A segment of the HIV infected population develops abnormal and excessive accumulation of adipose tissue in the trunk, including accumulation of visceral (deep abdominal) adipose tissue. This condition, known as HIV-related adipose redistribution syndrome (HARS), may also be accompanied by fat accumulation in the upper back/neck (dorsocervical region) and/or depletion of subcutaneous adipose tissue from the abdomen, face, limbs, or buttocks. HARS is estimated to occur in up to 32% of patients and is associated with health risks similar to those of metabolic syndrome. Techniques to detect and measure HARS include physician and patient assessments and radiologic or anthropometric methods.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated adipose redistribution syndrome (HARS) is a fat accumulation disorder characterized by increases in visceral adipose tissue. Patients with HARS may also present with excess truncal fat and accumulation of dorsocervical fat ("buffalo hump"). The pathophysiology of HARS appears multifactorial and is not fully understood at present. Key pathophysiological influences include adipocyte dysfunction and an excessive free fatty acid release by adipocyte lipolysis. The contributory roles of free fatty acids, cytokines, hormones including cortisol, insulin and the growth hormone-adipocyte axis are significant. Other potential humoral, paracrine, endocrine, and neural influences are also discussed.
Combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) in the treatment of HIV-1 infection has been associated with complications, including lipodystrophy, hyperlipidaemia, insulin resistance (IR) and diabetes.
To compare the prevalence of glucose homeostasis disturbances and IR in HIV patients on cART according to the presence of lipodystrophy (defined clinically and by Fat Mass Ratio) and different patterns of fat distribution and to establish their associations.
Cross-sectional cohort study.
We evaluated body composition and IR and insulin sensitivity indexes in 345 HIV-infected adults.
Patients with clinical lipodystrophy (CL) had higher plasma glucose levels than patients without CL, without significant differences in plasma insulin levels, A1c, HOMA-IR, HOMA-B, QUICKI, or MATSUDA index. Patients with lipodystrophy defined by FMR had higher plasma glucose and insulin levels, A1c, HOMA-IR, QUICKI and MATSUDA than patients without lipodystrophy, without differences in HOMA-B. Higher insulin resistance (HOMA-IR ≥ 4) was present in patients with FMR-defined lipodystrophy. Patients with FMR-defined lipodystrophy had a higher prevalence of IFG, IGT and DM than patients without lipodystrophy. Significant associations between HOMA-IR and total, central and central/peripheral fat evaluated by CT at abdominal level were found and no association between HOMA-IR and peripheral fat. Association between HOMA-IR and total and trunk fat but no association with leg and arm fat (evaluated by DXA) was found.
IR and glucose disturbances were significantly increased in patients with FMR-defined lipodystrophy. FMR lipodystrophy definition seems to be a more sensitive determinant of insulin resistance and glucose disturbances than clinical definition.
Lipodystrophy; Insulin resistance; HIV; Glucose homeostasis disturbances
Ugandan national guidelines recommend initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) at CD4+ T cell (CD4) count below 350 cell/μl, but the implementation of this is limited due to availability of medication. However, cART initiation at higher CD4 count increases survival, albeit at higher lifetime treatment cost. This analysis evaluates the cost-effectiveness of initiating cART at a CD4 count between 250–350 cell/μl (early) versus <250 cell/μl (delayed).
Life expectancy of cART-treated patients, conditional on baseline CD4 count, was modeled based on published literature. First-line cART costs $192 annually, with an additional $113 for patient monitoring. Delaying initiation of cART until the CD4 count falls below 250 cells/μl would incur the cost of the bi-annual CD4 count tests and routine maintenance care at $85 annually. We compared lifetime treatment costs and disability adjusted life-expectancy between early vs. delayed cART for ten baseline CD4 count ranges from 250-350 cell/μl. All costs and benefits were discounted at 3% annually.
Treatment delay varied from 6–18 months. Early cART initiation increased life expectancy from 1.5-3.5 years and averted 1.33–3.10 disability adjusted life years (DALY’s) per patient. Lifetime treatment costs were $4,300–$5,248 for early initiation and $3,940–$4,435 for delayed initiation. The cost/DALY averted of the early versus delayed start ranged from $260–$270.
In HIV-positive patients presenting with CD4 count between 250-350 cells/μl, immediate initiation of cART is a highly cost-effective strategy using the recommended one-time per capita GDP threshold of $490 reported for Uganda. This would constitute an efficient use of scarce health care funds.
HAART; Economics; Mortality; Adverse effects
In HIV-infected patients, combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is associated with clinical lipodystrophy (CL) and metabolic abnormalities (MA). This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MS) and its components, and to determine whether patients with or without CL had a different prevalence of MA.
We evaluated 345 HIV-infected patients on cART using two different MS definitions (NCEP-ATPIII-2005 and IDF-2005) and the Framingham risk score.
