was designed to maximally suppress viral load in late pregnancy and the first 6 mo of lactation was a safe, well-tolerated, and effective PMTCT intervention.
Methods and Findings
HIV-infected pregnant women took zidovudine, lamivudine, and either nevirapine or nelfinavir from 34–36 weeks' gestation to 6 mo post partum. Infants received single-dose nevirapine at birth. Women were advised to breastfeed exclusively and wean rapidly just before 6 mo. Using Kaplan-Meier methods we estimated HIV-transmission and death rates from delivery to 24 mo. We compared HIV-transmission rates among subgroups defined by maternal risk factors, including baseline CD4 cell count and viral load.
Among 487 live-born, singleton, or first-born infants, cumulative HIV-transmission rates at birth, 6 weeks, and 6, 12, and 24 mo were 2.5%, 4.2%, 5.0%, 5.7%, and 7.0%, respectively. The 24-mo HIV-transmission rates stratified by baseline maternal CD4 cell count <500 and ≥500 cells/mm3 were 8.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.8%–12.0%) and 4.1% (1.8%–8.8%), respectively (p = 0.06); the corresponding rates stratified by baseline maternal viral load <10,000 and ≥10,000 copies/ml were 3.0% (1.1%–7.8%) and 8.7% (6.1%–12.3%), respectively (p = 0.01). None of the 12 maternal and 51 infant deaths (including two second-born infants) were attributed to antiretrovirals. The cumulative HIV-transmission or death rate at 24 mo was 15.7% (95% CI 12.7%–19.4%).
Conclusions
This trial shows that a maternal triple-antiretroviral regimen from late pregnancy through 6 months of breastfeeding for PMTCT is safe and feasible in a resource-limited setting. These findings are consistent with those from other trials using maternal triple-antiretroviral regimens during breastfeeding in comparable settings.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00146380
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, about half a million children become infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nearly all these newly infected children live in resource-limited countries and most acquire HIV from their mother, so-called mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Without intervention, 25%–50% of babies born to HIV-positive mothers become infected with HIV during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. This infection rate can be reduced by treating mother and child with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. A single dose of nevirapine (a “non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor” or NNRTI) given to the mother at the start of labor and to her baby soon after birth nearly halves the risk of MTCT. Further reductions in risk can be achieved by giving mother and baby three ARVs—an NNRTI and two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs such as zidovudine and lamivudine)—during pregnancy and perinatally (around the time of birth).
Why Was This Study Done?
Breastfeeding is crucial for child survival in poor countries but it is also responsible for up to half of MTCT. Consequently, many researchers are investigating how various ARV regimens given to mothers and/or their infants during the first few months of life as well as during pregnancy and perinatally affect MTCT. In this single-arm trial, the researchers assess the feasibility and safety of using a triple-ARV regimen to suppress the maternal HIV load (amount of virus in the blood) from late pregnancy though 6 months of breastfeeding among HIV-positive women in Kisumu, Kenya, and ask whether this approach achieves a lower HIV transmission rate than other ARV regimens that have been tested in resource-limited settings. In a single-arm trial, all the participants are given the same treatment. By contrast, in a “randomized controlled” trial, half the participants chosen at random are given the treatment under investigation and the rest are given a control treatment. A randomized controlled trial provides a better comparison of treatments than a single-arm trial but is more costly.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In the Kisumu Breastfeeding Study (KiBS), HIV-infected pregnant women took a triple-ARV regimen containing zidovudine and lamivudine and either nevirapine or the protease inhibitor nelfinavir from 34–36 weeks of pregnancy to 6 months after delivery. They were advised to breastfeed their babies (who received single-dose nevirapine at birth), and to wean them rapidly just before 6 months. The researchers then used Kaplan-Meier statistical methods to estimate HIV transmission and death rates among 487 live-born infants from delivery to 24 months. The cumulative HIV transmission rate rose from 2.5% at birth to 7.0% at 24 months. The cumulative HIV transmission or death rate at 24 months was 15.7%; no infant deaths were attributed to ARVs. At 24 months, 3.0% of babies born to mothers with a low viral load were HIV positive compared to 8.7% of babies born to mothers with a high viral load, a statistically significant difference. Similarly, at 24 months, 8.4% of babies born to mothers with low baseline CD4 cell counts (CD4 cells are immune system cells that are killed by HIV; CD4 cell counts indicate the level of HIV-inflicted immune system damage) were HIV positive compared to 4.1% of babies born to mothers with high baseline CD4 cell counts, although this difference did not achieve statistical significance.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although these findings are limited by the single-arm design, they support the idea that giving breastfeeding women a triple-ARV regimen from late pregnancy to 6 months is a safe, feasible way to reduce MTCT in resource-limited settings. The HIV transmission rates in this study are comparable to those recorded in similar trials in other resource-limited settings and are lower than MTCT rates observed previously in Kisumu in a study in which no ARVs were used. Importantly, the KiBS mothers took most of the ARVs they were prescribed and most stopped breastfeeding by 6 months as advised. The intense follow-up employed in KiBS may be partly responsible for this good adherence to the trial protocol and thus this study's findings may not be generalizable to all resource-limited settings. Nevertheless, they suggest that a simple triple-ARV regimen given to HIV-positive pregnant women regardless of their baseline CD4 cell count can reduce MTCT during pregnancy and breastfeeding in resource-limited setting.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001015.
The accompanying PLoS Medicine Research article by Zeh and colleagues describes the emergence of resistance to ARVs in KiBS
Information on HIV and AIDS is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on children, HIV, and AIDS and on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (in English and Spanish)
UNICEF also has information about children and HIV and AIDS (in several languages)
The World Health organization has information on mother-to-child transmission of HIV http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/mtct/en/index.html (in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001015
PMCID: PMC3066129  PMID: 21468300
3.  Application of alternative anthropometric measurements to predict metabolic syndrome 
Clinics  2014;69(5):347-353.
OBJECTIVE:
The association between rarely used anthropometric measurements (e.g., mid-upper arm, forearm, and calf circumference) and metabolic syndrome has not been proven. The aim of this study was to assess whether mid-upper arm, forearm, calf, and waist circumferences, as well as waist/height ratio and waist-to-hip ratio, were associated with metabolic syndrome.
METHODS:
We enrolled 387 subjects (340 women, 47 men) who were admitted to the obesity outpatient department of Istanbul Medeniyet University Goztepe Training and Research Hospital between September 2010 and December 2010. The following measurements were recorded: waist circumference, hip circumference, waist/height ratio, waist-to-hip ratio, mid-upper arm circumference, forearm circumference, calf circumference, and body composition. Fasting blood samples were collected to measure plasma glucose, lipids, uric acid, insulin, and HbA1c.
RESULTS:
The odds ratios for visceral fat (measured via bioelectric impedance), hip circumference, forearm circumference, and waist circumference/hip circumference were 2.19 (95% CI, 1.30-3.71), 1.89 (95% CI, 1.07-3.35), 2.47 (95% CI, 1.24-4.95), and 2.11(95% CI, 1.26-3.53), respectively. The bioelectric impedance-measured body fat percentage correlated with waist circumference only in subjects without metabolic syndrome; the body fat percentage was negatively correlated with waist circumference/hip circumference in the metabolic syndrome group. All measurements except for forearm circumference were equally well correlated with the bioelectric impedance-measured body fat percentages in both groups. Hip circumference was moderately correlated with bioelectric impedance-measured visceral fat in subjects without metabolic syndrome. Muscle mass (measured via bioelectric impedance) was weakly correlated with waist and forearm circumference in subjects with metabolic syndrome and with calf circumference in subjects without metabolic syndrome.
CONCLUSION:
Waist circumference was not linked to metabolic syndrome in obese and overweight subjects; however, forearm circumference, an unconventional but simple and appropriate anthropometric index, was associated with metabolic syndrome and bioelectric impedance-measured visceral fat, hip circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio.
doi:10.6061/clinics/2014(05)09
PMCID: PMC4012236  PMID: 24838901
Metabolic Syndrome; Anthropometric Measurements; Body Composition
4.  Fat distribution and longitudinal anthropometric changes in HIV-infected men with and without clinical evidence of lipodystrophy and HIV-uninfected controls: A substudy of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study 
Background
Fat abnormalities are common among HIV-infected persons, but few studies have compared regional body fat distribution, including visceral fat, in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected persons and their subsequent trajectories in body composition over time.
Methods
Between 1999 and 2002, 33 men with clinical evidence of lipodystrophy (LIPO+), 23 HIV-infected men without clinical evidence of lipodytrophy (LIPO-), and 33 HIV-uninfected men were recruited from the four sites of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Participants underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, quantitative computerized tomography of the abdomen and thigh, and circumference measurements of the waist, hip and thigh. Circumference measurements at each semi-annual MACS visit between recruitment and 2008 were used to compare average annual anthropometric changes in the 3 groups.
