PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (1323997)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  HIV: primary and secondary prophylaxis for opportunistic infections 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:0908.
Introduction
Opportunistic infections can occur in up to 40% of people with HIV infection and a CD4 count less than 250/mm3, although the risks are much lower with use of highly active antiretroviral treatment.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of prophylaxis for Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) and toxoplasmosis? What are the effects of antituberculosis prophylaxis in people with HIV infection? What are the effects of prophylaxis for disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease for people with, and without, previous MAC disease? What are the effects of prophylaxis for cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), and varicella zoster virus (VZV)? What are the effects of prophylaxis for invasive fungal disease in people with, and without, previous fungal disease? What are the effects of discontinuing prophylaxis against opportunistic pathogens in people on highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART)? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to March 2008 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 43 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: aciclovir; antituberculosis prophylaxis; atovaquone; azithromycin (alone or plus rifabutin); clarithromycin (alone, or plus rifabutin and ethambutol); discontinuing prophylaxis for CMV, MAC, and PCP; ethambutol added to clarithromycin; famciclovir; fluconazole; isoniazid; itraconazole; oral ganciclovir; rifabutin (alone or plus macrolides); trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole; and valaciclovir.
Key Points
Opportunistic infections can occur in up to 40% of people with HIV infection and a CD4 count less than 250/mm3, although the risks are much lower with use of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART). HAART has reduced the rate of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), toxoplasmosis, and other opportunistic infections, so the absolute benefits of prophylactic regimens for opportunistic infections are probably smaller in people with HIV who are also taking HAART, and even smaller for those whose HIV is suppressed.
Primary prophylaxis with trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole may reduce the risk of PCP, and has been found to be more effective than pentamidine or dapsone. Atovaquone may prevent PCP in people who cannot tolerate trimethoprim−sulfamethoxazole.We don't know whether these drugs prevent toxoplasmosis as we found few RCTs, but there is consensus that standard trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole prophylaxis or dapsone should offer adequate coverage for toxoplasmosis.
Tuberculosis can be prevented by standard primary prophylaxis in people who are tuberculin skin test positive. Short-term combination treatment has similar efficacy to long-term isoniazid monotherapy, but is associated with a greater risk of adverse effects.
Azithromycin or clarithromycin reduce the risk of disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease as primary prophylaxis for people without prior MAC disease. Adding rifabutin may also be beneficial in this population, but is also associated with an increased risk of adverse effects. There is consensus that secondary prophylaxis with clarithromycin plus ethambutol decreases the risk of relapse in people with previous MAC disease. It remains unclear whether adding rifabutin to the dual drug regimen confers additional benefit as secondary prophylaxis, and the three-drug combination increases adverse effects.
Aciclovir as secondary prophylaxis reduces the risk of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella zoster virus infection (VZV) and all-cause mortality. Valaciclovir may reduce the risk of recurrent HSV infection, but it may be associated with serious adverse effects.There is consensus that famciclovir is effective as secondary prophylaxis against HSV or VZV and that ganciclovir is effective as secondary prophylaxis against CMV, HSV, or VZV.
Fluconazole and itraconazole as primary prophylaxis may reduce the risk of invasive fungal infections, but azoles have been associated with potentially serious interactions with other drugs. As secondary prophylaxis, itraconazole seems effective in reducing relapse of Penicillium marneffei, but seems less effective than fluconazole at reducing recurrence of cryptococcal meningitis.
In people who have responded to HAART and have a CD4 cell count greater than 100/mm3 to 200/mm3 (depending on the condition), discontinuation of primary or secondary prophylactic treatment for PCP, toxoplasmosis, MAC, herpes virus, or invasive fungal disease infection seems safe.
PMCID: PMC3217757  PMID: 21418688
2.  Failure to prescribe pneumocystis prophylaxis is associated with increased mortality, even in the cART era: results from the Treat Asia HIV observational database 
Background
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis is recommended for patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3. This study examines the proportion of patients in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD) receiving PCP prophylaxis, and its effect on PCP and mortality.
Methods
TAHOD patients with prospective follow up had data extracted for prophylaxis using co-trimoxazole, dapsone or pentamidine. The proportion of patients on prophylaxis was calculated for each calendar year since 2003 among patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3. The effect of prophylaxis on PCP and survival were assessed using random-effect Poisson regression models.
Results
There were a total of 4050 patients on prospective follow up, and 90% of them were receiving combination antiretroviral therapy. Of those with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3, 58% to 72% in any given year received PCP prophylaxis, predominantly co-trimoxazole. During follow up, 62 patients developed PCP (0.5 per 100 person-years) and 169 died from all causes (1.36/100 person-years). After stratifying by site and adjusting for age, CD4 count, CDC stage and antiretroviral treatment, those without prophylaxis had no higher risk of PCP, but had a significantly higher risk of death (incident rate ratio 10.8, p < 0.001). PCP prophylaxis had greatest absolute benefit in patients with CD4 counts of less than 50 cells/mm3, lowering mortality rates from 33.5 to 6.3 per 100 person-years.
Conclusions
Approximately two-thirds of TAHOD patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3 received PCP prophylaxis. Patients without prophylaxis had significantly higher mortality, even in the era of combination ART. Although PCP may be under-diagnosed, these data suggest that prophylaxis is associated with important survival benefits.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-15-1
PMCID: PMC3354658  PMID: 22281054
3.  Discontinuation of Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia Prophylaxis with CD4 Count <200 Cells/µL and Virologic Suppression: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28570.
Background
HIV viral load (VL) is currently not part of the criteria for Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis discontinuation, but suppression of plasma viremia with antiretroviral therapy may allow for discontinuation of PCP prophylaxis even with CD4 count <200 cells/µL.
Methods
A systematic review was performed to determine the incidence of PCP in HIV-infected individuals with CD4 count <200 cells/µL and fully suppressed VL on antiretroviral therapy but not receiving PCP prophylaxis.
Results
Four articles examined individuals who discontinued PCP prophylaxis with CD4 count <200 cells/µL in the context of fully suppressed VL on antiretroviral therapy. The overall incidence of PCP was 0.48 cases per 100 person-years (PY) (95% confidence interval (CI) (0.06–0.89). This was lower than the incidence of PCP in untreated HIV infection (5.30 cases/100 PY, 95% CI 4.1–6.8) and lower than the incidence in persons with CD4 count <200 cells/µL, before the availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), who continued prophylaxis (4.85/100 PY, 95% CI 0.92–8.78). In one study in which individuals were stratified according to CD4 count <200 cells/µL, there was a greater risk of PCP with CD4 count ≤100 cells/µL compared to 101–200 cells/µL.
Conclusion
Primary PCP prophylaxis may be safely discontinued in HIV-infected individuals with CD4 count between 101–200 cells/µL provided the VL is fully suppressed on antiretroviral therapy. However, there are inadequate data available to make this recommendation when the CD4 count is ≤100 cells/µL. A revision of guidelines on primary PCP prophylaxis to include consideration of the VL is merited.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028570
PMCID: PMC3241626  PMID: 22194853
4.  Pneumocystis pneumonia in South African children diagnosed by molecular methods 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:26.
Background
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is an important cause of hospitalization and mortality in HIV-infected children. However, the incidence of PCP has been underestimated due to poor sensitivity of diagnostic tests. The use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for pneumocystis has enabled more reliable diagnosis. This study describes the incidence, clinical features and outcome of PCP in South African children diagnosed using PCR.
Methods
A prospective study of children hospitalised in South Africa with suspected PCP was done from November 2006 to August 2008. Clinical, laboratory and radiological information were collected. Lower respiratory tract specimens were obtained for PCP immunofluorescence (IF), real- time PCR for pneumocystis, bacterial and mycobacterial culture. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were taken for immunofluorescence (IF), real-time PCR for pneumocystis and PCR for respiratory viruses. A blood specimen for bacterial culture and for cytomegalovirus PCR was taken. Children were followed for the duration of their hospitalisation and the outcome was recorded.