CL was present in 58.7% of the patients. The prevalence of the MS was 52.2% (ATPIII) and 43.2% (IDF), and it was not significantly different between patients with (W) or without (WT) CL, regardless of the definition used (ATPIII WCL 52.9% vs WT CL 51.1%; p = 0.738; IDF WCL 41.3% vs WTCL 46.0%; p = 0.379). Moderate concordance was observed between the 2 definitions (kappa = 0.484; p < 0.001) and after gender stratification there was good concordance in women (kappa = 0.759; p < 0.001). Patients with CL had lower waist circumference and HDL-C and higher triglycerides levels. In women, CL was significantly associated with MS, hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL cholesterol independently of age, cART and BMI. Patients with CL had a significantly higher risk of coronary heart disease at 10 years, measured by the Framingham risk score, than patients without CL. Those with CL and with MS had higher frequencies of moderate and high risk categories than those without MS.
The prevalence of the MS was high in these HIV-infected patients with an age average of 40 years and this finding could explain why HIV patients have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Metabolic syndrome; Cardiovascular Risk; Lipodystrophy; HIV infection
Insulin resistance is frequent in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and may be related to antiretroviral therapy. Cytokines secreted by adipose tissue (adipokines) are linked to insulin sensitivity. The present study is aimed to assess the prevalence of insulin resistance (IR) and its association with several adipokines, in a non-diabetic Romanian cohort of men and women with HIV-1 infection, undergoing combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).
A cross-sectional study was conducted in an unselected sample of 89 HIV-1-positive, non-diabetic patients undergoing stable cART for at least 6 months. Metabolic parameters were measured, including fasting plasma insulin, and circulating adiponectin, leptin, resistin, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. Insulin resistance was estimated by measuring the Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index (QUICKI), using a cut-off value of 0.33. A linear regression model was fitted to QUICKI to test the association of IR and adipokines levels.
A total of 89 patients (aged 18–65, median: 28 years) including 51 men (57.3%) and 38 women (42.7%) were included in the study. Fifty nine patients (66.3%) were diagnosed with IR based on QUICKI values lower than the cut-off point. IR prevalence was 72.5% in men and 57.6% in women. The presence of the IR was not influenced by either the time of the HIV diagnosis or by the duration of cART. Decreased adiponectin and increased serum triglycerides were associated with increased IR in men (R=0.43, p=0.007). Hyperleptinemia in women was demonstrated to be associated with the presence of IR (R=0.33, p=0.03).
Given the significant prevalence of the IR in our young non-diabetic cohort with HIV infection undergoing antiretroviral therapy reported in our study and the consecutive risk of diabetes and cardiovascular events, we suggest that the IR management should be a central component of HIV-infection therapeutic strategy. As adipokines play major roles in regulating glucose homeostasis with levels varying according to the sex, we suggest that further studies investigating adipokines should base their analyses on gender differences.
Adipokines; Adiponectin; Leptin; Antiretroviral therapy; Insulin resistance; HIV
Antiretroviral treatment (cART) in HIV causes lipoatrophy. We examined predictors of anthropometric outcomes over 96 weeks in HIV-infected, lipoatrophic adults receiving stable cART randomised to tenofovir-emtricitabine (TDF-FTC) or abacavir-lamivudine (ABC-3TC) fixed dose combinations.
The STEAL study was a prospective trial of virologically suppressed participants randomised to either TDF-FTC (n = 178) or ABC-3TC (n = 179). Anthropometric assessment was conducted at baseline, weeks 48 and 96. The analysis population included those with baseline and week 96 data remaining on randomised therapy. Distribution of limb fat change was divided into four categories (≤0%, >0–10%, >10–20%, >20%). Baseline characteristics [demographics, medical history, metabolic and cardiovascular biomarkers] were assessed as potential predictors of change in percent subcutaneous limb fat using linear regression. 303 participants (85% of STEAL population) were included. Baseline characteristics were: mean (±SD) age 45 (±8) years; thymidine analogue nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (tNRTI) duration 4 (±3) years; limb fat 5.4 (±3.0)kg; body mass index 24.7 (±3.5) kg/m2. Mean (SD) limb fat gain to week 48 and 96 was 7.6% (±22.4) and 13.2% (±27.3), respectively, with no significant difference between groups. 51.5% of all participants had >10% gain in limb fat. Predictors of greater limb fat gain at week 96 were baseline tNRTI (10.3, p = 0.001), glucose >6 mmol/L (16.1, p = 0.04), higher interleukin 6 (IL-6) (2.8, p = 0.004) and lower baseline limb fat (3.8–6.4 kg – 11.2; >6.4 kg – 15.7, p trend<0.001).