Results
Body mass index (BMI) was lower in LIPO+ men than in the LIPO- men and the HIV- uninfected controls (BMI: 23.6 ± 0.4 vs 26.8 ± 1.5 vs 28.7 ± 0.9 kg/m2, respectively, p < 0.001). The average amount of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) was similar in all three groups (p = 0.26), but after adjustment for BMI, VAT was higher in the LIPO+ group (169 ± 10 cm2) compared to the LIPO- men (129 ± 12 cm2, p = 0.03) and the HIV-uninfected group (133 ± 11 cm2, p = 0.07). Subcutaneous adipose tissue (thigh, abdomen) and total extremity fat were less in the HIV-infected men (LIPO+ and LIPO-) than in the HIV-uninfected men. Over an average of 6 years of follow-up, waist circumference increased at a faster rate in LIPO+ group, compared to the LIPO- men (0.51 cm/year vs 0.08 cm/year, p = 0.02) and HIV-uninfected control men (0.21 cm/year, p = 0.06). The annual changes in hip and thigh circumferences were similar in all three groups
Conclusion
Subcutaneous lipoatrophy was observed in HIV-infected patients, even those without clinical evidence of lipodystrophy, compared to age-matched HIV-uninfected men. Despite markedly lower BMI, HIV-infected men with lipodystrophy had a similar amount of VAT as HIV-uninfected men and tended to have more rapid increases in waist circumference over 6 years of follow-up. These longitudinal increases in waist circumference may contribute to the development of cardiovascular risk in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-6-8
PMCID: PMC2686733  PMID: 19439092
5.  Maternal HIV-1 Disease Progression 18–24 Months Postdelivery According to Antiretroviral Prophylaxis Regimen (Triple-Antiretroviral Prophylaxis During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding vs Zidovudine/Single-Dose Nevirapine Prophylaxis): The Kesho Bora Randomized Controlled Trial 
We assessed 18–24-month postpartum disease progression risk among women in a randomized trial assessing efficacy and safety of prophylactic maternal antiretrovirals (ARVs). Interrupting prolonged triple-ARV prophylaxis had no effect on HIV-1 progression following cessation (compared to zidovudine until delivery with single-dose nevirapine without postpartum prophylaxis).
Background. Antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis effectively reduces mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV). However, it is unclear whether stopping ARVs after breastfeeding cessation affects maternal HIV disease progression. We assessed 18–24-month postpartum disease progression risk among women in a randomized trial assessing efficacy and safety of prophylactic maternal ARVs.
Methods. From 2005 to 2008, HIV–infected pregnant women with CD4+ counts of 200–500/mm3 were randomized to receive either triple ARV (zidovudine, lamivudine, and lopinavir/ritonavir during pregnancy and breastfeeding) or AZT/sdNVP (zidovudine until delivery with single-dose nevirapine without postpartum prophylaxis). Maternal disease progression was defined as the combined endpoint of death, World Health Organization clinical stage 4 disease, or CD4+ counts of <200/mm3.
Results. Among 824 randomized women, 789 had at least 1 study visit after cessation of ARV prophylaxis. Following delivery, progression risk up to 24 months postpartum in the triple ARV arm was significantly lower than in the AZT/sdNVP arm (15.7% vs 28.3%; P = .001), but the risks of progression after cessation of ARV prophylaxis (rather than after delivery) were not different (15.0% vs 13.8% 18 months after ARV cessation). Among women with CD4+ counts of 200–349/mm3 at enrollment, 24.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.7–35.5) progressed with triple ARV, and 23.0% (95% CI, 17.8–29.5) progressed with AZT/sdNVP, whereas few women in either arm (<5%) with initial CD4+ counts of ≥350/mm3 progressed.
Conclusions. Interrupting prolonged triple ARV prophylaxis had no effect on HIV progression following cessation (compared with AZT/sdNVP). However, women on triple ARV prophylaxis had lower progression risk during the time on triple ARV. Given the high rate of progression among women with CD4+ cells of <350/mm3, ARVs should not be discontinued in this group.
Clinical Trials Registration. ISRCTN71468410.
doi:10.1093/cid/cis461
PMCID: PMC3393708  PMID: 22573845
6.  Regional Anthropometry Changes in Antiretroviral-Naïve Persons Initiating a Zidovudine-Containing Regimen in Mbarara, Uganda 
Abstract
Lipodystrophy is commonly reported in Africa after antiretroviral therapy (ART) is initiated, but few studies have objectively measured changes in body composition. Body composition was determined in 76 HIV-infected participants from Mbarara, Uganda after starting a thymidine-analog regimen, and annual change was determined using repeated measures analysis. We measured skinfolds (tricep, thigh, subscapular, and abdomen), circumferences (arm, hip, thigh, waist), and total lean and fat mass (using bioelectric impedance analysis). A cross-sectional sample of 49 HIV-uninfected participants was studied for comparison. At baseline, most body composition measures were lower in HIV-infected than uninfected participants, but waist circumference was similar. After 12 months on ART, there was little difference in body composition measures between HIV-infected and uninfected participants; median waist circumference appeared higher in HIV-infected participants (79 vs. 75 cm; p = 0.090). Among HIV-infected participants, increases were observed in total lean and fat mass, circumference, and skinfold measures; only the increase in tricep skinfold did not reach statistical significance (+1.05 mm; 95% confidence interval: −0.24, 2.34; p = 0.11). Regional anthropometry in peripheral and central body sites increased over 12 months after ART initiation in HIV-infected persons from southwestern Uganda, suggesting a restoration to health. Gains in the tricep skinfold, a reliable marker of subcutaneous fat, appeared blunted, which could indicate an inhibitory effect of zidovudine on peripheral subcutaneous fat recovery.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0272
PMCID: PMC3159125  PMID: 21128866
7.  Incident HIV during Pregnancy and Postpartum and Risk of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(2):e1001608.
Alison Drake and colleagues conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate maternal HIV incidence during pregnancy and the postpartum period and to compare mother-to-child HIV transmission risk among women with incident versus chronic infection.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Women may have persistent risk of HIV acquisition during pregnancy and postpartum. Estimating risk of HIV during these periods is important to inform optimal prevention approaches. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate maternal HIV incidence during pregnancy/postpartum and to compare mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) risk among women with incident versus chronic infection.
Methods and Findings
We searched PubMed, Embase, and AIDS-related conference abstracts between January 1, 1980, and October 31, 2013, for articles and abstracts describing HIV acquisition during pregnancy/postpartum. The inclusion criterion was studies with data on recent HIV during pregnancy/postpartum. Random effects models were constructed to pool HIV incidence rates, cumulative HIV incidence, hazard ratios (HRs), or odds ratios (ORs) summarizing the association between pregnancy/postpartum status and HIV incidence, and MTCT risk and rates. Overall, 1,176 studies met the search criteria, of which 78 met the inclusion criterion, and 47 contributed data. Using data from 19 cohorts representing 22,803 total person-years, the pooled HIV incidence rate during pregnancy/postpartum was 3.8/100 person-years (95% CI 3.0–4.6): 4.7/100 person-years during pregnancy and 2.9/100 person-years postpartum (p = 0.18). Pooled cumulative HIV incidence was significantly higher in African than non-African countries (3.6% versus 0.3%, respectively; p<0.001). Risk of HIV was not significantly higher among pregnant (HR 1.3, 95% CI 0.5–2.1) or postpartum women (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.6–1.6) than among non-pregnant/non-postpartum women in five studies with available data. In African cohorts, MTCT risk was significantly higher among women with incident versus chronic HIV infection in the postpartum period (OR 2.9, 95% CI 2.2–3.9) or in pregnancy/postpartum periods combined (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2–4.4). However, the small number of studies limited power to detect associations and sources of heterogeneity.
Conclusions
Pregnancy and the postpartum period are times of persistent HIV risk, at rates similar to “high risk” cohorts. MTCT risk was elevated among women with incident infections. Detection and prevention of incident HIV in pregnancy/postpartum should be prioritized, and is critical to decrease MTCT.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, about 3.4 million children younger than 15 years old (mostly living in sub-Saharan Africa) are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS by gradually destroying immune system cells, thereby leaving infected individuals susceptible to other serious infections. In 2012 alone, 230,000 children (more than 700 every day) were newly infected with HIV. Most HIV infections among children are the result of mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. The rate of MTCT (and deaths among HIV-positive pregnant women from complications related to HIV infection) can be greatly reduced by testing women for HIV infection during pregnancy (antenatal HIV testing), treating HIV-positive women with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs, powerful drugs that control HIV replication and allow the immune system to recover) during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding, and giving ARVs to their newborn babies.
Why Was This Study Done?