Results
202 children [median (interquartile range, IQR) age 3.2 (2.1– 4.6) months] were enrolled; 124 (61.4%) were HIV infected. PCP was identified in 109 (54%) children using PCR, compared to 43 (21%) using IF and Grocott staining (p < 0.0001). Most PCP cases (88, 81%) occurred in HIV-infected children. All 21 cases (19%) occurring in HIV- negative children had another risk factor for PCP. On logistic regression, predictive factors for PCP were HIV infection, lack of fever, high respiratory rate and low oxygen saturation whilst cotrimoxazole prophylaxis was protective (OR 0.24; 95% CI 0.1 to 0.5; p < 0.002). The case fatality of children with PCP was higher than those without PCP (32.1% versus 17.2%; relative risk 1.87; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11 – 3.15). Amongst HIV-infected children, a CD4 less than 15% was the only independent predictor of mortality.
Conclusions
The diagnostic yield for PCP is more than 2.5 times higher on PCR than other detection methods. PCP is a very common cause of severe hypoxic pneumonia and is associated with high mortality in HIV-infected African infants.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-26
PMCID: PMC3892044  PMID: 24410938
Pneumocystis pneumonia; HIV; Children; Prophylaxis; PCR; Diagnosis; Incidence
5.  Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections Among HIV-Exposed and HIV-Infected Children: Recommendations from CDC, the National Institutes of Health, the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics 
Summary
This report updates and combines into one document earlier versions of guidelines for preventing and treating opportunistic infections (OIs) among HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children, last published in 2002 and 2004, respectively. These guidelines are intended for use by clinicians and other health-care workers providing medical care for HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children in the United States. The guidelines discuss opportunistic pathogens that occur in the United States and one that might be acquired during international travel (i.e., malaria). Topic areas covered for each OI include a brief description of the epidemiology, clinical presentation, and diagnosis of the OI in children; prevention of exposure; prevention of disease by chemoprophylaxis and/or vaccination; discontinuation of primary prophylaxis after immune reconstitution; treatment of disease; monitoring for adverse effects during treatment; management of treatment failure; prevention of disease recurrence; and discontinuation of secondary prophylaxis after immune reconstitution. A separate document about preventing and treating of OIs among HIV-infected adults and postpubertal adolescents (Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents) was prepared by a working group of adult HIV and infectious disease specialists.
The guidelines were developed by a panel of specialists in pediatric HIV infection and infectious diseases (the Pediatric Opportunistic Infections Working Group) from the U.S. government and academic institutions. For each OI, a pediatric specialist with content-matter expertise reviewed the literature for new information since the last guidelines were published; they then proposed revised recommendations at a meeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in June 2007. After these presentations and discussions, the guidelines underwent further revision, with review and approval by the Working Group, and final endorsement by NIH, CDC, the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (PIDS), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The recommendations are rated by a letter that indicates the strength of the recommendation and a Roman numeral that indicates the quality of the evidence supporting the recommendation so readers can ascertain how best to apply the recommendations in their practice environments.
An important mode of acquisition of OIs, as well as HIV infection among children, is from their infected mother; HIV-infected women coinfected with opportunistic pathogens might be more likely than women without HIV infection to transmit these infections to their infants. In addition, HIV-infected women or HIV-infected family members coinfected with certain opportunistic pathogens might be more likely to transmit these infections horizontally to their children, resulting in increased likelihood of primary acquisition of such infections in the young child. Therefore, infections with opportunistic pathogens might affect not just HIV-infected infants but also HIV-exposed but uninfected infants who become infected by the pathogen because of transmission from HIV-infected mothers or family members with coinfections. These guidelines for treating OIs in children therefore consider treatment of infections among all children, both HIV-infected and uninfected, born to HIV-infected women.
Additionally, HIV infection is increasingly seen among adolescents with perinatal infection now surviving into their teens and among youth with behaviorally acquired HIV infection. Although guidelines for postpubertal adolescents can be found in the adult OI guidelines, drug pharmacokinetics and response to treatment may differ for younger prepubertal or pubertal adolescents. Therefore, these guidelines also apply to treatment of HIV-infected youth who have not yet completed pubertal development.
Major changes in the guidelines include 1) greater emphasis on the importance of antiretroviral therapy for preventing and treating OIs, especially those OIs for which no specific therapy exists; 2) information about the diagnosis and management of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndromes; 3) information about managing antiretroviral therapy in children with OIs, including potential drug--drug interactions; 4) new guidance on diagnosing of HIV infection and presumptively excluding HIV infection in infants that affect the need for initiation of prophylaxis to prevent Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) in neonates; 5) updated immunization recommendations for HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children, including hepatitis A, human papillomavirus, meningococcal, and rotavirus vaccines; 6) addition of sections on aspergillosis; bartonella; human herpes virus-6, −7, and −8; malaria; and progressive multifocal leukodystrophy (PML); and 7) new recommendations on discontinuation of OI prophylaxis after immune reconstitution in children. The report includes six tables pertinent to preventing and treating OIs in children and two figures describing immunization recommendations for children aged 0--6 years and 7--18 years.
Because treatment of OIs is an evolving science, and availability of new agents or clinical data on existing agents might change therapeutic options and preferences, these recommendations will be periodically updated and will be available at http://AIDSInfo.nih.gov.
PMCID: PMC2821196  PMID: 19730409
6.  Pneumocystis Pneumonia in Hospitalized Patients; A Detailed Examination of Symptoms, Management, and Outcomes in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected Persons 
Background
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia is a life-threatening infection for immunocompromised individuals. There are robust data and clear guidelines for prophylaxis and treatment of HIV-related Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (HIV-PCP), yet few data and no guidelines for non-HIV related Pneumocystis pneumonia (NH-PCP). We postulated that prevention and inpatient management of HIV-PCP differed from NH-PCP.
Methods
We performed a retrospective case review of all pathologically confirmed cases of PCP seen at the University of Alabama Medical Center from 1996 to 2008. Data on clinical presentation, hospital course, and outcome were collected using a standardized data collection instrument. Bivariate analysis compared prophylaxis, adjunctive corticosteroids, and clinical outcomes between patients with HIV-PCP and NH-PCP.
Results
Our analysis of the cohort included 97 cases of PCP; 65 HIV and 32 non-HIV cases. Non-HIV cases rarely received primary prophylaxis (4% vs. 38%, p=0.01) and received appropriate antibiotics later in the course of hospitalization (5.2 vs 1.1 days, P<0.005). Among transplant patients, NH-PCP was diagnosed a mean of 1,066 days after transplantation and most patients were on low-dose corticosteroids (87%) at the time of disease onset. No significant differences in adjunctive corticosteroid use (69% vs. 77%, p=0.39) and 90-day mortality (41% vs. 28%, p=0.20) were detected.
Conclusions
Patients who have undergone organ or stem cell transplant remain at risk for PCP for many years after transplantation. In our cohort, patients who developed NH-PCP were rarely given prophylaxis and initiation of appropriate antibiotics was significantly delayed compared to cases of HIV-PCP. Medical providers should be aware of the ongoing risk for NH-PCP, even late after transplantation, and consider more aggressive approaches to both prophylaxis and earlier empiric therapy for PCP.
doi:10.1111/j.1399-3062.2012.00739.x
PMCID: PMC3889465  PMID: 22548840
Pneumocystis Pneumonia; Transplant; Infectious Complications
7.  Patient-Centered Research Abstracts 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2000;15(Suppl 2):6-7.
PURPOSE
AIDS continues to devastate urban communities, particularly among marginally-housed, ethnic minority, and drug-using populations. This study (1) describes access to comprehensive medical care, quality of HIV-related care, and attitudes regarding health among HIV-infected residents of single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels and (2) explores predictors of the use of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis and highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
METHODS
We conducted a cross-sectional, community-based study of 69 Bronx SRO hotel residents during May 1998. Utilizing door-to-door recruitment, we administered a 41-item, anonymous questionnaire to assess participants' demographic characteristics, level of illness and health care utilization, use of HIV-related therapies, and perceptions of their own health and medical care.
RESULTS
Of respondents, 65% identified as African-American or Black, 22% as Puerto Rican, and 13% as White or Other. The median age was 42; 68% were male, and 38% were high school graduates. Most individuals were marginally-housed (median stay = 9 months). Almost all participants (96%) paid for medical services via Medicaid. Of the 93% with HIV infection, 44% had been hospitalized at least once in the past year, 72% reported a history of AIDS-defining opportunistic infections, and the median CD4 count was 214. Over two-thirds were actively using drugs and/or alcohol.