Modest peripheral fat gain occurred with both TDF-FTC and ABC-3TC. Baseline factors associated with more severe lipodystrophy (lipoatrophy, baseline tNRTI, raised IL6, and glucose) predicted greater limb fat recovery at 96 weeks.
Mucosal mononuclear (MMC) CCR5+CD4+ T cells of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract are selectively infected and depleted during acute HIV-1 infection. Despite early initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) CD4+ T cell depletion and activation persist in the majority of HIV-1 positive individuals studied. This may result from ongoing HIV-1 replication and T-cell activation despite effective cART. We hypothesized that ongoing viral replication in the GI tract during cART would result in measurable viral evolution, with divergent populations emerging over time. Subjects treated during early HIV-1 infection underwent phlebotomy and flexible sigmoidoscopy with biopsies prior to and 15–24 months post initiation of cART. At the 2nd biopsy, three GALT phenotypes were noted, characterized by high, intermediate and low levels of immune activation. A representative case from each phenotype was analyzed. Each subject had plasma HIV-1 RNA levels <50 copies/ml at 2nd GI biopsy and CD4+ T cell reconstitution in the peripheral blood. Single genome amplification of full-length HIV-1 envelope was performed for each subject pre- and post-initiation of cART in GALT and PBMC. A total of 280 confirmed single genome sequences (SGS) were analyzed for experimental cases. For each subject, maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees derived from molecular sequence data showed no evidence of evolved forms in the GALT over the study period. During treatment, HIV-1 envelope diversity in GALT-derived SGS did not increase and post-treatment GALT-derived SGS showed no substantial genetic divergence from pre-treatment sequences within transmitted groups. Similar results were obtained from PBMC-derived SGS. Our results reveal that initiation of cART during acute/early HIV-1 infection can result in the interruption of measurable viral evolution in the GALT, suggesting the absence of de-novo rounds of HIV-1 replication in this compartment during suppressive cART.
This study was undertaken to determine if the gastrointestinal tract is a site of ongoing viral replication during suppressive combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) (defined by plasma HIV-1 RNA levels below 50 copies/ml). We found no evidence of substantial viral evolution in HIV-1 envelope sequences derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells or cells of the gastrointestinal tract lymphoid tissue in participants initiating cART during early HIV-1 infection. To our knowledge, this is the first application of the single genome amplification technique to the comparative analysis of HIV-1 quasi-species derived from the gastrointestinal tract, demonstrating that in these individuals, cART has the ability to halt measurable evolution of HIV-1 envelope in this compartment. These findings suggest the absence of de-novo rounds of HIV-1 replication during suppressive cART and by extension, that experimentally observed, persistently elevated levels of immune activation in the gastrointestinal lymphoid tissue seen after the early initiation and uninterrupted use of cART (despite relative immune reconstitution in the blood) is likely due to factors other than ongoing viral replication. This implies that in this virally suppressed population, cART intensification is unlikely to significantly impact persistent CD4+ T cell depletion or increased levels of immune activation in the gastrointestinal tract.
HIV preferentially affects white matter (WM) in the brain. While combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) reduces HIV viral load within the brain, continued inflammation can persist. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provides a non-invasive method to assess WM structural integrity in the cART era. We examined the impact of HIV and cART on WM integrity within the corpus callosum (CC) and centrum semiovale (CSO) using DTI. Neuropsychological testing and DTI scans were acquired for a cross-sectional cohort consisting of 63 individuals that were divided into one of three groups: 21 HIV-uninfected (HIV-) controls, 21 HIV-infected (HIV+) subjects naïve to cART (HIV+/cART-), and 21 HIV+ subjects receiving stable cART (HIV+/cART+). DTI measures (fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD)) were obtained for the genu, splenium, and body of the CC as well as the CSO. A subset of the HIV+/cART- individuals (n=10) were also longitudinally assessed immediately before and approximately 6 months after receiving stable therapy. Differences among the cross-sectional groups were assessed using an ANOVA while paired t-tests evaluated longitudinal changes. The HIV+/cART- participants had significantly lower MD, AD, and RD for each CC region and the CSO compared to HIV- controls and HIV+/cART+ individuals. Observed decreases in DTI parameters could reflect the presence of inflammatory cells or cytotoxic edema in the WM of HIV+/cART- subjects. No significant difference existed between HIV- controls and HIV+/cART+ subjects. In some HIV+ subjects, initiation of cART led to significant increases in MD, RD, and AD but not FA in the CC and CSO regions. Observed changes in DTI parameters in the WM after initiating cART could reflect reduced neuro-inflammation. Future DTI studies may be useful in evaluating the efficacy of cART regimens with higher brain penetration.
