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1.  Adverse drug reactions to antiretroviral therapy (ARVs): incidence, type and risk factors in Nigeria 
Background
Data on adverse drug reactions (ADRs) related to antiretroviral (ARV) use in public health practice are few indicating the need for ART safety surveillance in clinical care.
Objectives
To evaluate the incidence, type and risk factors associated with adverse drug reactions (ADRs) among patients on antiretroviral drugs (ARV).
Methods
Patients initiated on ARVs between May 2006 and May 2009 were evaluated in a retrospective cohort analysis in three health facilities in Nigeria. Regimens prescribed include nucleoside backbone of zidovudine (AZT)/lamivudine (3TC), stavudine (d4T)/3TC, or tenofovir (TDF)/3TC in combination with either nevirapine (NVP) or efavirenz (EFV). Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) model was used to identify risk factors associated with occurrence of ADR.
Results
2650 patients were followed-up for 2456 person-years and reported 114 ADRs (incidence rate = 4.6/100 person-years).There were more females 1706(64%) and 73(64%) of the ADRs were reported by women. Overall, 61(54%) of ADRs were reported by patients on AZT with 54(47%) of these occurring in patients on AZT/NVP. The commonest ADRs reported were pain 25(30%) and skinrash 10(18%). Most ADRs were grade 1(39%) with only 1% being life threatening (grade 4). Adjusted GEE analysis showed that ADR was less likely to occur in patients on longer duration of ART compared to the first six months on treatment; 6-12 months AOR 0.38(95% CI:0.16-0.91) and 12-24 months AOR 0.34(95% CI:0.16-0.73) respectively. Compared to patients on TDF, ADR was less likely to occur in patients on d4T and AZT AOR 0.18(95% CI 0.05-0.64) and AOR 0.24(95% CI:0.7-0.9) respectively. Age, gender and CD4 count were not significantly associated with ADRs.
Conclusion
ADRs are more likely to occur within the first six months on treatment. Close monitoring within this period is required to prevent occurrence of severe ADR and improve ART adherence. Further research on the tolerability of tenofovir in this environment is recommended.
doi:10.1186/1472-6904-12-7
PMCID: PMC3317861  PMID: 22369677
Adverse drug reactions; ADR; Antiretroviral; Zidovudine; Stavudine; Tenofovir; HIV/AIDS; Nigeria; Incidence; Risk factors
2.  HIV-1 Antiretroviral Resistance 
Drugs  2012;72(9):e1-e25.
The efficacy of an antiretroviral (ARV) treatment regimen depends on the activity of the regimen’s individual ARV drugs and the number of HIV-1 mutations required for the development of resistance to each ARV — the genetic barrier to resistance. ARV resistance impairs the response to therapy in patients with transmitted resistance, unsuccessful initial ARV therapy and multiple virological failures. Genotypic resistance testing is used to identify transmitted drug resistance, provide insight into the reasons for virological failure in treated patients, and help guide second-line and salvage therapies. In patients with transmitted drug resistance, the virological response to a regimen selected on the basis of standard genotypic testing approaches the responses observed in patients with wild-type viruses. However, because such patients are at a higher risk of harbouring minority drug-resistant variants, initial ARV therapy in this population should contain a boosted protease inhibitor (PI) — the drug class with the highest genetic barrier to resistance.
In patients receiving an initial ARV regimen with a high genetic barrier to resistance, the most common reasons for virological failure are nonadherence and, potentially, pharmacokinetic factors or minority transmitted drug-resistant variants. Among patients in whom first-line ARVs have failed, the patterns of drug-resistance mutations and cross-resistance are often predictable. However, the extent of drug resistance correlates with the duration of uncontrolled virological replication. Second-line therapy should include the continued use of a dual nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-containing backbone, together with a change in the non-NRTI component, most often to an ARV belonging to a new drug class.