Among HIV-infected residents, 81% had seen a doctor in the last three months. However, only 67% felt they had a "regular" physician, and 48% felt their access to medical care was average to very poor. Among eligible HIV-infected persons, only 39% had taken HAART and 73% had taken PCP prophylaxis in the last week. Predictors for the use of HAART included absence of active cocaine and/or crack use (RR = 3.91; 95% CI 1.03–14.8; p < .03), use of PCP prophylaxis (RR = 5.69; 95% CI .85–38.1; p < .03) and the belief that HAART "can help people with AIDS" (RR = 1.75; 95% CI 1.28–2.44; p < .03). HAART use did not correlate with site or frequency of medical care or active alcohol or heroin use. Individuals with regular doctors were less likely to have visited an emergency room in the past 3 months (RR = .41; 95% CI .22–.76; p < .02) and more likely to be taking PCP prophylaxis (RR = 2.68; 95% CI 1.19–6.02; p < .008).
CONCLUSION
Despite relatively advanced disease in this population of marginally-housed HIV-infected persons, significant proportions do not have a regular primary care provider, are not taking HAART, and report sub-optimal quality of and access to medical care. Active cocaine and/or crack use correlate with a lesser use of HAART.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2000.15200-26.x
PMCID: PMC1495737
8.  Survival and treatment of AIDS patients 1984-1993: experience of a smaller east London HIV centre. 
Genitourinary Medicine  1997;73(1):44-48.
OBJECTIVE: To assess changes in survival from diagnosis of AIDS for patients managed in a small East London HIV clinic and the impact of therapeutic interventions on these survival patterns. DESIGN: Prospective observational study. SETTING: Grahame Hayton Unit, Royal London Hospital. SUBJECTS: 156 AIDS patients managed between 1984 and 1993. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Survival from diagnosis of AIDS. RESULTS: Median survival for those diagnosed with AIDS before 1 January 1987 was 9.4 months compared with 27.2 months after 1 January 1987 (logrank chi 2 = 10.3, p = 0.001): CD4 count at time of AIDS and treatment with zidovudine or PCP prophylaxis were significantly associated with survival from time of AIDS. Of the 156 AIDS patients, 93 had been treated with zidovudine sometime during their follow up, 60 had received primary and 50 secondary Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis. After controlling for gender, sexual orientation, age at time of AIDS, CD4 count at time of AIDS, diagnosis when first presenting to the clinic (AIDS/non-AIDS) and year of AIDS diagnosis, all patients who received either zidovudine or PCP prophylaxis had significant reductions in the risk of dying compared with those who received neither PCP prophylaxis nor zidovudine: a reduction in risk of dying between 71% (95% CI 40% to 86%) and 83% (95% CI 50% to 94%) was observed depending on the combination of zidovudine and PCP prophylaxis. CONCLUSION: A debate is currently taking place about the format and value of HIV service provision with increasing numbers of HIV infected individuals managed at smaller HIV clinics. Larger clinics concentrate clinical expertise on a single site and facilitate clinical trials. Smaller well run HIV units staffed by competent health professionals not only provide clinical outcomes similar to those obtained in the larger centres, but may also allow a more informal and intimate setting for HIV infected individuals who want to be treated nearer their area of residence.
PMCID: PMC1195759  PMID: 9155555
9.  Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in Tropical and Low and Middle Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e69969.
Objective
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), the commonest opportunistic infection in HIV-infected patients in the developed world, is less commonly described in tropical and low and middle income countries (LMIC). We sought to investigate predictors of PCP in these settings.
Design
Systematic review and meta-regression.
Methods
Meta-regression of predictors of PCP diagnosis (33 studies). Qualitative and quantitative assessment of recorded CD4 counts, receipt of prophylaxis and antiretrovirals, sensitivity and specificity of clinical signs and symptoms for PCP, co-infection with other pathogens, and case fatality (117 studies).
Results
The most significant predictor of PCP was per capita Gross Domestic Product, which showed strong linear association with odds of PCP diagnosis (p<0.0001). This was not explained by study design or diagnostic quality. Geographical area, population age, study setting and year of study also contributed to risk of PCP. Co-infection was common (444 episodes/1425 PCP cases), frequently with virulent organisms. The predictive value of symptoms, signs or simple tests in LMIC settings for diagnosis of PCP was poor. Case fatality was >30%; treatment was largely appropriate. Prophylaxis appeared to reduce the risk for development of PCP, however 24% of children with PCP were receiving prophylaxis. CD4 counts at presentation with PCP were usually <200×103/ml.
Conclusions
There is a positive relationship between GDP and risk of PCP diagnosis. Although failure to diagnose infection in poorer countries may contribute to this, we also hypothesise that poverty exposes at-risk patients to a wide range of infections and that the relatively non-pathogenic P. jirovecii is therefore under-represented. As LMIC develop economically they eliminate the conditions underlying transmission of virulent infection: P. jirovecii, ubiquitous in all settings, then becomes a greater relative threat.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069969
PMCID: PMC3732248  PMID: 23936365
10.  Nonadherence to Primary Prophylaxis against Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(3):e5002.
Background
Despite the effectiveness of prophylaxis, Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) continues to be the most common serious opportunistic infection among HIV-infected persons. We describe factors associated with nonadherence to primary PCP prophylaxis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We used 2000–2004 data from the Supplement to HIV/AIDS Surveillance (SHAS) project, a cross-sectional interview project of HIV-infected persons ≥18 years conducted in 18 states. We limited the analysis to persons who denied having prior PCP, reported having a current prescription to prevent PCP, and answered the question “In the past 30 days, how often were you able to take the PCP medication(s) exactly the way your doctor told you to take them?” We used multivariable logistic regression to describe factors associated with nonadherence. Of 1,666 subjects prescribed PCP prophylaxis, 305 (18.3%) were nonadherent. Persons were more likely to be nonadherent if they reported using marijuana (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1–2.4), non-injection drugs other than marijuana (aOR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.0–2.1), or injection drugs (aOR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.3–4.1) in the past year; their mental health was “not good” for ≥1 day during the past month (aOR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.2–2.2); their most recent CD4 count was <200 cells/μL (aOR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1–2.2); or taking ART usually (aOR = 9.6, 95% CI = 6.7–13.7) or sometimes/rarely/never (aOR = 18.4, 95% CI = 11.1–30.4), compared with always, as prescribed.
Conclusion/Significance
Providers should inquire about and promote strategies to improve adherence to PCP prophylaxis, particularly among persons who use illicit drugs, have mental health issues, and who are not compliant with ART to reduce the occurrence of PCP.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005002
PMCID: PMC2656642  PMID: 19319199
11.  Optimal Uses of Antiretrovirals for Prevention in HIV-1 Serodiscordant Heterosexual Couples in South Africa: A Modelling Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(11):e1001123.
Hallett et al use a mathematical model to examine the long-term impact and cost-effectiveness of different pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) strategies for HIV prevention in serodiscordant couples.
Background
Antiretrovirals have substantial promise for HIV-1 prevention, either as antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV-1–infected persons to reduce infectiousness, or as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV-1–uninfected persons to reduce the possibility of infection with HIV-1. HIV-1 serodiscordant couples in long-term partnerships (one member is infected and the other is uninfected) are a priority for prevention interventions. Earlier ART and PrEP might both reduce HIV-1 transmission in this group, but the merits and synergies of these different approaches have not been analyzed.
Methods and Findings
We constructed a mathematical model to examine the impact and cost-effectiveness of different strategies, including earlier initiation of ART and/or PrEP, for HIV-1 prevention for serodiscordant couples. Although the cost of PrEP is high, the cost per infection averted is significantly offset by future savings in lifelong treatment, especially among couples with multiple partners, low condom use, and a high risk of transmission. In some situations, highly effective PrEP could be cost-saving overall. To keep couples alive and without a new infection, providing PrEP to the uninfected partner could be at least as cost-effective as initiating ART earlier in the infected partner, if the annual cost of PrEP is <40% of the annual cost of ART and PrEP is >70% effective.