HIV; Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI); Combination Antiretroviral Therapy (cART); Corpus Callosum (CC); Centrum Semiovale (CSO)
HIV-infected patients on long-term highly active antiretroviral therapy often present peculiar patterns of fat redistribution, referred to as lipodystrophy. In spite of recent investigations, it is not known whether and to what extent the main features of lipodystrophy – that is lipoatrophy of peripheral fat at face, limbs and buttocks, as well as fat accumulation at breasts, abdomen and the dorso-cervical region – can be reversible once clinically manifest.
A 35 year old Caucasian HIV infected female developed severe diffuse lipodystrophy while on highly active antiretroviral therapy. A remarkable increase of breast size, fat accumulation at waist, and a fat pad on her lumbar spine were paralleled by progressive and disfiguring lipoatrophy of face, limbs and buttocks. The patient decided to interrupt her therapy after 20 months, with a stably suppressed viremia and a CD4 lymphocyte count >500/μL. She could carry on a safe treatment interruption for longer than 4 years. Most sites of fat accumulation switched to nearly normal appearance, whereas lipoatrophy was substantially unchanged at all affected sites.
our observation provides pictorial evidence that lipoatrophy may not be reversible even under ideal circumstances. Therefore, strategies to prevent lipoatrophy should be considered when defining therapeutic regimens for HIV infected patients, especially those at high risk.
Several lines of evidence suggest that retinoids (retinol-ROL or vitamin A, and its active metabolites, retinoic acids-RAs) play important pathogenic roles in HIV infection and combination antiretroviral therapy (cART)-related events. We previously reported that antiretrovirals alter RAs synthesis in vitro. We hypothesised that in vivo serum retinoid concentrations are affected by both cART and HIV infection. This might explain several clinical and laboratory abnormalities reported in HIV-infected patients receiving cART.
The effects of optimal cART and chronic HIV on serum retinoids were firstly assessed longitudinally in 10 HIV-infected adults (group1 = G1): twice while on optimal cART (first, during long-term and second, during short term cART) and twice during 2 cART interruptions when HIV viral load (VL) was detectable. Retinoid concentrations during optimal long term cART in G1 were compared with cross-sectional results from 12 patients (G2) with suboptimal cART (detectable VL) and from 28 healthy adults (G3). Serum retinoids were measured by HPLC with ultraviolet detection. Retinoid concentrations were correlated with VL, CD4+ T- cell count and percentages, CD8+38+ fluorescence, triglycerides, cholesterol and C-peptide serum levels.
During optimal cART, G1 participants had drastically reduced RAs (0.5 ± 0.3 μg/dL; P < 0.01) but the highest ROL (82 ± 3.0 μg/dL) concentrations. During cART interruptions in these patients, RAs slightly increased whereas ROL levels diminished significantly (P < 0.05). G3 had the highest RAs levels (7.2 ± 1.1 μg/dL) and serum ROL comparable to values in North Americans. Serum ROL was decreased in G2 (37.7 ± 3.2 μg/dL; P < 0.01). No correlations were noted between RA and ROL levels or between retinoid concentrations and CD4+ T- cell count, CD8+38+ fluorescence, VL. ROL correlated with triglycerides and cholesterol in G1 (rs = 0.8; P = 0.01).
Serum RAs levels are significantly diminished by cART, whereas ROL concentrations significantly decreased during uncontrolled HIV infection but augmented with optimal cART. These alterations in retinoid concentrations may affect the expression of retinoid-responsive genes involved in metabolic, hormonal and immune processes and be responsible for some adverse events observed in HIV-infected persons treated with antiretrovirals. Further studies should assess concomitant serum and intracellular retinoid levels in different clinical situations in larger, homogenous populations.
Retinoic acids; Retinol; Combination antiretroviral therapy; Chronic HIV infection
The potential effect of blocking the CCR5 receptor on HIV disease progression biomarkers is not well understood. We showed that an 8-day maraviroc (MVC) monotherapy clinical test (MCT) can be used in selecting patients to receive MVC-containing combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). Using this MCT model, we assessed the effect of MVC on several HIV disease progression biomarkers during the MCT (MVC-specific effect) and following short-term (12-week) cART. We compared 45 patients on MVC monotherapy with a control group of 25 patients on MVC-sparing cART. We found that MVC did not modify any biomarkers in patients that had no virological response after the MCT. MVC-specific effects in patients with virological responses included increased CD8+ T-cell activation and senescence levels, preservation of an increase in soluble CD14 (sCD14), and a decrease in D dimer levels. After 12 weeks, MVC-containing cART increased CD8+ T-cell counts and preserved CD4+ T-cell senescence levels compared with MVC-sparing cART. Moreover, there was a decrease in sCD14 levels in patients that received MVC-containing cART. In conclusion, effects compatible with CD8+ T-cell redistribution in peripheral blood were observed after MVC therapy. However, MVC was associated with a favorable profile in HIV disease progression biomarkers only in patients with a virological response. These results support a potential clinical benefit of a therapy which includes MVC in HIV-infected patients.