The number of available fully active ARVs is often diminished with each successive treatment failure. Therefore, a salvage regimen is likely to be more complicated in that it may require multiple ARVs with partial residual activity and compromised genetic barriers of resistance to attain complete virological suppression. A thorough examination of the patient’s ARV history and prior resistance tests should be performed because genotypic and/or phenotypic susceptibility testing is often not sufficient to identify drug-resistant variants that emerged during past therapies and may still pose a threat to a new regimen. Phenotypic testing is also often helpful in this subset of patients. ARVs used for salvage therapy can be placed into the following hierarchy: (i) ARVs belonging to a previously unused drug class; (ii) ARVs belonging to a previously used drug class that maintain significant residual antiviral activity; (iii) NRTI combinations, as these often appear to retain in vivo virological activity, even in the presence of reduced in vitro NRTI susceptibility; and rarely (iv) ARVs associated with previous virological failure and drug resistance that appear to have possibly regained their activity as a result of viral reversion to wild type. Understanding the basic principles of HIV drug resistance is helpful in guiding individual clinical decisions and the development of ARV treatment guidelines.
doi:10.2165/11633630-000000000-00000
PMCID: PMC3689909  PMID: 22686620
3.  The impact of a HIV prevention of mother to child transmission program in a nigerian early infant diagnosis centre 
Background:
Mothers infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can transmit the virus to their babies in utero, intrapartum or postpartum through breastfeeding. Maternal to child transmission can be prevented through administration of antiretroviral drugs to mother and child, and through restriction of breastfeeding. This study evaluated the effectiveness of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) activities in reducing the incidence of HIV infection among exposed babies at the National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods:
Early infant diagnosis laboratory records of 515 exposed babies aged below 18 months who had polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test between January 1st 2011 and December 31st 2012 were reviewed. The details of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy commencement for mother and baby, infant feeding choices, mode of delivery and HIV test results were analysed.
Results:
Of the 515 samples tested, 36 (7.0%) were found to be positive. The mean age of exposed children tested was 4 months. Highest prevalence was among children in the age group 6-18 months (16.1%). There was statistically significant association between HIV positive results and age. (P = 0.0000). If the mother and child pairs received ARVs, the prevalence was 1.3%, whereas if the mother only received ARV, then the prevalence was 4.6%, and when only the child received ARV the prevalence was 20.0%. When neither the mother nor the child received ARVs, the prevalence was 66.7%.
Conclusion:
There was a high prevalence of HIV among exposed children in our setting, especially if the mother and child pairs did not receive any form of antiretroviral prophylaxis. This further emphasises the usefulness of ARVs as the single most important intervention in PMTCT. Therefore, there is need to expand antiretroviral coverage, ensure access of the PMTCT program, and provide effective services to support infected children.
doi:10.4103/0300-1652.132039
PMCID: PMC4089047  PMID: 25013250
Abuja; early infant diagnosis; HIV; prevention of mother-to-child transmission
4.  Association between Prenatal Exposure to Antiretroviral Therapy and Birth Defects: An Analysis of the French Perinatal Cohort Study (ANRS CO1/CO11) 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(4):e1001635.
Jeanne Sibiude and colleagues use the French Perinatal Cohort to estimate the prevalence of birth defects in children born to HIV-infected women receiving antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has major benefits during pregnancy, both for maternal health and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Safety issues, including teratogenic risk, need to be evaluated. We estimated the prevalence of birth defects in children born to HIV-infected women receiving ART during pregnancy, and assessed the independent association of birth defects with each antiretroviral (ARV) drug used.
Methods and Findings
The French Perinatal Cohort prospectively enrolls HIV-infected women delivering in 90 centers throughout France. Children are followed by pediatricians until 2 y of age according to national guidelines.