The World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have developed a global plan that aims to move towards eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015 and towards keeping their mothers alive. To ensure the plan's success, the incidence of HIV (the number of new infections) among women and the rate of MTCT must be reduced by increasing ARV uptake by mothers and their infants for the prevention of MTCT. However, the risk of HIV infection among pregnant women and among women who have recently given birth (postpartum women) is poorly understood because, although guidelines recommend repeat HIV testing during late pregnancy or at delivery in settings where HIV infection is common, pregnant women are often tested only once for HIV infection. The lack of retesting represents a missed opportunity to identify pregnant and postpartum women who have recently acquired HIV and to prevent MTCT by initiating ARV therapy. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic) and meta-analysis (a study that uses statistical methods to combine the results of several studies), the researchers estimate maternal HIV incidence during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and compare the risk of MTCT among women with incident (new) and chronic (long-standing) HIV infection.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 47 studies (35 undertaken in Africa) that examined recent HIV acquisition by women during pregnancy and the 12-month postpartum period. They used random effects statistical models to estimate the pooled HIV incidence rate and cumulative HIV incidence (the number of new infections per number of people at risk), and the association between pregnancy/postpartum status and HIV incidence and MTCT risk and rates. The pooled HIV incidence rate among pregnant/postpartum women estimated from 19 studies (all from sub-Saharan Africa) that reported HIV incidence rates was 3.8/100 person-years. The pooled cumulative HIV incidence was significantly higher in African countries than in non-African countries (3.6% and 0.3%, respectively; a “significant” difference is one that is unlikely to arise by chance). In the five studies that provided suitable data, the risk of HIV acquisition was similar in pregnant, postpartum, and non-pregnant/non-postpartum women. Finally, among African women, the risk of MTCT was 2.9-fold higher during the postpartum period among those who had recently acquired HIV than among those with chronic HIV infection, and 2.3-fold higher during the pregnancy/postpartum periods combined.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results suggest that women living in regions where HIV infection is common are at high risk of acquiring HIV infection during pregnancy and the postpartum period and that mothers who acquire HIV during pregnancy or postpartum are more likely to pass the infection on to their offspring than mothers with chronic HIV infections. However, the small number of studies included in this meta-analysis and the use of heterogeneous research methodologies in these studies may limit the accuracy of these findings. Nevertheless, these findings have important implications for the global plan to eliminate HIV infections in children. First, they suggest that women living in regions where HIV infection is common should be offered repeat HIV testing (using sensitive methods to enhance early detection of infection) during pregnancy and in the postpartum period to detect incident HIV infections, and should be promptly referred to HIV care and treatment. Second, they suggest that prevention of HIV transmission during pregnancy and postpartum should be prioritized, for example, by counseling women about the need to use condoms to prevent transmission during this period of their lives.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001608.
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS and summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on children and HIV/AIDS and on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (in English and Spanish)
The 2013 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report provides information about the AIDS epidemic and efforts to halt it; the 2013 UNAIDS Progress Report on the Global Plan provides information on progress towards eliminating new HIV infections among children; the UNAIDS Believe it. Do it website provides information about the campaign to support the UNAIDS global plan
Personal stories about living with HIV/AIDS, including stories from young people infected with HIV, are available through Avert, NAM/aidsmap, and Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001608
PMCID: PMC3934828  PMID: 24586123
8.  Evolution of Antiretroviral Drug Costs in Brazil in the Context of Free and Universal Access to AIDS Treatment  
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(11):e305.
Background
Little is known about the long-term drug costs associated with treating AIDS in developing countries. Brazil's AIDS treatment program has been cited widely as the developing world's largest and most successful AIDS treatment program. The program guarantees free access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for all people living with HIV/AIDS in need of treatment. Brazil produces non-patented generic antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), procures many patented ARVs with negotiated price reductions, and recently issued a compulsory license to import one patented ARV. In this study, we investigate the drivers of recent ARV cost trends in Brazil through analysis of drug-specific prices and expenditures between 2001 and 2005.
Methods and Findings
We compared Brazil's ARV prices to those in other low- and middle-income countries. We analyzed trends in drug expenditures for HAART in Brazil from 2001 to 2005 on the basis of cost data disaggregated by each ARV purchased by the Brazilian program. We decomposed the overall changes in expenditures to compare the relative impacts of changes in drug prices and drug purchase quantities. We also estimated the excess costs attributable to the difference between prices for generics in Brazil and the lowest global prices for these drugs. Finally, we estimated the savings attributable to Brazil's reduced prices for patented drugs. Negotiated drug prices in Brazil are lowest for patented ARVs for which generic competition is emerging. In recent years, the prices for efavirenz and lopinavir–ritonavir (lopinavir/r) have been lower in Brazil than in other middle-income countries. In contrast, the price of tenofovir is US$200 higher per patient per year than that reported in other middle-income countries. Despite precipitous price declines for four patented ARVs, total Brazilian drug expenditures doubled, to reach US$414 million in 2005. We find that the major driver of cost increases was increased purchase quantities of six specific drugs: patented lopinavir/r, efavirenz, tenofovir, atazanavir, enfuvirtide, and a locally produced generic, fixed-dose combination of zidovudine and lamivudine (AZT/3TC). Because prices declined for many of the patented drugs that constitute the largest share of drug costs, nearly the entire increase in overall drug expenditures between 2001 and 2005 is attributable to increases in drug quantities. Had all drug quantities been held constant from 2001 until 2005 (or for those drugs entering treatment guidelines after 2001, held constant between the year of introduction and 2005), total costs would have increased by only an estimated US$7 million. We estimate that in the absence of price declines for patented drugs, Brazil would have spent a cumulative total of US$2 billion on drugs for HAART between 2001 and 2005, implying a savings of US$1.2 billion from price declines. Finally, in comparing Brazilian prices for locally produced generic ARVs to the lowest international prices meeting global pharmaceutical quality standards, we find that current prices for Brazil's locally produced generics are generally much higher than corresponding global prices, and note that these prices have risen in Brazil while declining globally. We estimate the excess costs of Brazil's locally produced generics totaled US$110 million from 2001 to 2005.
Conclusions
Despite Brazil's more costly generic ARVs, the net result of ARV price changes has been a cost savings of approximately US$1 billion since 2001. HAART costs have nevertheless risen steeply as Brazil has scaled up treatment. These trends may foreshadow future AIDS treatment cost trends in other developing countries as more people start treatment, AIDS patients live longer and move from first-line to second and third-line treatment, AIDS treatment becomes more complex, generic competition emerges, and newer patented drugs become available. The specific application of the Brazilian model to other countries will depend, however, on the strength of their health systems, intellectual property regulations, epidemiological profiles, AIDS treatment guidelines, and differing capacities to produce drugs locally.
Amy Nunn and colleagues analyze the cost of antiretroviral drugs in Brazil between 2001 and 2005 and discuss the implications for HIV treatment in other developing countries.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has killed 29 million people since the first case occurred in 1981 and an estimated 40 million people live with HIV/AIDS today. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which destroys the immune system. Infected individuals are consequently very susceptible to other infections. Early in the AIDS epidemic, most HIV-positive individuals died within a few years of becoming infected. Then, in 1996, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)—a cocktail of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs)—was developed. For people who could afford HAART (which holds HIV infections in check), AIDS became a chronic disease. People who start HAART must keep taking it or their illness will progress.
Unfortunately, few people in low- and middle-income countries could afford these expensive drugs. In 2001, ARV prices fell in developing countries as AIDS activists and developing country governments challenged pharmaceutical companies about ARV prices, pharmaceutical companies set tiered prices for the low- and middle-income countries and more generic (inexpensive copies of brand-named drugs) ARVs became available. In 2003, the lack of access to HIV/AIDS treatment was declared a global health emergency. Governments, international organizations, and funding bodies began to set targets and provide funds to increase access to HAART in developing countries. By 2007, over 2 million people in low- and middle-income countries had access to HAART, but another 5 million remain in urgent need of drugs for treatment.
Why Was This Study Done?
In 1995, many countries in the world signed the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement, which requires countries to acknowledge intellectual property rights for many products, including pharmaceuticals. In 1996, Brazil became the first developing country to commit to and implement policies to provide free and universal access to HAART. Since then, Brazil's successful AIDS treatment program has become a model for the developing world, and 180,000 Brazilians were receiving HAART at the end of 2006. However, as a WTO member that signed on to the TRIPS agreement, Brazil was required to recognize the intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical companies' patented ARVs. As Brazil scaled up treatment in the late 1990s, the cost of treating AIDS patients rose quickly and the country took controversial public policy steps to reduce the cost of providing HAART to people living with HIV/AIDS. Brazil produces several non-patented ARVs locally, and since 2001 has challenged multinational pharmaceutical companies about the prices of patented ARVs. To induce price reductions for patented ARVs, Brazil has threatened to issue compulsory licenses (which under WTO terms allow countries facing a health emergency to produce patented drugs without consent of the company holding the patent). Brazil also recently issued a compulsory license for one ARV.
Although world leaders have set a target of universal access to HAART by 2010, little is known about the long-term costs of AIDS treatment in developing countries. In this study, the researchers have investigated how and why the costs of ARVs changed in Brazil between 2001 and 2005 and discuss the relevance of the Brazilian model for AIDS treatment for other resource-limited settings.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed the prices for each ARV recommended in Brazil's therapeutic guidelines for adults and estimated the changes in purchase quantities for each between 2001 and 2005. These changes likely stem from the growing number of options in Brazil's treatment guidelines, the steadily rising number of patients commencing treatment, and patients' shifts to second- and third-line treatments when their HIV infection became resistant to first-line drugs or they developed side effects. The researchers report that the generic drugs produced in Brazil were generally more expensive than similar drugs made elsewhere, but Brazil's negotiated drug prices for many patented ARVs were lower than elsewhere. Overall, total annual drug expenditure on ARVs doubled between 2001 and 2005, reaching US$414 million in 2005. Because many drug prices fell sharply as a result of declining patented drug prices over the study period, this increase was mainly attributable to increases in drug quantities purchased. If these quantities had stayed constant, the total annual cost would have increased by only $7 million, to $211 million. Conversely, without the decrease in the price of patented drugs, Brazil would have spent $952 million annually by 2005. If Brazil had enjoyed the lowest global prices for generic medicines, the total costs per year in 2005 would have been $367 million, or nearly $50 million less than the costs Brazil actually realized.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings tease out the many factors—clinical, commercial, and political—that affected the total costs of the Brazilian AIDS treatment program between 2001 and 2005.