The aims of this study were to determine the incidence of diabetes among HIV-infected patients in the Data Collection on Adverse Events of Anti-HIV Drugs (D:A:D) cohort, to identify demographic, HIV-related, and combination antiretroviral therapy (cART)-related factors associated with the onset of diabetes, and to identify possible mechanisms for any relationships found.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
D:A:D is a prospective observational study of 33,389 HIV-infected patients; diabetes is a study end point. Poisson regression models were used to assess the relation between diabetes and exposure to cART after adjusting for known risk factors for diabetes, CD4 count, lipids, and lipodystrophy.
Over 130,151 person-years of follow-up (PYFU), diabetes was diagnosed in 744 patients (incidence rate of 5.72 per 1,000 PYFU [95% CI 5.31–6.13]). The incidence of diabetes increased with cumulative exposure to cART, an association that remained significant after adjustment for potential risk factors for diabetes. The strongest relationship with diabetes was exposure to stavudine; exposures to zidovudine and didanosine were also associated with an increased risk of diabetes. Time-updated measurements of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides were all associated with diabetes. Adjusting for each of these variables separately reduced the relationship between cART and diabetes slightly. Although lipodystrophy was significantly associated with diabetes, adjustment for this did not modify the relationship between cART and diabetes.
Stavudine and zidovudine are significantly associated with diabetes after adjustment for risk factors for diabetes and lipids. Adjustment for lipodystrophy did not modify the relationship, suggesting that the two thymidine analogs probably directly contribute to insulin resistance, potentially through mitochondrial toxicity.
Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), the standard of care for HIV-1 infection, is considered to be successful when plasma viremia remains below the detection limit of commercial assays. Yet, cART fails in a substantial proportion of patients after the apparent success. No laboratory markers are known that are predictive of cART outcome in initial responders during the period of undetectable plasma viremia.
Here, we report the results of a retrospective longitudinal study of twenty-six HIV-infected individuals who initially responded to cART by having plasma viremia suppressed to <50 copies/ml. Eleven of these patients remained virologically suppressed, whereas fifteen experienced subsequent cART failure. Using sensitive methods based on seminested real-time PCR, we measured the levels of HIV-1 proviral (pr) DNA, unspliced (us) RNA, and multiply spliced RNA in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of these patients at multiple time points during the period of undetectable plasma viremia on cART. Median under-therapy level of usRNA was significantly higher (0.43 log10 difference, P = 0.0015) in patients who experienced subsequent cART failure than in successfully treated patients. In multivariate analysis, adjusted for baseline CD4+ counts, prior ART experience, and particular cART regimens, the maximal usRNA level under therapy was the best independent predictor of subsequent therapy failure (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI], 24.4 [1.5–389.5], P = 0.024). The only other factor significantly associated with cART failure was prior ART experience (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI], 12.3 [1.1–138.4], P = 0.042). Levels of usRNA under cART inversely correlated with baseline CD4+ counts (P = 0.0003), but did not correlate with either baseline usRNA levels or levels of prDNA under therapy.
Our data demonstrate that the level of HIV-1 usRNA in PBMC, measured in cART-treated patients with undetectable plasma viremia, is a strong predictive marker for the outcome of therapy.
Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) limits human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication in the central nervous system (CNS) and prevents progressive neurological dysfunction. We examined if the degree of CNS penetration by cART, as estimated by the CNS penetration effectiveness (CPE) score, affects brain activity as measured by the amplitude of the blood oxygen level–dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI) response. HIV+ patients on low-CPE cART (n = 12) had a significantly greater BOLD fMRI response amplitude than HIV+ patients on high-CPE cART (n = 12) or seronegative controls (n = 10). An increase in the BOLD fMRI response in HIV patients on low-CPE cART may reflect continued HIV replication in the CNS leading to increased oxidative stress and associated metabolic demands.
combination antiretroviral therapy (cART); functional magnetic resonance imaging; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders
Numerous national public initiatives offering first-line combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for HIV infection have commenced in sub-Saharan Africa since 2002. Presently, 2.1 million of an estimated seven million Africans in need of cART are receiving treatment. Analyses from the region report favorable clinical/treatment outcomes and impressive declines in AIDS-related mortality among HIV-1-infected adults and children receiving cART. While immunologic recovery, virologic suppression and cART adherence rates are on par with resource-rich settings, loss to follow-up and high mortality rates, especially within the first 6 months of treatment, remain a significant problem. Over the next decade, cART coverage rates are expected to improve across the region, with attendant increases in healthcare utilization for HIV- and non-HIV-related complications and the need for expanded laboratory and clinical services. Planned and in-progress trials will evaluate the use of cART to prevent primary HIV-1 infection with so-called ‘test and treat’ expansions of coverage and treatment. Education and training programs as well as patient-retention strategies will need to be strengthened as national cART programs are expanded and more people require lifelong monitoring and care.