Conclusions
Strategic use of PrEP and ART could substantially and cost-effectively reduce HIV-1 transmission in HIV-1 serodiscordant couples. New and forthcoming data on the efficacy of PrEP, the cost of delivery of ART and PrEP, and couples behaviours and preferences will be critical for optimizing the use of antiretrovirals for HIV-1 prevention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, about 2.5 million people become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is usually transmitted through unprotected sex with an HIV-infected partner. It destroys immune system cells (including CD4 cells, a type of lymphocyte), leaving infected individuals susceptible to other infections. There is no cure for AIDS, although HIV can be held in check with antiretroviral therapy (ART), and there is no vaccine that protects against HIV infection. So, to halt the AIDS epidemic, other ways of preventing the spread of HIV are needed. Antiretroviral drugs could potentially be used in two ways to reduce HIV transmission. First, ART could be given to HIV-infected people before they need it for their own health to reduce their infectiousness; the World Health Organization currently recommends that HIV-positive people initiate ART when their CD4 count drops below 350 cells/µl blood but in many African countries ART is only initiated when CD4 counts fall below 200 cells/µl. Second, ART could be given to HIV-uninfected people to reduce acquisition of the virus. This approach—preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—has provided protection against HIV transmission in some but not all clinical trials.
Why Was This Study Done?
Couples in long-term relationships where one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative (HIV serodiscordant couples) are a priority group for prevention interventions. In sub-Saharan Africa, where most new HIV infections occur, 10%–20% of stable partnerships are serodiscordant and condom use is often low, not least because such couples may want children. Earlier ART or PrEP might reduce HIV transmission in this group but the merits of different approaches have not been analyzed. In this study, the researchers use a mathematical model to examine the long-term impact and cost-effectiveness of different PrEP and ART strategies for HIV prevention in serodiscordant couples.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers constructed a model to simulate HIV infection and disease progression among hypothetical HIV serodiscordant stable heterosexual couples. The model incorporated data from South Africa on couple characteristics, disease progression, ART use, pregnancies, frequency of sex, and contact with other sexual partners, as well as estimates of the effectiveness of PrEP from clinical trials. The researchers used the model to compare the impact on HIV transmission, survival and quality of life, and the cost-effectiveness of no PrEP with four PrEP strategies—always use PrEP after diagnosis of HIV serodiscordancy, use PrEP up to and for a year after ART initiation by the HIV-infected partner (at a CD4 count of ≤200 cells/µl or ≤350 cells/µl), use PrEP only up to ART initiation by the infected partner, and use PrEP only while trying for a baby and during pregnancy. The model predicts, for example, that the cost per infection averted of PrEP used before ART initiation will be offset by future savings in lifelong treatment, particularly among couples with multiple partners, low condom use, and a high risk of transmission. To keep couples alive without the HIV-uninfected partner becoming infected, it could be more cost-effective to provide PrEP to the uninfected partner than to initiate ART earlier in the infected partner, provided the annual cost of PrEP is less than 40% of the annual cost of ART and PrEP is more than 70% effective. Finally, if PREP is 30%–60% effective, the most cost-effective strategy for couples could be to use PrEP in the uninfected partner prior to ART initiation in the infected partner at a CD4 count ≤350 cells/µl.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the strategic use of PrEP and ART could cost-effectively reduce HIV transmission in HIV serodiscordant stable heterosexual couples in sub-Saharan Africa. The accuracy of these findings depends on the assumptions included in the mathematical model and on the data fed into it. In particular, the interpretation of these results is complicated by uncertainties in the likely cost of PrEP and the “real-world” effectiveness of PrEP. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that PrEP may become a valuable addition in some settings to existing approaches for HIV prevention such as condom promotion and male circumcision programs. Moreover, additional simulations with this mathematical model using more accurate information on the costs and effectiveness of PrEP could assist in future policy making decisions.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001123.
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, summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment, and a section on PrEP
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on all aspects of HIV prevention, and on HIV/AIDS in Africa (in English and Spanish)
AVAC Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention provides up-to-date information on all aspects of HIV prevention, including PrEP
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information on PrEP
WHO provides information about antiretroviral therapy
Patient stories about living with HIV/AIDS are available through Avert and through the charity website Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001123
PMCID: PMC3217021  PMID: 22110407
12.  HIV: prevention of opportunistic infections 
Clinical Evidence  2006;2006:0908.
Introduction
Opportunistic infections can occur in up to 40% of people with HIV infection and a CD4 count less than 250/mm3, although the risks are much lower with use of highly active antiretroviral treatment.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of prophylaxis for P carinii pneumonia (PCP) and toxoplasmosis? What are the effects of antituberculosis prophylaxis in people with HIV infection? What are the effects of prophylaxis for disseminated M avium complex (MAC) disease for people with, and without, previous MAC disease? What are the effects of prophylaxis for cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), and varicella zoster virus (VZV)? What are the effects of prophylaxis for invasive fungal disease in people with, and without, previous fungal disease? What are the effects of discontinuing prophylaxis against opportunistic pathogens in people on highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART)? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to December 2004 (BMJ Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 61 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acyclovir; antituberculosis prophylaxis; atovaquone; azithromycin (alone or plus rifabutin); clarithromycin (alone, or plus rifabutin and ethambutol, or plus clofazimine); clofazimine plus ethambutol; discontinuing prophylaxis for CMV, MAC, and PCP; ethambutol added to clarithromycin plus clofazimine; famciclovir; fluconazole; isoniazid; itraconazole; oral ganciclovir; rifabutin (alone or plus macrolides); trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole; and valaciclovir.
Key Points
Opportunistic infections can occur in up to 40% of people with HIV infection and a CD4 count < 250/mm3, although the risks are much lower with use of highly active antiretroviral treatment.
Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or azithromycin may reduce the risk of PCP, but have not been shown to reduce toxoplasmosis infection. Atovaquone may prevent PCP and toxoplasmosis in people who cannot take trimethoprim−sulfamethoxazole, although we don't know this for sure.
Tuberculosis can be prevented by standard prophylaxis in people who are tuberculin skin test positive, but not in those who are tuberculin skin test negative. Short-term combination treatment has similar efficacy to long-term isoniazid monotherapy, but has greater risk of adverse effects.
Azithromycin or clarithromycin may reduce the risk of disseminated Microbacterium avium complex (MAC) disease in people without prior MAC disease. Adding rifabutin may reduce the risk of MAC disease, while adding ethambutol decreases the risk of relapse, compared with other antibiotic regimens.Combination treatment with clarithromycin plus clofazimine may increase mortality and is usually avoided.
Aciclovir reduces the risk of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella zoster virus infection and overall mortality, but has not been shown to reduce cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. Valaciclovir and ganciclovir may reduce the risk of CMV infection, but may be associated with serious adverse effects.
Fluconazole and itraconazole may reduce the risk of invasive fungal infections or their relapse, but can cause serious adverse effects.
In people with a CD4 cell count above 100−200/mm3, discontinuation of prophylactic treatment may not increase the risk of PCP, toxoplasmosis or MAC infection.
PMCID: PMC2907634
13.  Clinic HIV-Focused Features and Prevention of Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia 
OBJECTIVE
To examine the association of clinic HIV-focused features and advanced HIV care experience with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis and development of PCP as the initial AIDS diagnosis.
DESIGN
Nonconcurrent prospective study.
SETTING
New York State Medicaid Program.
PARTICIPANTS
Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with AIDS in 1990–1992.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
We collected patient clinical and health care data from Medicaid files, conducted telephone interviews of directors of 125 clinics serving as the usual source of care for study patients, and measured AIDS experience as the cumulative number of AIDS patients treated by the study clinics since 1986. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia prophylaxis in the 6 months before AIDS diagnosis and PCP at AIDS diagnosis were the main outcome measures. Bivariate and multivariate analyses adjusted for clustering of patients within clinics. Of 1,876 HIV-infected persons, 44% had PCP prophylaxis and 38% had primary PCP. Persons on prophylaxis had 20% lower adjusted odds of developing PCP (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.64, 0.99). The adjusted odds of receiving prophylaxis rose monotonically with the number of HIV-focused features offered by the clinic, with threefold higher odds (95% CI 1.6, 5.7) for six versus two or fewer such features. Patients in clinics with three HIV-focused features had 36% lower adjusted odds of PCP than those in clinics with one or none. Neither clinic experience nor specialty had a significant association with prophylaxis or PCP.
CONCLUSIONS
PCP prevention in our study cohort appears to be more successful in clinics offering an array of HIV-focused features.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.1998.00003.x
PMCID: PMC1496898  PMID: 9462490
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP); AIDS; clinical competence; ambulatory care; case management
14.  Intravenous Pentamidine Is Effective as Second Line Pneumocystis Pneumonia Prophylaxis in Pediatric Oncology Patients 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2008;50(4):779-783.