Brazil's ability to produce generic drugs facilitated Brazil's price negotiations for patented drugs. Although Brazil saved approximately US$1 billion over the study period as a result of declining prices for patented medicines, the cost of producing generic drugs locally has risen while the prices for generic drugs have fallen elsewhere. Brazil's recent decision to import a generic ARV using a compulsory license suggests that the Brazilian model for AIDS treatment continues to evolve.
Questions remain about the precise causes of year-to-year cost trends in Brazil because, for example, the researchers did not have full data on when patients switched from first-line to second- or third-line drugs. The observed steep rise in costs from 2004 to 2005 in particular warrants further analysis. In addition, the findings may not be generalizable to countries with different policies on HIV/AIDS treatment, different access to generic drugs, or different bargaining power with multinational drug companies. Nevertheless, the trends this study highlights provide important information about how AIDS treatment costs are likely to evolve in other developing countries as efforts are made to provide universal access to life-saving ARVs.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040305.
Information from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
Information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on global HIV/AIDS topics (in English and Spanish)
HIV InSite, comprehensive and up-to-date information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS from the University of California San Francisco
Information from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on HIV and AIDS in Brazil and on HIV/AIDS treatment and care, including universal access to ARVs
Progress towards universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment, the latest report from the World Health Organization (available in several languages)
The National STD and AIDS Program of Brazil
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040305
PMCID: PMC2071936  PMID: 18001145
9.  Bone mass, body composition and vitamin D status of ARV-naïve, urban, black South African women with HIV infection, stratified by CD4 count 
Osteoporosis International  2013;24(11):2855-2861.
Summary
This is the first report examining vitamin D status and bone mass in African women with HIV infection using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) with an appropriate HIV-negative control group. Unlike previous publications, it demonstrates no difference in bone mineral density (BMD) or vitamin D status in HIV-positive patients, at different disease stages, vs. HIV-negative subjects.
Introduction
Low bone mass and poor vitamin D status have been reported among HIV-positive patients; suggesting HIV or its treatment may increase the risk of osteoporosis, a particular concern for women in countries with high HIV prevalence such as South Africa. We describe bone mass and vitamin D status in urban premenopausal South African women, who were HIV positive but not on antiretroviral therapy (ARV).
Methods
This study is a cross-sectional measurement of BMD and body composition by DXA and vitamin D status by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration. Subjects were recruited into three groups: HIV negative (n = 98) and HIV positive with preserved CD4 cell count (non-ARV; n = 74) or low CD4 cell counts prior to ARV initiation (pre-ARV; n = 75).
Results
The mean (standard deviation (SD)) age of women was 32.1 (7.2) years. Mean CD4 (SD) counts (×106/l) were 412 (91) and 161 (69) in non-ARV and pre-ARV groups (p < 0.0001). Pre-ARV women were significantly lighter and had lower mean BMI than the other two groups (p < 0.002). The pre-ARV group also had significantly less fat and lean mass compared with non-ARV and HIV-negative subjects (p ≤ 0.05). After full adjustment, there were no significant differences in BMD at any site (p > 0.05) between the groups, nor was vitamin D status significantly different between groups (p > 0.05); the mean (SD) cohort 25(OH)D being 60 (18) nmol/l.
Conclusion
Contrary to previous studies, these HIV-positive women did not have lower BMD or 25(OH)D concentrations than HIV-negative controls, despite the pre-ARV group being lighter with lower BMI.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00198-013-2373-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00198-013-2373-y
PMCID: PMC3841578  PMID: 23719859
Body composition; Bone mineral density; Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; HIV infection; Vitamin D
10.  Community-Based Evaluation of PMTCT Uptake in Nyanza Province, Kenya 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110110.
Introduction
Facility-based assessments of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) programs may overestimate population coverage. There are few community-based studies that evaluate PMTCT coverage and uptake.
Methods
During 2011, a cross-sectional community survey among women who gave birth in the prior year was performed using the KEMRI-CDC Health and Demographic Surveillance System in Western Kenya. A random sample (n = 405) and a sample of women known to be HIV-positive through previous home-based testing (n = 247) were enrolled. Rates and correlates of uptake of antenatal care (ANC), HIV-testing, and antiretrovirals (ARVs) were determined.
Results
Among 405 women in the random sample, 379 (94%) reported accessing ANC, most of whom (87%) were HIV tested. Uptake of HIV testing was associated with employment, higher socioeconomic status, and partner HIV testing. Among 247 known HIV-positive women, 173 (70%) self-disclosed their HIV status. Among 216 self-reported HIV-positive women (including 43 from the random sample), 82% took PMTCT ARVs, with 54% completing the full antenatal, peripartum, and postpartum course. Maternal ARV use was associated with more ANC visits and having an HIV tested partner. ARV use during delivery was lowest (62%) and associated with facility delivery. Eighty percent of HIV infected women reported having their infant HIV tested, 11% of whom reported their child was HIV infected, 76% uninfected, 6% declined to say, 7% did not recall; 79% of infected children were reportedly receiving HIV care and treatment.
Conclusions
Community-based assessments provide data that complements clinic-based PMTCT evaluations. In this survey, antenatal HIV test uptake was high; most HIV infected women received ARVs, though many women did not self-disclose HIV status to field team. Community-driven strategies that encourage early ANC, partner involvement, and skilled delivery, and provide PMTCT education, may facilitate further reductions in vertical transmission.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110110
PMCID: PMC4215877  PMID: 25360758
11.  Dietary intake and body composition in HIV-positive and -negative South African women 
Public health nutrition  2013;17(7):1603-1613.
Objective
This paper examines dietary intake and body composition in ARV-naïve HIV-positive compared to HIV-negative SA women, as well as the impact of disease severity on these variables.
Design
Baseline data from a longitudinal study assessing bone health in HIV-negative and HIV-positive pre-menopausal SA women over 18 years of age were used. Anthropometry and body composition, measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), were analysed together with dietary intake data assessed using an interviewer based qualitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).
Setting
Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
Subjects
Black, urban SA women were divided into three groups: HIV-negative (n=98), HIV-positive with preserved CD4 counts (HIV+ non-ARV; n=74) and HIV-positive with low CD4 counts due to start ARV treatment (HIV+ pre-ARV; n=75).
Results
The prevalence of overweight and obesity was high in this population (59%). The HIV+ pre-ARV group was lighter and had a lower BMI than the other two groups (all p<0.001). Pre-ARV subjects also had lower fat and lean masses and % body fat than their HIV-negative and HIV+ non-ARV counterparts. After adjustment, there were no differences in macronutrient intakes across study groups; however, fat and sugar intakes were high and consumption of predominantly refined food items was common overall.
Conclusion
HIV-associated immunosuppression may be a key determinant of body composition in HIV-positive women. However, in populations with high obesity prevalence, these differences become evident only at advanced stages of infection.
doi:10.1017/S1368980013001808
PMCID: PMC4045640  PMID: 23835214
HIV; diet; body composition; obesity
12.  Effectiveness of Multidrug Antiretroviral Regimens to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV-1 in Routine Public Health Services in Cameroon 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10411.
Background
Multidrug antiretroviral (ARV) regimens including HAART and short-course dual antiretroviral (sc-dARV) regimens were introduced in 2004 to improve Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) in Cameroon. We assessed the effectiveness of these regimens from 6–10 weeks and 12 months of age, respectively.
Methodology/Findings
We conducted a retrospective cohort study covering the period from October 2004 to March 2008 in a reference hospital in Cameroon. HIV-positive pregnant women with CD4 ≤350 cells/mm3 received first-line HAART [regimen 1] while the others received ARV prophylaxis including sc-dARV or single dose nevirapine (sd-NVP). Sc-dARV included at least two drugs according to different gestational ages: zidovudine (ZDV) from 28–32 weeks plus sd-NVP [regimen 2], ZDV and lamuvidine (3TC) from 33–36 weeks plus sd-NVP [regimen 3]. When gestational age was ≥37 weeks, women received sd-NVP during labour [regimen 4]. Infants received sd-NVP plus ZDV and 3TC for 7 days or 30 days. Early diagnosis (6–10 weeks) was done, using b-DNA and subsequently RT-PCR. We determined early MTCT rate and associated risk factors using logistic regression. The 12-month HIV-free survival was assessed using Cox regression. Among 418 mothers, 335 (80%) received multidrug ARV regimens (1, 2, and 3) and MTCT rate with multidrug regimens was 6.6% [95%CI: 4.3–9.6] at 6 weeks, without any significant difference between regimens. Duration of mother's ARV regimen <4 weeks [OR = 4.7, 95%CI: 1.3–17.6], mother's CD4 <350 cells/mm3 [OR = 6.4, 95%CI: 1.8–22.5] and low birth weight [OR = 4.0, 95%CI: 1.4–11.3] were associated with early MTCT. By 12 months, mixed feeding [HR = 8.7, 95%CI: 3.6–20.6], prematurity [HR = 2.3, 95%CI: 1.2–4.3] and low birth weight were associated with children's risk of progressing to infection or death.
Conclusions
Multidrug ARV regimens for PMTCT are feasible and effective in routine reference hospital. Early initiation of ARV during pregnancy and proper obstetrical care are essential to improve PMTCT.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010411
PMCID: PMC2861601  PMID: 20454459
13.  Self-Perception of Body Fat Changes and HAART Adherence in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
AIDS and behavior  2008;13(1):53-59.