adherence; cART; combination antiretroviral therapy; efficacy; HIV/AIDS; mortality/survival; sub-Saharan Africa; tolerability/toxicity
To calculate use, cost and cost-effectiveness of people living with HIV (PLHIV) starting routine treatment and care before starting combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and PLHIV starting first-line 2NRTIs+NNRTI or 2NRTIs+PIboosted, comparing PLHIV with CD4≤200 cells/mm3 and CD4>200 cells/mm3. Few studies have calculated the use, cost and cost-effectiveness of routine treatment and care before starting cART and starting cART above and below CD4 200 cells/mm3.
Use, costs and cost-effectiveness were calculated for PLHIV in routine pre-cART and starting first-line cART, comparing CD4≤200 cells/mm3 with CD4>200 cells/mm3 (2008 UK prices).
cART naïve patients CD4≤200 cells/mm3 had an annual cost of £6,407 (95%CI £6,382 to £6,425) PPY compared with £2,758 (95%CI £2,752 to £2,761) PPY for those with CD4>200 cells/mm3; cost per life year gained of pre-cART treatment and care for those with CD4>200 cells/mm3 was £1,776 (cost-saving to £2,752). Annual cost for starting 2NRTIs+NNRTI or 2NRTIs+PIboosted with CD4≤200 cells/mm3 was £12,812 (95%CI £12,685–£12,937) compared with £10,478 (95%CI £10,376–£10,581) for PLHIV with CD4>200 cells/mm3. Cost per additional life-year gained on first-line therapy for those with CD4>200 cells/mm3 was £4639 (£3,967 to £2,960).
PLHIV starting to use HIV services before CD4≤200 cells/mm3 is cost-effective and enables them to be monitored so they start cART with a CD4>200 cells/mm3, which results in better outcomes and is cost-effective. However, 25% of PLHIV accessing services continue to present with CD4≤200 cells/mm3. This highlights the need to investigate the cost-effectiveness of testing and early treatment programs for key populations in the UK.
This is a systematic review of eighty-two published studies investigating the impact of DSM-IV mental disorders on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) adherence and persistence among persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Sixty-two articles examined depression, with 58 % (N = 32/62) finding lower cART adherence and persistence. Seventeen articles examined one or more anxiety disorders, with the majority finding no association with cART adherence or persistence. Eighty percent of the studies that evaluated the impact of psychotic (N = 3), bipolar (N = 5) and personality disorders (N = 2) on cART adherence and persistence also found no association. Seven out of the nine studies (78 %) evaluating the impact of antidepressant treatment (ADT) on cART adherence found improvement. Adherence and depression measurements varied significantly in studies; common research measurements would improve data harmonization. More research specifically addressing the impact of other mental disorders besides depression on cART adherence and RCTs evaluating ADT on cART adherence are also needed.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10461-012-0212-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
HIV/AIDS; Mental illness; Adherence; Antiretroviral therapy; Systematic review; Persistence; cART; Depression; Anxiety; Psychotic disorders
Adolescents have been identified as a high-risk group for poor adherence to and defaulting from combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) care. However, data on outcomes for adolescents on cART in resource-limited settings remain scarce.
We developed an observational study of patients who started cART at The AIDS Service Organization (TASO) in Uganda between 2004 and 2009. Age was stratified into three groups: children (≤10 years), adolescents (11–19 years), and adults (≥20 years). Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated to describe time to mortality and loss to follow-up, and Cox regression used to model associations between age and mortality and loss to follow-up. To address loss to follow up, we applied a weighted analysis that assumes 50% of lost patients had died.
A total of 23,367 patients were included in this analysis, including 810 (3.5%) children, 575 (2.5%) adolescents, and 21 982 (94.0%) adults. A lower percentage of children (5.4%) died during their cART treatment compared to adolescents (8.5%) and adults (10%). After adjusting for confounding, other features predicted mortality than age alone. Mortality was higher among males (p<0.001), patients with a low initial CD4 cell count (p<0.001), patients with advanced WHO clinical disease stage (p<0.001), and shorter duration of time receiving cART (p<0.001). The crude mortality rate was lower for children (22.8 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI: 16.1, 29.5), than adolescents (36.5 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI: 26.3, 46.8) and adults (37.5 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI: 35.9, 39.1).
This study is the largest assessment of adolescents receiving cART in Africa. Adolescents did not have cART mortality outcomes different from adults or children.
Adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is vital for HIV-infected adolescents for survival and quality of life. However, this age group faces many challenges to remain adherent. We used multiple data sources (role-play, focus group discussions (FGD), and in-depth interviews (IDI)) to better understand adherence barriers for Rwandan adolescents. Forty-two HIV positive adolescents (ages 12–21) and a selection of their primary caregivers were interviewed. All were perinatally-infected and received (cART) for ≥12 months. Topics discussed during FGDs and IDIs included learning HIV status, disclosure and stigma, care and treatment issues, cART adherence barriers.
Median age was 17 years, 45% female, 45% orphaned, and 48% in boarding schools. We identified three overarching but inter-related themes that appeared to influence adherence. Stigma, perceived and experienced, and inadvertent disclosure of HIV status hampered adolescents from obtaining and taking their drugs, attending clinic visits, carrying their cARTs with them in public. The second major theme was the need for better support, in particular for adolescents with different living situations, (orphanages, foster-care, and boarding schools). Lack of privacy to keep and take medication came out as major barrier for adolescents living in congested households, as well the institutionalization of boarding schools where privacy is almost non-existent. The third important theme was the desire to be ‘normal’ and not be recognized as an HIV-infected individual, and to have a normal life not perturbed by taking a regimen of medications or being forced to disclose where others would treat them differently.
We propose better management of HIV-infected adolescents integrated into boarding school, orphanages, and foster care; training of school-faculty on how to support students and allow them privacy for taking their medications. To provide better care and support, HIV programs should stimulate caregivers of HIV-infected adolescents to join them for their clinic visits.
The risk of sexual HIV transmission in serodiscordant couples when the HIV-positive partner has full virologic suppression on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is debated. This study aims to systematically review observational studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs), evaluating rates of sexual HIV transmission between heterosexual serodiscordant couples when the HIV-positive partner has full suppression on cART.
Methods and Findings
We searched major bibliographic databases to November 2012 for relevant observational studies and RCTs without language restrictions. Conference proceedings, key journals and bibliographies were also searched. Studies reporting HIV transmission rates, cART histories and viral loads of the HIV-positive partners were included. Two reviewers extracted methodologic characteristics and outcomes. Of 20,252 citations, 3 studies met all eligibility criteria with confirmed full virologic suppression in the HIV-positive partner. We included 3 additional studies (2 cohort studies, 1 RCT) that did not confirm viral suppression in the HIV-positive partner at transmission in a secondary meta-analysis. Methodologic quality was reasonable. The rate of transmission in the 3 studies confirming virologic suppression was 0 per 100 person-years (95% CI = 0–0.05), with low heterogeneity (I2 = 0%). When we included the 3 studies that did not confirm virologic suppression, the rate of transmission was 0.14 per 100 person-years (95%CI = 0.04–0.31) (I2 = 0%). In a sensitivity analysis including all 6 studies, the rate of transmission was 0 per 100 person-years (95%CI = 0–0.01) after omitting all transmissions with known detectable or unconfirmed viral loads, as full suppression in these cases was unlikely. Limitations included lack of data on same-sex couples, type of sexual intercourse (vaginal vs. anal), direction of HIV transmission, exact viral load at the time of transmission, sexually transmitted infections (STI) rates, and extent of condom use.
Our findings suggest minimal risk of sexual HIV transmission for heterosexual serodiscordant couples when the HIV-positive partner has full viral suppression on cART with caveats regarding information on sexual intercourse type, STIs, and condom use. These findings have implications when counseling heterosexual serodiscordant couples on sexual and reproductive health. More research is needed to explore HIV transmission risk between same-sex couples.
HIV-positive patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) frequently experience metabolic complications such as dyslipidemia and insulin resistance, as well as lipodystrophy, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes mellitus (DM). Rates of DM and other glucose-associated disorders among HIV-positive patients have been reported to range between 2 and 14%, and in an ageing HIV-positive population, the prevalence of DM is expected to continue to increase. This study aims to develop a model to predict the short-term (six-month) risk of DM in HIV-positive populations and to compare the existing models developed in the general population.
All patients recruited to the Data Collection on Adverse events of Anti-HIV Drugs (D:A:D) study with follow-up data, without prior DM, myocardial infarction or other CVD events and with a complete DM risk factor profile were included. Conventional risk factors identified in the general population as well as key HIV-related factors were assessed using Poisson-regression methods. Expected probabilities of DM events were also determined based on the Framingham Offspring Study DM equation. The D:A:D and Framingham equations were then assessed using an internal-external validation process; area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve and predicted DM events were determined.
Of 33,308 patients, 16,632 (50%) patients were included, with 376 cases of new onset DM during 89,469 person-years (PY). Factors predictive of DM included higher glucose, body mass index (BMI) and triglyceride levels, and older age. Among HIV-related factors, recent CD4 counts of<200 cells/µL and lipodystrophy were predictive of new onset DM. The mean performance of the D:A:D and Framingham equations yielded AUROC of 0.894 (95% CI: 0.849, 0.940) and 0.877 (95% CI: 0.823, 0.932), respectively. The Framingham equation over-predicted DM events compared to D:A:D for lower glucose and lower triglycerides, and for BMI levels below 25 kg/m2.