Background
Pneumocystis jirovecii, formerly carinii, pneumonia (PCP) poses a life-threatening risk to oncology patients. The use of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) prophylaxis virtually eliminates the risk of infection; however, many patients cannot tolerate TMP-SMZ. We performed a retrospective analysis to determine the PCP breakthrough rate in pediatric oncology patients receiving intravenous pentamidine as second line PCP prophylaxis.
Procedure
We conducted a retrospective chart review of pediatric oncology patients who received intravenous pentamidine from 2001 to 2006 at our institution. The diagnosis, age and bone marrow transplant (BMT) status were determined. A subset of patients had review of their records to determine the justification for discontinuing TMP-SMZ. Children who developed symptoms of pneumonia with a clinical suspicion of PCP underwent bronchoscopy, allowing for identification of Pneumocystis.
Results
A total of 232 patients received 1,706 doses of intravenous pentamidine and no toxicities were identified. The main reasons for discontinuing TMP-SMZ were bone marrow suppression and drug allergy. Three children developed PCP, equating to a breakthrough rate of 1.3%. Two of these children had undergone BMT (1.9% breakthrough rate) and both were under the age of two (6.5% breakthrough rate).
Conclusions
The use of intravenous pentamidine as PCP prophylaxis results in a breakthrough rate of 1.3%. TMP-SMZ is the first choice for PCP prophylaxis. However, when necessary, the use of intravenous pentamidine has an acceptably low failure rate, even in high-risk BMT patients. Other options should be considered for children less than 2 years of age.
doi:10.1002/pbc.21287
PMCID: PMC4273575  PMID: 17635000
pentamidine; Pneumocystis pneumonia; prophylaxis
15.  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
16.  Measuring Coverage in MNCH: Population HIV-Free Survival among Children under Two Years of Age in Four African Countries 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001424.
Background
Population-based evaluations of programs for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) are scarce. We measured PMTCT service coverage, regimen use, and HIV-free survival among children ≤24 mo of age in Cameroon, Côte D'Ivoire, South Africa, and Zambia.
Methods and Findings
We randomly sampled households in 26 communities and offered participation if a child had been born to a woman living there during the prior 24 mo. We tested consenting mothers with rapid HIV antibody tests and tested the children of seropositive mothers with HIV DNA PCR or rapid antibody tests. Our primary outcome was 24-mo HIV-free survival, estimated with survival analysis. In an individual-level analysis, we evaluated the effectiveness of various PMTCT regimens. In a community-level analysis, we evaluated the relationship between HIV-free survival and community PMTCT coverage (the proportion of HIV-exposed infants in each community that received any PMTCT intervention during gestation or breastfeeding). We also compared our community coverage results to those of a contemporaneous study conducted in the facilities serving each sampled community. Of 7,985 surveyed children under 2 y of age, 1,014 (12.7%) were HIV-exposed. Of these, 110 (10.9%) were HIV-infected, 851 (83.9%) were HIV-uninfected, and 53 (5.2%) were dead. HIV-free survival at 24 mo of age among all HIV-exposed children was 79.7% (95% CI: 76.4, 82.6) overall, with the following country-level estimates: Cameroon (72.6%; 95% CI: 62.3, 80.5), South Africa (77.7%; 95% CI: 72.5, 82.1), Zambia (83.1%; 95% CI: 78.4, 86.8), and Côte D'Ivoire (84.4%; 95% CI: 70.0, 92.2). In adjusted analyses, the risk of death or HIV infection was non-significantly lower in children whose mothers received a more complex regimen of either two or three antiretroviral drugs compared to those receiving no prophylaxis (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.60; 95% CI: 0.34, 1.06). Risk of death was not different for children whose mothers received a more complex regimen compared to those given single-dose nevirapine (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.45, 1.72). Community PMTCT coverage was highest in Cameroon, where 75 of 114 HIV-exposed infants met criteria for coverage (66%; 95% CI: 56, 74), followed by Zambia (219 of 444, 49%; 95% CI: 45, 54), then South Africa (152 of 365, 42%; 95% CI: 37, 47), and then Côte D'Ivoire (3 of 53, 5.7%; 95% CI: 1.2, 16). In a cluster-level analysis, community PMTCT coverage was highly correlated with facility PMTCT coverage (Pearson's r = 0.85), and moderately correlated with 24-mo HIV-free survival (Pearson's r = 0.29). In 14 of 16 instances where both the facility and community samples were large enough for comparison, the facility-based coverage measure exceeded that observed in the community.
Conclusions
HIV-free survival can be estimated with community surveys and should be incorporated into ongoing country monitoring. Facility-based coverage measures correlate with those derived from community sampling, but may overestimate population coverage. The more complex regimens recommended by the World Health Organization seem to have measurable public health benefit at the population level, but power was limited and additional field validation is needed.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
For a pregnant woman who is HIV-positive, the discrepancy across the world in outlook for mother and child is stark. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV during pregnancy is now less than 1% in many high-income settings, but occurs much more often in low-income countries. Three interventions have a major impact on transmission of HIV to the baby: antiretroviral drugs, mode of delivery, and type of infant feeding. The latter two are complex, as the interventions commonly used in high-income countries (cesarean section if the maternal viral load is high; exclusive formula feeding) have their own risks in low-income settings. Minimizing the risks of transmitting HIV through effective drug regimes therefore becomes particularly important. Monitoring progress on reducing the incidence of mother-to-child HIV transmission is essential, but not always easy to achieve.
Why Was This Study Done?
A research group led by Stringer and colleagues recently reported a study from four countries in Africa: Cameroon, Côte D'Ivoire, South Africa, and Zambia. The study showed that even in the health facility setting (e.g., hospitals and clinics), only half of infants whose mothers were HIV-positive received the minimum recommended drug treatment (one dose of nevirapine during labor) to prevent HIV transmission. Across the population of these countries, it is possible that fewer receive antiretroviral drugs, as the study did not include women who did not access health facilities. Therefore, the next stage of the study by this research group, reported here, involved going into the communities around these health facilities to find out how many infants under two years old had been exposed to HIV, whether they had received drugs to prevent transmission, and what proportion were alive and not infected with HIV at two years old.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers tested all consenting women who had delivered a baby in the last two years in the surrounding communities. If the mother was found to be HIV-positive, then the infant was also tested for HIV. The researchers then calculated how many of the infants would be alive at two years and free of HIV infection.
Most mothers (78%) agreed to testing for themselves and their infants. There were 7,985 children under two years of age in this study, of whom 13% had been born to an HIV-positive mother. Less than half (46%) of the HIV-positive mothers had received any drugs to prevent HIV transmission. Of the children with HIV-positive mothers, 11% were HIV-infected, 84% were not infected with HIV, and 5% had died. Overall, the researchers estimated that around 80% of these children would be alive at two years without HIV infection. This proportion differed non-significantly between the four countries (ranging from 73% to 84%). The researchers found higher rates of infant survival than they had expected and knew that they might have missed some infant deaths (e.g., if households with infant deaths were less likely to take part in the study).
The researchers found that their estimates of the proportion of HIV-positive mothers who received drugs to prevent transmission were fairly similar between their previous study, looking at health facilities, and this study of the surrounding communities. However, in 14 out of 16 comparisons, the estimate from the community was lower than that from the facility.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study shows that it would be possible to estimate how many infants are surviving free of HIV infection using a study based in the community, and that these estimates may be more accurate than those for studies based in health facilities. There are still a large proportion of HIV-positive mothers who are not receiving drugs to prevent transmission to the baby. The authors suggest that using two or three drugs to prevent HIV may help to reduce transmission.
There are already community surveys conducted in many low-income countries, but they have not included routine infant testing for HIV. It is now essential that organizations providing drugs, money, and infrastructure in this field consider more accurate means of monitoring incidence of HIV transmission from mother to infant, particularly at the community level.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001424.
The World Health Organization has more information on mother-to-child transmission of HIV
The United Nations Children's Fund has more information on the status of national PMTCT responses in the most affected countries
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001424
PMCID: PMC3646218  PMID: 23667341
17.  Use of low-dose trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole thrice weekly for primary and secondary prophylaxis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients. 