To determine the association of self-perceived fat gain or fat loss in central and peripheral body sites with adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in HIV-seropositive women. 1,671 women from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study who reported HAART use between April 1999 and March 2006 were studied. Adherence was defined as report of taking HAART ≥ 95% of the time during the prior 6 months. Participant report of any increase or decrease in the chest, abdomen, or upper back in the prior 6 months defined central fat gain and central fat loss, respectively. Report of any increase or decrease in the face, arms, legs or buttocks in the prior 6 months defined peripheral fat gain or peripheral fat loss. Younger age, being African-American (vs. White non-Hispanic), a history of IDU, higher HIV RNA at the previous visit, and alcohol consumption were significant predictors of HAART non-adherence (P <0.05). After multivariate adjustment, self-perception of central fat gain was associated with a 1.5-fold increased odds of HAART non-adherence compared to no change. Perception of fat gain in the abdomen was the strongest predictor of HAART non-adherence when the individual body sites were studied. Women who perceive central fat gain particularly in the abdomen are at risk for decreased adherence to HAART despite recent evidence to suggest that HIV and specific antiretroviral drugs are more commonly associated with fat loss than fat gain.
doi:10.1007/s10461-008-9444-7
PMCID: PMC2902995  PMID: 18688706
Lipodystrophy; HIV; Women; HAART adherence; body image perception
14.  The development of simple anthropometric measures to diagnose antiretroviral therapy-associated lipodystrophy in resource limited settings 
Background
Lipohypertrophy does not appear to be an adverse ART reaction while lipoatrophy is clearly associated with the use of stavudine (d4T) and zidovudine (AZT). In low and middle income countries d4T has only recently been phased out and AZT is still widely being used. Several case definitions have been developed to diagnose lipodystrophy, but none of them are generalizable to sub-Saharan Africa where black women have less visceral adipose tissue and more subcutaneous adipose tissue than white women. We aimed to develop a simple, objective measure to define lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy by comparing patient report to anthropometric and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) -derived variables.
Methods
DXA and anthropometric measures were obtained in a cross sectional sample of black HIV-infected South African men (n = 116) and women (n = 434) on ART. Self-reported information on fat gain or fat loss was collected using a standard questionnaire. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to describe the performance of anthropometric and DXA-derived variables using patient reported lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy as the reference standard.
Results
Lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy were more common in women (25% and 33% respectively) than in men (10% and 13% respectively). There were insufficient numbers of men with DXA scans for meaningful analysis. The best predictors of lipoatrophy in women were the anthropometric variables tricep (AUC = 0.725) and thigh skinfold (AUC =0.720) thicknesses; and the DXA-derived variables percentage lower limb fat (AUC = 0.705) and percentage lower limb fat/height (AUC = 0.713). The best predictors of lipohypertrophy in women were the anthropometric variable waist/hip ratio (AUC = 0.645) and the DXA-derived variable percentage trunk fat/percentage limb fat (AUC = 0.647).
Conclusions
We were able to develop simple, anthropometric measures for defining lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy, using a sample of black HIV-infected South African women with DXA scans. This is of particular relevance in resource limited settings, where health professionals need simple and inexpensive methods of diagnosing patients with lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-11-26
PMCID: PMC4138415  PMID: 25143778
HIV; Lipoatrophy; Lipohypertrophy; Lipodystrophy; DXA; Anthropometry; Sub-Saharan africa; Antiretroviral therapy
15.  Assessing the impact of a food supplement on the nutritional status and body composition of HIV-infected Zambian women on ARVs 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:714.
Background
Zambia is a sub-Saharan country with one of the highest prevalence rates of HIV, currently estimated at 14%. Poor nutritional status due to both protein-energy and micronutrient malnutrition has worsened this situation. In an attempt to address this combined problem, the government has instigated a number of strategies, including the provision of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment coupled with the promotion of good nutrition. High-energy protein supplement (HEPS) is particularly promoted; however, the impact of this food supplement on the nutritional status of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) beyond weight gain has not been assessed. Techniques for the assessment of nutritional status utilising objective measures of body composition are not commonly available in Zambia. The aim of this study is therefore to assess the impact of a food supplement on nutritional status using a comprehensive anthropometric protocol including measures of skinfold thickness and circumferences, plus the criterion deuterium dilution technique to assess total body water (TBW) and derive fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM).
Methods/Design
This community-based controlled and longitudinal study aims to recruit 200 HIV-infected females commencing ARV treatment at two clinics in Lusaka, Zambia. Data will be collected at four time points: baseline, 4-month, 8-month and 12-month follow-up visits. Outcome measures to be assessed include body height and weight, body mass index (BMI), body composition, CD4, viral load and micronutrient status.
Discussion
This protocol describes a study that will provide a longitudinal assessment of the impact of a food supplement on the nutritional status of HIV-infected females initiating ARVs using a range of anthropometric and body composition assessment techniques.
Trial Registration
Pan African Clinical Trial Registry PACTR201108000303396.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-714
PMCID: PMC3188494  PMID: 21936938
16.  Fat Distribution in Women With HIV Infection 
Objective
Both peripheral fat loss and central fat gain have been reported in women with HIV infection. We determined the fat changes that are specific to HIV infection in women.
Methods
HIV-infected and control women from the study of Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM) were compared. Lipoatrophy or lipohypertrophy was defined as concordance between participant report of fat change and clinical examination. Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging measured regional adipose tissue volumes. The relationship among different adipose tissue depots was assessed. Factors associated with individual depots were analyzed using multivariate linear regression.
Results
HIV-infected women reported more fat loss than controls in all peripheral and most central depots. Peripheral lipoatrophy was more frequent in HIV-infected women than controls (28% vs. 4%, P < 0.001), whereas central lipohypertrophy was similar (62% vs. 63%). Among HIV-infected women, those with central lipohypertrophy were less likely to have peripheral lipoatrophy (odds ratio, 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.20 to 0.75, P = 0.006) than those without central lipohypertrophy. On magnetic resonance imaging, HIV-infected women with clinical peripheral lipoatrophy had less subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) in peripheral and central sites and less visceral adipose tissue (VAT) than HIV-infected women without peripheral lipoatrophy. Compared with controls, HIV-infected women had less SAT in the legs, regardless of the presence or absence of lipoatrophy. However, those without lipoatrophy had more VAT and upper trunk SAT than controls. Use of the antiretroviral drug stavudine was associated with less leg SAT but was not associated with VAT. The use of highly active antiretroviral therapy, however, was associated with more VAT.
Conclusions
Peripheral lipoatrophy occurs commonly in HIV-infected women but is not associated with reciprocally increased VAT or trunk fat.
doi:10.1097/01.qai.0000229996.75116.da
PMCID: PMC3166343  PMID: 16837863
HIV; lipodystrophy; lipoatrophy; lipohypertrophy; visceral obesity; fat redistribution; body composition
17.  The Association of Serum Total Peptide YY (PYY) with Obesity and Body Fat Measures in the CODING Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95235.
Background
PYY is an appetite suppressing hormone. Low circulating PYY has been linked to greater BMI. However data is controversial and this association has not been verified in large human populations.
Objective
The purpose of this study was to investigate if fasting serum total PYY is associated with obesity status and/or adiposity at the population level.
Design
A total of 2094 subjects (Male-523, Female-1571) participated in this investigation. Total PYY was measured in fasting serum by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Obesity status (NW-normal-weight, OW-overweight and OB-obese) was determined by the Bray Criteria according to body fat percentage measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and the WHO criteria according to BMI. One-way ANOVA and multiple regression was used to assess the adiposity-specific association between PYY and the following; weight, BMI, waist-circumference, hip-circumference, waist-hip ratio, percent body fat (%BF), trunk fat (%TF), android fat (%AF) and gynoid fat (%GF).
Results
PYY was not significantly different among NW, OW and OB groups defined by neither %BF nor BMI for both men and women. However among women, fasting PYY was positively associated with adiposity measures. Women with the highest (Top 33%) waist-circumference, %BF and %TF had significantly higher PYY (10.5%, 8.3% and 9.2% respectively) than women with the lowest (Bottom 33%). Age, smoking, medication use and menopause were all positively associated with PYY levels in women but not in men.
Conclusion
To our knowledge this is the largest population based study, with the most comprehensive analysis and measures of confounding factors, to explore the relationship of circulating PYY with obesity. Contrary to initial findings in the literature we discovered that PYY was positively associated with body fat measures (waist-circumference, %BF and %TF) in women. Although the effect size of the positive association of PYY with obesity in women is small, and potentially negligible, it may in fact represent a protective response against significant weight gain.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095235
PMCID: PMC3990607  PMID: 24743402
18.  Antiretroviral Treatment and Prevention of Peripartum and Postnatal HIV Transmission in West Africa: Evaluation of a Two-Tiered Approach 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(8):e257.
Background
Highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) has only been recently recommended for HIV-infected pregnant women requiring treatment for their own health in resource-limited settings. However, there are few documented experiences from African countries. We evaluated the short-term (4 wk) and long-term (12 mo) effectiveness of a two-tiered strategy of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Africa: women meeting the eligibility criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO) received HAART, and women with less advanced HIV disease received short-course antiretroviral (scARV) PMTCT regimens.