The D:A:D equation performed well in predicting the short-term onset of DM in the validation dataset and for specific subgroups provided better estimates of DM risk than the Framingham.
HIV; combination antiretroviral treatment; diabetes mellitus; risk equation
CD4 cell count and plasma viral load are well known predictors of AIDS and mortality in HIV-1-infected patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). This study investigated, in patients treated for at least 3 years, the respective prognostic importance of values measured at cART initiation, and 6 and 36 months later, for AIDS and death.
Patients from 15 HIV cohorts included in the ART Cohort Collaboration, aged at least 16 years, antiretroviral-naive when they started cART and followed for at least 36 months after start of cART were eligible.
Among 14 208 patients, the median CD4 cell counts at 0, 6 and 36 months were 210, 320 and 450 cells/µl, respectively, and 78% of patients achieved viral load less than 500 copies/ml at 6 months. In models adjusted for characteristics at cART initiation and for values at all time points, values at 36 months were the strongest predictors of subsequent rates of AIDS and death. Although CD4 cell count and viral load at cART initiation were no longer prognostic of AIDS or of death after 36 months, viral load at 6 months and change in CD4 cell count from 6 to 36 months were prognostic for rates of AIDS from 36 months.
Although current values of CD4 cell count and HIV-1 RNA are the most important prognostic factors for subsequent AIDS and death rates in HIV-1-infected patients treated with cART, changes in CD4 cell count from 6 to 36 months and the value of 6-month HIV-1 RNA are also prognostic for AIDS.
cART; CD4 cell count; mortality; plasma HIV-1 RNA; prognosis of AIDS
The prevalence of and risk factors for lipodystrophy (LD) among patients receiving combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) in the Asia-Pacific region are largely unknown. LD diagnosis was based on the adverse event definition from the US NIH Division of AIDS (2004 version), and only cases with a severity grade of ≥ 3 were included. TAHOD patients who had recently commenced cART with ≥ 3 drugs after 1996 from sites which had ever reported LD were included in the analysis. Covariates for the forward multivariate logistic regression model included demographic variables, CDC disease classification, baseline CD4 and viral load, hepatitis B/C virus co-infection, and regimen and duration of cART. LD was diagnosed in 217 (10.5%) of 2072 patients. The median duration of cART was 3.8 (interquartile range, 2.2–5.3) years (stavudine, 2.0 (1.0–3.5) years; zidovudine, 1.8 (0.6–3.9) years; and protease inhibitors (PI), 2.6 (1.3–4.5) years). In the multivariate model, factors independently associated with LD included use of stavudine (≤ 2 years vs. no experience: OR 25.46, p<0.001, > 2 years vs. no experience: OR 14.92, p<0.001), use of PI (> 2.6 years vs. no experience: OR 0.26, p<0.001), and total duration of cART (> vs. ≤ 3.8 years: OR 4.84, p<0.001). The use of stavudine was strongly associated with LD in our cohort. Stavudine-sparing cART strategies are warranted to prevent the occurrence of LD in the Asia-Pacific region.
Lipodystrophy; HIV; Adverse effects; Combined antiretroviral therapy; Asia-Pacific
Long-term benefits of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) initiation during primary HIV-1 infection are debated.
The evolution of plasma HIV-RNA (432 measurements) and cell-associated HIV-DNA (325 measurements) after cessation of cART (median exposure 18 months) was described for 33 participants from the Zurich Primary HIV Infection Study using linear regression and compared with 545 measurements from 79 untreated controls with clinically diagnosed primary HIV infection, respectively a known date for seroconversion.
On average, early treated individuals were followed for 37 months (median) after cART cessation; controls had 34 months of pre-cART follow-up. HIV-RNA levels one year after cART interruption were −0.8 log10 copies/mL [95% confidence interval −1.2;−0.4] lower in early treated patients compared with controls, but this difference was no longer statistically significant by year three of follow-up (−0.3 [−0.9; 0.3]). Mean HIV-DNA levels rebounded from 2 log10 copies [1.8; 2.3] on cART to a stable plateau of 2.7 log10 copies [2.5; 3.0] attained 1 year after therapy stop, which was not significantly different from cross-sectional measurements of 9 untreated members of the control group (2.8 log10 copies [2.5; 3.1]).
The rebound dynamics of viral markers after therapy cessation suggest that early cART may indeed limit reservoir size of latently infected cells, but that much of the initial benefits are only transient. Owing to the non-randomized study design the observed treatment effects must be interpreted with caution.