We conducted an open prospective clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole given as one double-strength tablet thrice weekly for primary and secondary prophylaxis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in human immunodeficiency virus-infected (HIV+) patients. A total of 104 HIV+ patients were evaluated, with 74 being in the primary prophylaxis group and 30 being in the secondary prophylaxis group. All except six patients received concomitant zidovudine; five patients on primary prophylaxis and one patient on secondary prophylaxis refused zidovudine. There were 70 patients evaluated for the efficacy of primary prophylaxis. The mean CD4 count was 124.4 +/- 110.1 cells per microliter. The mean follow-up time was 11.8 +/- 5.8 months (median, 12 months; range, 1 to 32 months). Two noncompliant patients developed PCP after 1 and 3 months of chemoprophylaxis. The failure rate (under the intention to treat principle) was 2 of 70 patients (2.9%; 95% confidence interval, 0.35 to 10%), or 1 per 413 patient-months of observation. There were 27 patients evaluated for the efficacy of secondary prophylaxis. The mean follow-up time was 12.4 +/- 7.2 months (median, 11 months; range, 1 to 29 months). Two patients, one of whom was noncompliant, were treatment failures, developing PCP after 14 and 15 months of chemoprophylaxis; this gave a failure rate of 2 of 27 patients (7.4%; 95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 24.3%), or 1 per 167 patient-months of observation. Adverse reactions sufficient to permanently terminate therapy occurred in 9 of 104 patients (8.7%; 95% confidence interval, 4 to 15.7%) overall. The serum trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, and N4-acetyl-sulfamethoxazole concentrations measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography were uniformly low. One double-strength tablet of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole taken weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday appeared to be well tolerated and efficacious for the prophylaxis of PCP in HIV+ patients at high risk and deserves further investigation.
PMCID: PMC245254  PMID: 1952835
18.  Pneumocystis jirovecii infection: an emerging threat to patients with rheumatoid arthritis 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2012;51(12):2120-2130.
Accompanying the increased use of biologic and non-biologic antirheumatic agents, patients with RA have been exposed to an increased risk of Pneumocystis jirovecii infection, which causes acute fulminant P. jirovecii pneumonia (PCP). Mortality in this population is higher than in HIV-infected individuals. Several guidelines and recommendations for HIV-infected individuals are available; however, such guidelines for RA patients remain less clear. Between 2006 and 2008 we encountered a clustering event of P. jirovecii infection among RA outpatients. Through our experience with this outbreak and a review of the recent medical literature regarding asymptomatic colonization and its clinical significance, transmission modes of infection and prophylaxis of PCP, we have learned the following lessons: PCP outbreaks among RA patients can occur through person-to-person transmission in outpatient facilities; asymptomatic carriers serve as reservoirs and sources of infection; and short-term prophylaxis for eradication of P. jirovecii is effective in controlling PCP outbreaks among RA outpatients.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/kes244
PMCID: PMC3510430  PMID: 23001613
Pneumocystis jirovecii; rheumatoid arthritis; colonization; transmission; outbreaks; prophylaxis
19.  Prospective cohort study showing changes in the monthly incidence of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2003;79(929):164-166.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) remains a serious opportunistic infection in HIV infected individuals. Seasonal changes in climate are associated with changes within individual susceptibility to infection. The possibility of monthly variability in the incidence of PCP was therefore examined by means of a cohort study of a database of 8640 HIV infected individuals attending the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. There were 792 cases of PCP diagnosed since 1985. A marked decline was observed in the incidence of PCP in mid-1992 coincident with the introduction of PCP prophylaxis. There was a further decline in 1996 after the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Despite no significant monthly variation in the mean attendance to clinic and CD4 count, both new and all cases of PCP were higher in January than in other months (15.9% and 14.5% of all cases, respectively). A correlation with low rainfall in January and new cases of PCP was observed. These data are consistent with an influence of climatic conditions on the presentation of PCP. The diagnosis of PCP is more common in winter months suggesting that this is a transmissible infection.
doi:10.1136/pmj.79.929.164
PMCID: PMC1742624  PMID: 12697918
20.  Race/ethnicity and HAART initiation in a military HIV infected cohort 
Background
Prior studies have suggested that HAART initiation may vary by race/ethnicity. Utilizing the U.S. military healthcare system, which minimizes confounding from healthcare access, we analyzed whether timing of HAART initiation and the appropriate initiation of primary prophylaxis among those at high risk for pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) varies by race/ethnicity.
Methods
Participants in the U.S. Military HIV Natural History Study from 1998-2009 who had not initiated HAART before 1998 and who, based on DHHS guidelines, had a definite indication for HAART (CD4 <200, AIDS event or severe symptoms; Group A), an indication to consider HAART (including CD4 <350; Group B) or electively started HAART (CD4 >350; Group C) were analyzed for factors associated with HAART initiation. In a secondary analysis, participants were also evaluated for factors associated with starting primary PCP prophylaxis within four months of a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3. Multiple logistic regression was used to compare those who started vs. delayed therapy; comparisons were expressed as odds ratios (OR).
Results
1262 participants were evaluated in the analysis of HAART initiation (A = 208, B = 637, C = 479 [62 participants were evaluated in both Groups A and B]; 94% male, 46% African American, 40% Caucasian). Race/ethnicity was not associated with HAART initiation in Groups A or B. In Group C, African American race/ethnicity was associated with lower odds of initiating HAART (OR 0.49, p = 0.04). Race and ethnicity were also not associated with the initiation of primary PCP prophylaxis among the 408 participants who were at risk.
Conclusions
No disparities in the initiation of HAART or primary PCP prophylaxis according to race/ethnicity were seen among those with an indication for therapy. Among those electively initiating HAART at the highest CD4 cell counts, African American race/ethnicity was associated with decreased odds of starting. This suggests that free healthcare can potentially overcome some of the observed disparities in HIV care, but that unmeasured factors may contribute to differences in elective care decisions.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-11-10
PMCID: PMC3922739  PMID: 24460764
HIV; HAART; Race; Ethnicity; Indications for HIV treatment; Disparities in care; African Americans
21.  CD4 T cell count as predictor of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in children born to mothers infected with HIV. European Collaborative Study Group. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1994;308(6926):437-440.
OBJECTIVE--To assess the value of CD4 T cell count in predicting Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in infants born to mothers infected with HIV, with reference to the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control on prophylaxis against pneumocystis. DESIGN--Prospective birth cohort study. SETTING--Hospitals in 10 European cities participating in the European collaborative study. SUBJECTS--924 children born to mothers known to be infected with HIV at or before delivery. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--The incidence of P carinii pneumonia. CD4 T cell counts in children before diagnosis of the pneumonia. The proportions of children infected and uninfected with HIV who fulfilled the criteria for primary prophylaxis. RESULTS--Fourteen children were diagnosed with P carinii pneumonia. The cumulative incidence by the age of 6 years was 2% (95% confidence interval 0.9 to 3.0%). Of the 11 children with a CD4 T cell count predating diagnosis, only three fulfilled the criteria from the Centers for Disease Control for prophylaxis. Prophylaxis was indicated by 1 year of age for 62% of infected children who had not developed P carinii pneumonia and for at least 10% of uninfected children. CONCLUSIONS--Monitoring CD4 T cell count seems to be of limited value in deciding when to start prophylaxis against P carinii pneumonia in children born to mothers infected with HIV. The alternative approach of giving prophylaxis to all children born to infected mothers would be difficult to justify given the low incidence of the pneumonia.
PMCID: PMC2539523  PMID: 7907246
22.  Prevention of lung infections associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection. 
Thorax  1989;44(12):1038-1044.