Methods and Findings
The MTCT-Plus Initiative is a multi-country, family-centred HIV care and treatment program for pregnant and postpartum women and their families. Pregnant women enrolled in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire received either HAART for their own health or short-course antiretroviral (scARV) PMTCT regimens according to their clinical and immunological status. Plasma HIV-RNA viral load (VL) was measured to diagnose peripartum infection when infants were 4 wk of age, and HIV final status was documented either by rapid antibody testing when infants were aged ≥ 12 mo or by plasma VL earlier. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the rate of HIV transmission and HIV-free survival. Between August 2003 and June 2005, 107 women began HAART at a median of 30 wk of gestation, 102 of them with zidovudine (ZDV), lamivudine (3TC), and nevirapine (NVP) and they continued treatment postpartum; 143 other women received scARV for PMTCT, 103 of them with sc(ZDV+3TC) with single-dose NVP during labour. Most (75%) of the infants were breast-fed for a median of 5 mo. Overall, the rate of peripartum HIV transmission was 2.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.3%–4.2%) and the cumulative rate at 12 mo was 5.7% (95% CI 2.5%–9.0%). The overall probability of infant death or infection with HIV was 4.3% (95% CI 1.7%–7.0%) at age week 4 wk and 11.7% (95% CI 7.5%–15.9%) at 12 mo.
Conclusions
This two-tiered strategy appears to be safe and highly effective for short- and long-term PMTCT in resource-constrained settings. These results indicate a further benefit of access to HAART for pregnant women who need treatment for their own health.
In an observational cohort study from Côte d'Ivoire, François Dabis and colleagues report on prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission among women receiving antiretroviral therapy according to World Health Organization recommendations.
Editors' Summary
Background
Effective treatments are available to prevent AIDS in people who are infected with HIV, but not everyone with HIV needs to take medication. Usually, anti-HIV medication is recommended only for those whose immune systems have been significantly affected by the virus, as evidenced by symptoms or by the results of a blood test, the CD4 lymphocyte (“T cell”) count. Treating HIV usually requires a combination of three or more medications. These combinations (called HAART) must be taken every day, can cause complications, and can be expensive.
Worldwide, more than half a million children became infected with HIV each year. Most of these children acquire HIV from their mothers during pregnancy or around the time of birth. If a pregnant woman with HIV takes HAART, her chances of passing HIV to the baby are greatly reduced, but the possible side effects of HAART on the baby are not known. Also, most transmission of HIV from mothers to babies occurs in poor countries where supplies of HAART are limited. For these reasons, World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend that every pregnant woman receive HAART to prevent HIV transmission to the baby, unless the woman needs HAART for her own health (for example if her T cells are low or she has severe symptoms of HIV infection). For pregnant women with HIV who do not need to take HAART for their own health, less complicated treatments, involving a short course of one or two HIV drugs, can be used to reduce the risk of passing HIV to the baby.
Why Was This Study Done?
The WHO recommendations for HAART in pregnancy are based on the best available evidence, but it is important to know how well they work in actual practice. The authors of this study were providing HIV treatment to pregnant women with HIV in West Africa through an established clinic program in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and wanted to see how well the WHO recommendations for HAART or short-course treatments, depending on the mother's condition, were working to protect babies from HIV infection.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers studied 250 HIV-infected pregnant women who received HIV medications in the Abidjan program between mid-2003 and mid-2005. In accordance with WHO guidelines, 107 women began HAART for their own health during pregnancy, and 143 women did not qualify for HAART but received other short course treatments (scARV) to prevent HIV transmission to their babies. The authors monitored mothers and babies for treatment side effects and tested the babies for HIV infection up to age 1 y.
They found that HAART was relatively safe during pregnancy, although babies born to women on HAART were more likely (26.3%) to have low birth weight than babies born to women who received scARV (12.4%). Also, 7.5% of women on HAART developed side effects requiring a change in their medications. Combining the results from HAART and scART groups, the chance of HIV transmission around the time of birth was 2.2%, increasing to 5.7% at age 1 y. (Three-quarters of the infants were breast-fed; safe water for mixing formula was not reliably available.) The study found no difference in risk of HIV infection between babies whose mothers received HAART and those whose mothers received scARV according to guidelines.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results support the safety and effectiveness of the WHO two-tiered approach for preventing mother-to-child transmission. This study was not designed to compare HAART to scART directly, because the women who received HAART were the ones with more advanced HIV infection, which might have affected their babies in many ways.
Compared to earlier pregnancy studies of HAART in rich countries, this study of the WHO approach in West Africa showed similar success in protecting infants from HIV infection around the time of birth. Unfortunately, because formula feeding was not generally available in resource-limited settings, protection declined over the first year of life with breast-feeding, but some protection remained.
This study confirms that close monitoring of pregnant women on HAART is necessary, so that drugs can be changed if side effects develop. The study does not tell us whether using scARV in pregnancy might change the virus in ways that would make it more difficult to treat the same women with HAART later if they needed it. The reason for low birth weight in some babies born to mothers on HAART is unclear. It may be because the women who needed HAART had more severe health problems from their HIV, or it may be a result of the HAART itself.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040257.
World Health Organization has a page on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
“Women, Children, and HIV” is a resource site from the François Xavier Bagnoud Center and UCSF
The MTCT-Plus initiative at Columbia University supports the programs in Abidjan
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040257
PMCID: PMC1949842  PMID: 17713983
19.  Longitudinal Study of Growth and Adiposity in Parous Compared With Nulligravid Adolescents 
Objective
To examine the impact of pregnancy on adolescent growth and adiposity relative to nulligravidas of similar maturation stage.
Design
Prospective cohort study.
Setting
The multicenter National Heart, Lung and Blood Growth and Health Study with annual examinations from 1987-1988 through 1996-1997.
Participants
One thousand eight hundred ninety girls (983 black and 907 white) aged 9 to 10 years at enrollment.
Main Exposure
Self-reported number of pregnancies and births during adolescence and young adulthood (age, 15-19 years): 311 primiparas (17%), 84 multiparas (4%), 196 nulliparous gravidas (10%), and 1299 nulligravidas (69%).
Outcome Measures
Estimated race-specific changes in body weight, height, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist to hip ratio, and percent body fat, defined as the difference between baseline and measurements 9 to 10 years later.
Results
Thirty-one percent of black and 10% of white girls gave birth during adolescence and young adulthood. We found evidence of race by pregnancy interactions (P < .10) for changes in weight, body mass index, hip circumference, and percent body fat. Black primiparas and multiparas, respectively, had smaller decrements in waist to hip ratio (0.019 and 0.023) and greater increments in weight (3.6 and 6.0 kg), body mass index (1.3 and 2.3), waist circumference (3.5 and 5.2 cm), hip circumference (2.1 and 4.0 cm), and percent body fat (3.4% and 4.6%) than black nulligravidas after adjustment for baseline measurements, age, study center, family income, parental education, age at menarche, hours of television and video viewing, and height at visit 9 or 10 in weight models (P < .01). White primiparas had borderline greater increments in waist circumference (2.4 cm) and percent body fat (0.9%) and smaller decrements in waist to hip ratio (0.017) than white nulligravidas (P < .05). Height did not differ by pregnancy status.
Conclusions
Women who give birth during adolescence and young adulthood have substantially greater increments in overall and central adiposity than adolescents who do not experience pregnancy independent of other known correlates of weight gain.
doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.9
PMCID: PMC2952439  PMID: 19349564
20.  Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Antiretroviral Treatment Adherence Among HIV Patients in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa 
Adherence to antiretroviral medication in the treatment of HIV is critical, both to maximize efficacy and to minimize the emergence of drug resistance. The aim of this prospective study in three public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is to assess the use of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) by HIV patients and its effect on antiretroviral (ARV) adherence 6 months after initiating ARVs. 735 (29.8% male and 70.2% female) patients who consecutively attended three HIV clinics completed assessments prior to ARV initiation and 519 after six months on antiretroviral therapy (ART) Results indicate that the use of herbal therapies for HIV declined significantly from 36.6% prior to antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation to 7.9% after being on ARVs for 6 months. Faith healing methods, including spiritual practices and prayer for HIV declined from 35.8% to 22.1% and physical/body-mind therapy (exercise and massage) declined from 5.0% to 1.9%. In contrast, the use of micronutrients (vitamins, etc.) significantly increased from 42.6% to 87.4%. In multivariate regression analyses, ARV non-adherence (dose, schedule and food) was associated with the use of herbal treatment, not taking micronutrients and the use of over-the-counter drugs. The use of TCAM declined after initiating ARVs. As herbal treatment for HIV was associated with reduced ARV adherence, patients' use of TCAM should be considered in ARV adherence management.
PMCID: PMC3021154  PMID: 21304624
Traditional; complementary; alternative medicine; antiretroviral treatment adherence; HIV patients; KwaZulu-Natal; South Africa
21.  Safety of poly-L-lactic acid (New-Fill®) in the treatment of facial lipoatrophy: a large observational study among HIV-positive patients 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):474.
Background
Facial lipoatrophy is a frequently reported condition associated with use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) acid has been used to correct facial lipoatrophy in people with HIV since 2004 both in Europe and the United States. The objective of this study was to establish, in real life conditions and in a large sample, the safety of PLLA (New Fill®, Valeant US, Sinclair Pharma Paris, France) to correct facial lipoatrophy among HIV-positive patients.
Methods
A longitudinal study was conducted between 2005 and 2008 in France. Data from 4,112 treatment courses (n = 4,112 patients) and 15,665 injections sessions (1 to 5 injection sessions per treatment course) were gathered by 200 physicians trained in the use of PLLA.
Results
The average age of patients (88.3% males) treated for lipoatrophy was 47.1 ± 8.1 years (Mean ± SD); 91.2% of patients had been receiving ARV treatment for 10.9 (±4.2) years; CD4 T-cell count was 535 ± 266 cells/mm3. The duration of facial lipoatrophy was 5 ± 2.8 years and the severity was such that 47.3% of patients required five injection sessions of PLLA and 81.9% of the sessions required two vials of the preparation. The final visit, scheduled two months after the last injection session, was attended by 66.0% of patients (n = 2,713). 48 treatment courses (2.8%) were discontinued due to adverse events (AEs). The overall incidence of AEs per course was 18.8%. Immediate AEs, bleeding (3.4%), bruising (2.3%), pain (2.0%), redness at injection site (1.6%), and swelling of the face (0.7%), occurred in 15.4% of courses and 7.0% of sessions (usually during the first session). Non-immediate AEs, mainly nodules (5.7%), inflammation (0.7%), granuloma (0.3%), discolouration (0.2%), and skin hypertrophy (0.1%), occurred in 6.7% of courses. Non-immediate AEs occurred within a time ranging from 21 days (inflammation) to 101 days (granuloma) and all but three of the 13 cases of granuloma resolved. Product efficacy was rated satisfactory by 95% of the patients and physicians.
Conclusions
This study demonstrated, in real-life conditions and on a large sample, that PLLA injections were feasible, efficient, and safe when performed by trained physicians.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-474
PMCID: PMC4160543  PMID: 25178390
HIV; Lipoatrophy; Poly-L-lactic acid; PLLA; Safety
22.  The effect of hypocaloric diet enriched in legumes with or without L-arginine and selenium on anthropometric measures in central obese women 
BACKGROUND:
Identifying new ways to decrease adiposity will be very valuable for health. The aim of this study was to find out whether L-Arginine (Arg) and selenium alone or together can increase the effect of hypocaloric diet enriched in legumes (HDEL) on anthropometric measures in healthy obese women.
METHODS:
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was undertaken in 84 healthy premenopausal women with central obesity. After 2 weeks of run-in on an isocaloric diet, participants were randomly considered to eat HDEL, Arg (5 g/d) and HDEL, selenium (200 µg/d) and HDEL or Arg, selenium and HDEL for 6 weeks. The following variables were assessed before intervention and 3 and 6 weeks after it: weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist to hip ratio (WHR), body mass index (BMI), and fasting nitrite/nitrate (NOx) concentrations. Other variables (arm, thigh, calf and breast circumferences, subscapular, triceps, biceps and suprailiac skinfold thicknesses, sum of skinfold thicknesses (SSF), body density (D) and estimated percent of body fat (EPF)) were assessed before and after intervention.
RESULTS:
HDEL showed a significant effect in reduction of waist, hip, arm, thigh, calf and breast circumferences, triceps, biceps, subscapular and suprailiac skinfold thicknesses, WHR, SSF, D and EPF. HDEL + Arg + selenium significantly reduced suprailiac skinfold thicknesses; and there was no significant effect of HDEL, Arg, selenium and Arg plus selenium on weight, BMI and fasting NOx.
CONCLUSIONS:
The study indicates that HDEL + Arg + selenium reduce suprailiac skinfold thicknesses which represents the abdominal obesity reduction.
PMCID: PMC3082837  PMID: 21526106
Arginine; Selenium; Diet; Reducting; Fabaceae; Obesity; Abdominal
23.  Prevention of SIV Rectal Transmission and Priming of T Cell Responses in Macaques after Local Pre-exposure Application of Tenofovir Gel 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(8):e157.
Background
The rectum is particularly vulnerable to HIV transmission having only a single protective layer of columnar epithelium overlying tissue rich in activated lymphoid cells; thus, unprotected anal intercourse in both women and men carries a higher risk of infection than other sexual routes. In the absence of effective prophylactic vaccines, increasing attention is being given to the use of microbicides and preventative antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. To prevent mucosal transmission of HIV, a microbicide/ARV should ideally act locally at and near the virus portal of entry. As part of an integrated rectal microbicide development programme, we have evaluated rectal application of the nucleotide reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor tenofovir (PMPA, 9-[(R)-2-(phosphonomethoxy) propyl] adenine monohydrate), a drug licensed for therapeutic use, for protective efficacy against rectal challenge with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in a well-established and standardised macaque model.
Methods and Findings
A total of 20 purpose-bred Indian rhesus macaques were used to evaluate the protective efficacy of topical tenofovir. Nine animals received 1% tenofovir gel per rectum up to 2 h prior to virus challenge, four macaques received placebo gel, and four macaques remained untreated. In addition, three macaques were given tenofovir gel 2 h after virus challenge. Following intrarectal instillation of 20 median rectal infectious doses (MID50) of a noncloned, virulent stock of SIVmac251/32H, all animals were analysed for virus infection, by virus isolation from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), quantitative proviral DNA load in PBMC, plasma viral RNA (vRNA) load by sensitive quantitative competitive (qc) RT-PCR, and presence of SIV-specific serum antibodies by ELISA. We report here a significant protective effect (p = 0.003; Fisher exact probability test) wherein eight of nine macaques given tenofovir per rectum up to 2 h prior to virus challenge were protected from infection (n = 6) or had modified virus outcomes (n = 2), while all untreated macaques and three of four macaques given placebo gel were infected, as were two of three animals receiving tenofovir gel after challenge. Moreover, analysis of lymphoid tissues post mortem failed to reveal sequestration of SIV in the protected animals. We found a strong positive association between the concentration of tenofovir in the plasma 15 min after rectal application of gel and the degree of protection in the six animals challenged with virus at this time point. Moreover, colorectal explants from non-SIV challenged tenofovir-treated macaques were resistant to infection ex vivo, whereas no inhibition was seen in explants from the small intestine. Tissue-specific inhibition of infection was associated with the intracellular detection of tenofovir. Intriguingly, in the absence of seroconversion, Gag-specific gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-secreting T cells were detected in the blood of four of seven protected animals tested, with frequencies ranging from 144 spot forming cells (SFC)/106 PBMC to 261 spot forming cells (SFC)/106 PBMC.
Conclusions
These results indicate that colorectal pretreatment with ARV drugs, such as tenofovir, has potential as a clinically relevant strategy for the prevention of HIV transmission. We conclude that plasma tenofovir concentration measured 15 min after rectal administration may serve as a surrogate indicator of protective efficacy. This may prove to be useful in the design of clinical studies. Furthermore, in vitro intestinal explants served as a model for drug distribution in vivo and susceptibility to virus infection. The finding of T cell priming following exposure to virus in the absence of overt infection is provocative. Further studies would reveal if a combined modality microbicide and vaccination strategy is feasible by determining the full extent of local immune responses induced and their protective potential.
Martin Cranage and colleagues find that topical tenofovir gel can protect against rectal challenge with SIV in a macaque model, and can permit the induction of SIV-specific T cell responses.
Editors' Summary
Background.
About 33 million people are now infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS by killing immune system cells. As yet, there is no cure for AIDS, although HIV infections can be held in check with antiretroviral drugs. Also, despite years of research, there is no vaccine available that effectively protects people against HIV infection. So, to halt the AIDS epidemic, other ways of preventing the spread of HIV are being sought. For example, pre-exposure treatment (prophylaxis) with antiretroviral drugs is being investigated as a way to prevent HIV transmission. In addition, because HIV is often spread through heterosexual penile-to-vaginal sex with an infected partner, several vaginal microbicides (compounds that protect against HIV when applied inside the vagina) are being developed, some of which contain antiretroviral drugs.
Why Was This Study Done?
Because HIV can cross the membranes that line the mouth and the rectum (the lower end of the large intestine that connects to the anus) in addition to the membrane that lines the vagina, HIV transmission can also occur during oral and anal sex. The lining of the rectum in particular is extremely thin and overlies tissues rich in activated T cells (the immune system cells that HIV targets), so unprotected anal intercourse carries a high risk of HIV infection. Anal intercourse is common among men who have sex with men but is also more common in heterosexual populations than is generally thought. Tenofovir (an antiretroviral drug that counteracts HIV after it has entered human cells) given by mouth partly protects macaques against rectal infection with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV; a virus that induces AIDS in monkeys and apes) so the researchers wanted to know whether this drug might be effective against rectal SIV infection if applied at the site where the virus enters the body.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
To answer this question, the researchers rectally infected several macaques with SIV up to 2 h after rectal application of a gel containing tenofovir, after rectal application of a gel not containing the drug, or after no treatment. In addition, a few animals were treated with the tenofovir gel after the viral challenge. Most of the animals given the tenofovir gel before the viral challenge were partly or totally protected from SIV infection, whereas all the untreated animals and most of those treated with the placebo gel or with the drug-containing gel after the viral challenge became infected with SIV. High blood levels of tenofovir 15 min after its rectal application correlated with protection from viral infection. The researchers also collected rectal and small intestine samples from tenofovir-treated macaques that had not been exposed to SIV and asked which samples were resistant to SIV infection in laboratory dishes. They found that only the rectal samples were resistant to infection and only rectal cells contained tenofovir. Finally, activated T cells that recognized an SIV protein were present in the blood of some of the animals that were protected from SIV infection by the tenofovir gel.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings, although based on experiments in only a few animals, suggest that rectal treatment with antiretroviral drugs before rectal exposure to HIV might prevent rectal HIV transmission in people. However, results from animal experiments do not always reflect what happens in people. Indeed, clinical trials of a potential vaginal microbicide that worked well in macaques were halted recently because women using the microbicide had higher rates of HIV infection than those using a control preparation. The finding that immune-system activation can occur in the absence of overt infection in animals treated with the tenofovir gel additionally suggests that a combination of a local antiretroviral/microbicide and vaccination might be a particularly effective way to prevent HIV transmission. However, because HIV targets activated T cells, viral rechallenge experiments must be done to check that the activated T cells induced by the virus in the presence of tenofovir do not increase the likelihood of infection upon re-exposure to HIV before this potential microbicide is tried in people.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050157.