Current evidence indicates that the length of survival for patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is increasing, thereby affording a greater opportunity for strategies designed to prevent the infectious diseases that mark the syndrome. Because these infections may occur at different stages of immunosuppression caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), effective application of preventive measures depends not only on detection of HIV infection but also on the use of staging indicators. The diseases that serve to define AIDS, such as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, tend to occur late in the course of HIV infection and often when the T helper lymphocyte (CD4+ cells) count is less than 0.2 x 10(9)/l. Other infections, such as tuberculosis and pyogenic bacterial pneumonia, may develop at any point after HIV infection has occurred. Given this relation between the degree of immunosuppression and the occurrence of particular pulmonary infections, different preventive interventions should be applied at different times. It is now known that the incidence of several of the pulmonary infections that are common in patients with HIV infection can be reduced by prophylactic measures. Pneumocystis pneumonia is decreased in frequency by any one of several prophylactic agents, the best established being pentamidine administered as an inhaled aerosol. The role of isoniazid in the chemoprophylaxis of tuberculosis in patients not infected with HIV is well established. Although there is little evidence of benefit so far from isoniazid in HIV infected patients with a positive tuberculin skin test response, it is logical to assume that there could be some effect. The use of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine may also be of some benefit in reducing the frequency of pneumococcal pneumonia in patients with AIDS. In addition to these specific measures, the antiretroviral agent zidovudine decreases both the frequency and the severity of opportunist infections, at least during the first few months of treatment. A comprehensive strategy for prevention of HIV associated lung infection first requires detection of HIV seropositivity, staging the immunosuppression by the CD4+ cell count, and determining whether tuberculous infection is present by a tuberculin skin test. All seropositive individuals should be given pneumococcal vaccine and those with evidence of tuberculosis infection should be treated with isoniazid for one year. Zidovudine should probably be started when CD4+ cell counts are in the range 0.4-0.5 x 10(9)/l and prophylaxis against pneumocystis infection when CD4+ cell counts are in the range 0.2-0.3 x 10(9)/l.
PMCID: PMC1020882  PMID: 2575801
23.  The State of Disparities in Opportunistic Infection Prophylaxis for Blacks with HIV/AIDS 
Medical care  2012;50(11):920-927.
Objectives
The purpose of this review is to identify and analyze published studies that have evaluated disparities for opportunistic infection (OI) prophylaxis between Blacks and Whites with HIV/AIDS in the United States.
Methods
The authors conducted a web-based search of MEDLINE (1950 to 2009) to identify original research articles evaluating the use of OI prophylaxis between Blacks and Whites with HIV/AIDS. The search was conducted utilizing the following MeSH headings and search terms alone and in combination: HIV, AIDS, Black, race, ethnicity, disparities, differences, access, opportunistic infection, and prophylaxis. The search was then expanded to include any relevant articles from the referenced citations of the articles that were retrieved from the initial search strategy. Of the 29 articles retrieved from the literature search, 19 articles were excluded.
Results
Ten publications met inclusion criteria, collectively published between 1991 and 2005. The collective time periods of these studies spanned from 1987 to 2001. Four studies identified a race-based disparity in that Blacks were less likely than Whites to use OI prophylaxis, whereas five studies failed to identify such a relationship between race and OI prophylaxis. One study identified disparities for Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) prophylaxis, but not for Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis.
Conclusions
The evidence regarding race-based disparities in opportunistic infection prophylaxis is inconclusive. Additional research is warranted to explore potential race-based disparities in OI prophylaxis.
doi:10.1097/MLR.0b013e31826c85d1
PMCID: PMC3470654  PMID: 23047780
Race; disparities; HIV/AIDS; opportunistic infection; prophylaxis
24.  The Potential Impact of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transwomen in Lima, Peru: A Mathematical Modelling Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(10):e1001323.
Gabriela Gomez and colleagues developed a mathematical model of the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men and transwomen in Lima, Peru to explore whether HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis could be a cost-effective addition to existing HIV prevention strategies.
Background
HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use of antiretroviral drugs by uninfected individuals to prevent HIV infection, has demonstrated effectiveness in preventing acquisition in a high-risk population of men who have sex with men (MSM). Consequently, there is a need to understand if and how PrEP can be used cost-effectively to prevent HIV infection in such populations.
Methods and Findings
We developed a mathematical model representing the HIV epidemic among MSM and transwomen (male-to-female transgender individuals) in Lima, Peru, as a test case. PrEP effectiveness in the model is assumed to result from the combination of a “conditional efficacy” parameter and an adherence parameter. Annual operating costs from a health provider perspective were based on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interim guidelines for PrEP use. The model was used to investigate the population-level impact, cost, and cost-effectiveness of PrEP under a range of implementation scenarios. The epidemiological impact of PrEP is largely driven by programme characteristics. For a modest PrEP coverage of 5%, over 8% of infections could be averted in a programme prioritising those at higher risk and attaining the adherence levels of the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Initiative study. Across all scenarios, the highest estimated cost per disability-adjusted life year averted (uniform strategy for a coverage level of 20%, US$1,036–US$4,254) is below the World Health Organization recommended threshold for cost-effective interventions, while only certain optimistic scenarios (low coverage of 5% and some or high prioritisation) are likely to be cost-effective using the World Bank threshold. The impact of PrEP is reduced if those on PrEP decrease condom use, but only extreme behaviour changes among non-adherers (over 80% reduction in condom use) and a low PrEP conditional efficacy (40%) would adversely impact the epidemic. However, PrEP will not arrest HIV transmission in isolation because of its incomplete effectiveness and dependence on adherence, and because the high cost of programmes limits the coverage levels that could potentially be attained.
Conclusions
A strategic PrEP intervention could be a cost-effective addition to existing HIV prevention strategies for MSM populations. However, despite being cost-effective, a substantial expenditure would be required to generate significant reductions in incidence.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Without a vaccine, the only ways to halt the global HIV epidemic are prevention strategies that reduce transmission of the HIV virus. Up until recently, behavioral strategies such as condom use and reduction of sexual partners have been at the center of HIV prevention. In the past few years, several biological prevention measures have also been shown to be effective in reducing (though not completely preventing) HIV transmission. These include male circumcision, treatment for prevention (giving antiretroviral drugs to HIV-infected people, before they need it for their own health, to reduce their infectiousness) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP), in which HIV-negative people use antiretroviral drugs to protect themselves from infection. One PrEP regimen (a daily pill containing two different antiretrovirals) has been shown in a clinical trial to reduce new infections by 44% in of men who have sex with men (MSM). In July 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration approved this PrEP regimen to reduce the risk of HIV infection in uninfected men and women who are at high risk of HIV infection and who may engage in sexual activity with HIV-infected partners. The approval makes it clear that PrEP needs to be used in combination with safe sex practices.
Why Was This Study Done?
Clinical trials have shown that PrEP can reduce HIV infections among participants, but they have not examined the consequences PrEP could have at the population level. Before decision-makers can decide whether to invest in PrEP programs, they need to know about the costs and benefits at the population level. Besides the price of the drug itself, the costs include HIV testing before starting PrEP, as well as regular tests thereafter. The health benefits of reducing new HIV infections are calculated in “disability-adjusted life years” (or DALYs) averted. One DALY is equal to one year of healthy life lost. Other benefits include future savings in lifelong HIV/AIDS treatment for every person whose infection is prevented by PrEP.
This study estimates the potential costs and health benefits of several hypothetical PrEP roll-out scenarios among the community of MSM in Lima, Peru. The scientists chose this community because many of the participants in the clinical trial that showed that PrEP can reduce infections came from this community, and they therefore have some knowledge on how PrEP affects HIV infection rates and behavior in this population. Because the HIV epidemic in Lima is concentrated among MSM, similar to most of Latin America and several other developed countries, the results might also be relevant for the evaluation of PrEP in other places.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For their scenarios, the researchers looked at “high coverage” and “low coverage” scenarios, in which 20% and 5% of uninfected individuals use PrEP, respectively. They also divided the MSM community into those at lower risk of becoming infected and those at higher risk. The latter group consisted of transwomen at higher risk (transsexuals and transvestites with many sexual partners) and male sex workers. In a “uniform coverage” scenario, PrEP is equally distributed among all MSM. “Prioritized scenarios” cover transwomen at higher risk and sex workers preferentially. Two additional important factors for the estimated benefits are treatment adherence (i.e., whether people take the pills they have been prescribed faithfully over long periods of time even though they are not sick) and changes in risk behavior (i.e., whether the perceived protection provided by PrEP leads to more unprotected sex).
The cost estimates for PrEP included the costs of the drug itself and HIV tests prior to PrEP prescription and at three-month intervals thereafter, as well as outreach and counseling services and condom and lubricant promotion and provision.
To judge whether under the various scenarios PrEP is cost-effective, the researchers applied two commonly used but different cost-effectiveness thresholds. The World Health Organization's WHO-CHOICE initiative considers an intervention cost-effective if its cost is less than three times the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita per DALY averted. For Peru, this means an intervention should cost less than US$16,302 per DALY. The World Bank has more stringent criteria: it considers an intervention cost-effective for a middle-income country like Peru if it costs less than US$500 per DALY averted.
The researchers estimate that PrEP is cost-effective in Lima's MSM population for most scenarios by WHO-CHOICE guidelines. Only scenarios that prioritize PrEP to those most likely to become infected (i.e., transwomen at higher risk and sex workers) are cost-effective (and only barely) by the more stringent World Bank criteria. If the savings on antiretroviral drugs to treat people with HIV (those who would have become infected without PrEP) are included in the calculation, most scenarios become cost-effective, even under World Bank criteria.
The most cost-effective scenario, namely, having a modest coverage of 5%, prioritizing PrEP to transwomen at higher risk and sex workers, and assuming fairly high adherence levels among PrEP recipients, is estimated to avert about 8% of new infections among this community over ten years.
What Do these Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that under some circumstances, PrEP could be a cost-effective tool to reduce new HIV infections. However, as the researchers discuss, PrEP is expensive and only partly effective. Moreover, its effectiveness depends on two behavioral factors—adherence to a strict drug regimen and continued practicing of safe sex—both of which remain hard to predict. As a consequence, PrEP alone is not a valid strategy to prevent new HIV infections. It needs instead to be considered as one of several available tools. If and when PrEP is chosen as part of an integrated prevention strategy will depend on the specific target population, the overall funds available, and how well its cost-effectiveness compares with other prevention measures.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001323.
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, summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment, and a section on PrEP
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including HIV prevention
AVAC Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention provides up-to-date information on HIV prevention, including PrEP
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information on PrEP
The World Health Organization has a page on its WHO-CHOICE criteria for cost-effectiveness
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001323
PMCID: PMC3467261  PMID: 23055836
25.  Adherence to Antiretroviral Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention: A Substudy Cohort within a Clinical Trial of Serodiscordant Couples in East Africa 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001511.
Jessica Haberer and colleagues investigate the association between high adherence to antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis and HIV transmission in a substudy of serodiscordant couples participating in a clinical trial.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Randomized clinical trials of oral antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention have widely divergent efficacy estimates, ranging from 0% to 75%. These discrepancies are likely due to differences in adherence. To our knowledge, no studies to date have examined the impact of improving adherence through monitoring and/or intervention, which may increase PrEP efficacy, or reported on objective behavioral measures of adherence, which can inform PrEP effectiveness and implementation.
Methods and Findings
Within the Partners PrEP Study (a randomized placebo-controlled trial of oral tenofovir and emtricitabine/tenofovir among HIV-uninfected members of serodiscordant couples in Kenya and Uganda), we collected objective measures of PrEP adherence using unannounced home-based pill counts and electronic pill bottle monitoring. Participants received individual and couples-based adherence counseling at PrEP initiation and throughout the study; counseling was intensified if unannounced pill count adherence fell to <80%. Participants were followed monthly to provide study medication, adherence counseling, and HIV testing. A total of 1,147 HIV-uninfected participants were enrolled: 53% were male, median age was 34 years, and median partnership duration was 8.5 years. Fourteen HIV infections occurred among adherence study participants—all of whom were assigned to placebo (PrEP efficacy = 100%, 95% confidence interval 83.7%–100%, p<0.001). Median adherence was 99.1% (interquartile range [IQR] 96.9%–100%) by unannounced pill counts and 97.2% (90.6%–100%) by electronic monitoring over 807 person-years. Report of no sex or sex with another person besides the study partner, younger age, and heavy alcohol use were associated with <80% adherence; the first 6 months of PrEP use and polygamous marriage were associated with >80% adherence. Study limitations include potential shortcomings of the adherence measures and use of a convenience sample within the substudy cohort.
Conclusions
The high PrEP adherence achieved in the setting of active adherence monitoring and counseling support was associated with a high degree of protection from HIV acquisition by the HIV-uninfected partner in heterosexual serodiscordant couples. Low PrEP adherence was associated with sexual behavior, alcohol use, younger age, and length of PrEP use.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, about 2.5 million people (mostly living in sub-Saharan Africa) become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV, which is usually transmitted through unprotected sex with an HIV-infected partner, destroys immune system cells, leaving infected individuals susceptible to other infections. There is no cure for AIDS, although antiretroviral drugs can hold HIV in check, and there is no vaccine against HIV infection. Individuals can reduce their risk of HIV infection by abstaining from sex, by having only one or a few low risk sexual partners, and by always using a condom. In addition, antiretroviral drugs can potentially be used in two ways to reduce HIV transmission. First, these drugs could be given to HIV-positive individuals to reduce their infectiousness. Second, antiretroviral drugs could be given to HIV-uninfected people to reduce acquisition of the virus. This approach—pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—has provided varying levels of protection against HIV infection in randomized controlled trials (RCT; studies that monitor the outcomes of groups of patients randomly assigned to receive different test drugs or a placebo/dummy drug).
Why Was This Study Done?
One hypothesis for the varying efficacy of PrEP in RCTs is differential adherence—differences in whether trial participants took the antiretroviral drugs correctly. Antiretroviral drugs only control HIV infections effectively when they are taken regularly and adherence to antiretroviral PrEP is probably also important for HIV prevention. Here, the researchers investigate adherence to antiretroviral prophylaxis in a substudy within the Partners PrEP Study, a placebo-controlled RCT of oral antiretroviral drugs among nearly 5,000 HIV-uninfected members of serodiscordant couples in East Africa. In serodiscordant couples, only one partner is HIV-positive; 20% of couples in Africa who know their HIV status are serodiscordant. In the Partner PrEP Study, the efficacy of HIV protection with oral antiretroviral drugs was 67%–75%.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers selected a “convenience” sample—a sample is taken non-randomly from a population that is close at hand—of 1,147 HIV-uninfected partners enrolled in Uganda. They used unannounced home-based pill counts (an approach that reduced the chance of participants dumping unused pills to appear more adherent than they actually were) and electronic pill bottle monitoring (a microchip in the medication bottle cap recorded whenever the bottle was opened) to measure PrEP adherence in this cohort. All the participants received adherence counseling at PrEP initiation and throughout the study; counseling was intensified if unannounced pill count adherence fell below 80%. Fourteen participants, all of whom had been assigned to placebo, became HIV-positive during the adherence substudy. The average adherence to PrEP was 99.1% and 97.2% as measured by unannounced pill counts and by electronic monitoring, respectively. About 7% and 26% of participants had less than 80% adherence as measured by unannounced pill count and electronic monitoring, respectively, during at least one 3-month period of the substudy. Greater than 80% adherence was associated with the first 6 months of PrEP use and polygamous marriage. Adherence less than 80% was associated with report of no sex or sex with another person besides the study partner, younger age, and heavy alcohol use. Finally, the adherence intervention (intensified counseling) was well received and in the first unannounced pill count after the intervention, adherence increased to above 80% in 92% of participants.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the high level of PrEP adherence achieved in the setting of active adherence monitoring and counseling support was associated with a high level of protection from HIV acquisition by the HIV-uninfected partner in heterosexual serodiscordant couples. The findings also suggest that low PrEP adherence is associated with sexual behavior, alcohol use, younger age, and length of PrEP use. Several aspects of the study design may limit the accuracy of these findings. For example, although the adherence measures used here are probably more accurate than participant reports of missed doses and clinic-based pill counts (adherence measures that are often used in RCTs), they are not perfect. Nevertheless, these findings provide further support for the ability of PrEP to prevent HIV acquisition when taken regularly; they suggest that adherence interventions in the implementation setting should address sexual behavior, risk perception, and heavy alcohol use; and they provide data to guide ethical decisions about resource allocation for prevention and treatment of HIV infection.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001511.
The 2012 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report provides up-to-date information about the AIDS epidemic and efforts to halt it
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, summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment, and information on HIV transmission and prevention and on PrEP
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV and AIDS in Uganda, on HIV prevention, and on PrEP (in English and Spanish)
PrEP Watch provides detailed information about PrEP and links to other resources; it includes personal stories from people who have chosen to use PrEP
More information about the Partners PrEP Study is available
Personal stories about living with HIV/AIDS are available through Avert, through Nam/aidsmap, and through the charity website Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001511
PMCID: PMC3769210  PMID: 24058300

Results 1-25 (1323997)