Read the accompanying PLoS Medicine Perspective by Florian Hladik
An overview of HIV infection and AIDS is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
HIVInSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including an article on safer sex, which includes information on the risks associated with specific types of sex and on microbicides and other methods to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV
Information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, including information on HIV prevention and on microbicides
The World Health Organization has a fact sheet on microbicides
The UK charity NAM also provides detailed information on microbicides
PrEP Watch is a comprehensive information source on pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention
Global Campaign for Microbicides is an international coalition of organisations dedicated to accelerating access to new HIV prevention options
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050157
PMCID: PMC2494562  PMID: 18684007
24.  Efficacy of Short-Course AZT Plus 3TC to Reduce Nevirapine Resistance in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission: A Randomized Clinical Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(10):e1000172.
Neil Martinson and colleagues report a randomized trial of adding short-course zidovudine+lamivudine to reduce drug resistance from single-dose nevirapine used to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Background
Single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP)—which prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV—selects non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) resistance mutations in the majority of women and HIV-infected infants receiving it. This open-label, randomised trial examined the efficacy of short-course zidovudine (AZT) and lamivudine (3TC) with sdNVP in reducing NNRTI resistance in mothers, and as a secondary objective, in infants, in a setting where sdNVP was standard-of-care.
Methods and Findings
sdNVP alone, administered at the onset of labour and to the infant, was compared to sdNVP with AZT plus 3TC, given as combivir (CBV) for 4 (NVP/CBV4) or 7 (NVP/CBV7) days, initiated simultaneously with sdNVP in labour; their newborns received the same regimens. Women were randomised 1∶1∶1. HIV-1 resistance was assessed by population sequencing at: baseline, 2, and 6 wk after birth. An unplanned interim analysis resulted in early stopping of the sdNVP arm. 406 pregnant women were randomised and took study medication (sdNVP 74, NVP/CBV4 164, and NVP/CBV7 168). HIV-1 resistance mutations emerged in 59.2%, 11.7%, and 7.3% of women in the sdNVP, NVP/CBV4, and NVP/CBV7 arms by 6 wk postpartum; differences between NVP-only and both NVP/CBV arms were significant (p<0.0001), but the difference between NVP/CBV4 and NVP/CBV7 was not (p = 0.27). Estimated efficacy comparing combined CBV arms with sdNVP was 85.6%. Similar resistance reductions were seen in infants who were HIV-infected by their 6-wk visit.
Conclusions
A short course of AZT plus 3TC, supplementing maternal and infant sdNVP, reduces emergent NNRTI resistance mutations in both mothers and their infants. However, this trial was not powered to detect small differences between the CBV arms.
Trial registration
www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT 00144183
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Currently, about 33 million people are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. HIV can be treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), commonly three individual antiretroviral drugs that together efficiently suppress the replication of the virus. HIV infection of a child by an HIV-positive mother during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding is called mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). In 2007, an estimated 420,000 children were newly infected with HIV, the majority through MTCT. Most of these mothers and children live in sub-Saharan Africa where child and maternal mortality rates are high and mortality in HIV-infected children is extremely high. MTCT is preventable and there is a global commitment, agreed at the UN General Assembly Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001, to reduce the proportion of infants infected with HIV by 50% by 2010.
Why Was This Study Done?
In many resource-limited settings, MTCT is prevented by giving a single dose of nevirapine (an antiretroviral drug which has a long duration in the body and protects the fetus during labor and delivery only) to HIV-infected women in labor and also to a baby within 72 hours of birth. However, nevirapine, a non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), which suppresses the replication of the virus, is associated with increased resistance of HIV, in mother and child, to NNRTI. This resistance reduces the effectiveness of future treatments of both mother and child with combination ART that includes an NNRTI; such regimens are the mainstay for long-term treatment of HIV in developing countries. The researchers investigated whether giving other antiretroviral drugs with nevirapine, during labor and delivery, to both mother and her newborn reduced the chances of them developing resistance to NNRTIs.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers selected 406 HIV-positive pregnant women for study across five sites in South Africa between February 2003 and May 2007. The women and their newborn babies were randomly assigned to receive, either (i) a single dose of nevirapine, (ii) a single dose of nevirapine plus combivir (zidovudine combined with lamivudine) for four days, or (iii) a single dose of nevirapine plus combivir for seven days. At two days, two weeks, and six weeks after delivery blood was collected from mothers and babies. HIV virus from blood samples was analyzed for resistance mutations, and mothers and children with resistance mutations were monitored for a further 96 weeks until no resistance was detected or combination ART (also called “HAART”) was started. Enrollment into the single-dose nevirapine arm was stopped early because a very high rate of NNRTI resistance mutations was found and other investigators reported long-term bad consequences of NNRTI-resistance on subsequent ART. The two nevirapine plus combivir arms were continued. The researchers found that selection of resistance mutations by single-dose nevirapine was reduced in mother and child by the addition of zidovudine and lamivudine for a short period; resistance mutations were found in 59.2% of women who got nevirapine only but only 11.7%, and 7.3% of women treated nevirapine plus four days combivir, and nevirapine plus seven days combivir respectively. A reduction was also seen in new NNRTI resistant mutations in the HIV-infected infants that received combivir. The study did not have enough women to show that there was a real difference between the resistance in the four-day and seven-day combivir regimens.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that a short-course treatment of zidovudine and lamivudine in addition to a single dose of nevirapine during labor and birth reduces the selection of NNRTI resistance mutations in both mother and child. The drug regimens appeared safe, and easy to provide and adhere to. Preliminary results from this study contributed to a change in clinical practice for the care of pregnant women with HIV; in 2004 the World Health Organisation guidelines introduced a short course of combivir with nevirapine for the management of pregnant HIV-infected women. However, the study had some limitations. It used HIV-positive women who were mainly infected with a subtype of HIV called HIV-1 clade C and who had a lot of virus in their blood. NNRTI resistance after treatment with nevirapine is more common in clade C than in others and this study does not address the effect of these combinations for preventing NNRTI resistance in other HIV subtypes. Also, World Health Organization, national, and international guidelines recommend combination ART during pregnancy, as it decreases HIV transmission from mother to child in the uterus to <2% in resource-limited settings. Although long-term combination treatment may not be available in all locations, this study does not tell us how the short-term combinations during and after delivery tested would compare to longer-term combinations given to pregnant women in reducing both HIV transmission and HIV drug resistance.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000172.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Lehman et al.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information for HIV treatment and prevention
MedlinePlus provides extensive information on symptoms and treatment for HIV/AIDS as well as access to related clinical trials and medical literature
aidsmap, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization provides information on HIV and supporting those living with HIV
The World Health Organization gives information on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000172
PMCID: PMC2760761  PMID: 19859531
25.  Adiposity and Sex Hormones in Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Survivors 
Purpose
Overweight and obese women with breast cancer have poorer survival compared with thinner women. One possible mechanism is that breast cancer survivors with higher degrees of adiposity have higher concentrations of tumor-promoting hormones. This study examined the association between adiposity and concentrations of estrogens, androgens, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in a population-based sample of postmenopausal women with breast cancer.
Methods
We studied the associations between body mass index (BMI), body fat mass and percent body fat measured by DXA scan, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip circumference ratio with concentrations of estrone, estradiol, testosterone, SHBG, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), free estradiol, and free testosterone in 505 Western Washington and New Mexico postmenopausal women with incident Stage 0-IIIa breast cancer. Blood and adiposity measurements were done between 4–12 months post-diagnosis.
Results
Obese women (BMI ≥ 30) had 35% higher concentrations of estrone and 130% higher concentrations of estradiol, compared with lighter women (BMI < 22.0) (p trend, 0.005 and 0.002, respectively). Similar associations were observed for body fat mass, percent body fat and waist circumference. Testosterone concentrations also increased with increasing levels of adiposity (p trend, 0.0001). Concentrations of free estradiol and free testosterone were doubled to tripled in overweight and obese women compared with lighter-weight women (p trend=0.0001).
Conclusions
These data provide information about potential hormonal explanations for the association between adiposity and breast cancer prognosis. These sex hormones may be useful biomarkers for weight loss intervention studies in women with breast cancer.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2003.07.057
PMCID: PMC2996263  PMID: 12743149
Breast cancer; obesity; estrogen; testosterone; sex steroid hormones

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