We included 13,124 live births between 1994 and 2010, among which, 42% (n = 5,388) were exposed to ART in the first trimester of pregnancy. Birth defects were studied using both European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies (EUROCAT) and Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP) classifications; associations with ART were evaluated using univariate and multivariate logistic regressions. Correction for multiple comparisons was not performed because the analyses were based on hypotheses emanating from previous findings in the literature and the robustness of the findings of the current study. The prevalence of birth defects was 4.4% (95% CI 4.0%–4.7%), according to the EUROCAT classification. In multivariate analysis adjusting for other ARV drugs, maternal age, geographical origin, intravenous drug use, and type of maternity center, a significant association was found between exposure to zidovudine in the first trimester and congenital heart defects: 2.3% (74/3,267), adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.2 (95% CI 1.3–3.7), p = 0.003, absolute risk difference attributed to zidovudine +1.2% (95% CI +0.5; +1.9%). Didanosine and indinavir were associated with head and neck defects, respectively: 0.5%, AOR = 3.4 (95% CI 1.1–10.4), p = 0.04; 0.9%, AOR = 3.8 (95% CI 1.1–13.8), p = 0.04. We found a significant association between efavirenz and neurological defects (n = 4) using the MACDP classification: AOR = 3.0 (95% CI 1.1–8.5), p = 0.04, absolute risk +0.7% (95% CI +0.07%; +1.3%). But the association was not significant using the less inclusive EUROCAT classification: AOR = 2.1 (95% CI 0.7–5.9), p = 0.16. No association was found between birth defects and lopinavir or ritonavir with a power >85% for an odds ratio of 1.5, nor for nevirapine, tenofovir, stavudine, or abacavir with a power >70%. Limitations of the present study were the absence of data on termination of pregnancy, stillbirths, tobacco and alcohol intake, and concomitant medication.
Conclusions
We found a specific association between in utero exposure to zidovudine and heart defects; the mechanisms need to be elucidated. The association between efavirenz and neurological defects must be interpreted with caution. For the other drugs not associated with birth defects, the results were reassuring. Finally, whatever the impact that some ARV drugs may have on birth defects, it is surpassed by the major role of ART in the successful prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
AIDS and HIV infection are commonly treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART), a combination of individual drugs that work together to prevent the replication of the virus and further spread of the infection. Starting in the 1990s, studies have shown that ART of HIV-infected women can substantially reduce transmission of the virus to the child during pregnancy and birth. Based on these results, ART was subsequently recommended for pregnant women. Since 2004, ART has been standard therapy for pregnant women with HIV/AIDS in high-income countries, and it is now recommended for all HIV-infected women worldwide. Several different antiviral drug combinations have been shown to be effective and are used to prevent mother-to-infant transmission. However, as with any other drugs taken during pregnancy, there is concern that ART can harm the developing fetus.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several previous studies have assessed the risk that ART taken by a pregnant woman might pose to her developing fetus, but the results have been inconsistent. Animal studies suggested an elevated risk for some drugs but not others. While some clinical studies have reported increases in birth defects in children born to mothers on ART, others have shown no such increase.
The discrepancy may be due to differences between the populations included in the studies and the different methods used to diagnose birth defects. Additional large studies are therefore necessary to obtain more and better evidence on the potential harm of individual anti-HIV drugs to children exposed during pregnancy. So in this study, the authors conducted a large cohort study in France to assess the relationship between different antiretroviral drugs and specific birth defects.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used a large national health database known as the French Perinatal Cohort that contains information on HIV-infected mothers who delivered infants in 90 centers throughout France. Pediatricians follow all children, whatever their HIV status, to two years of age, and health statistics are collected according to national health-care guidelines. Analyzing the records, the researchers estimated the rate at which birth defects occurred in children exposed to antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy.
The researchers included 13,124 children who were born alive between 1994 and 2010 and had been exposed to ART during pregnancy. Children exposed in the first trimester of pregnancy, and those exposed during the second or third trimester, were compared to a control group (children not exposed to the drug during the whole pregnancy). Using two birth defect classification systems (EUROCAT and MACDP—MACDP collects more details on disease classification than EUROCAT), the researchers sought to detect a link between the occurrence of birth defects and exposure to individual antiretroviral drugs.
They found a small increase in the risk for heart defects in children with exposure to zidovudine. They also found an association between efavirenz exposure and a small increase in neurological defects, but only when using the MACDP classification system. The authors found no association between other antiretroviral drugs, including nevirapine (acting similar to efavirenz); tenofovir, stavudine, and abacavir (all three acting similar to zidovudine); and lopinavir and ritonavir (proteinase inhibitors) and any type of birth defect.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, overall, the risks of birth defects in children exposed to antiretroviral drugs in utero are small when considering the clear benefit of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. However, where there are safe and effective alternatives, it might be appropriate to avoid use by pregnant women of those drugs that are associated with elevated risks of birth defects.
Worldwide, a large number of children are exposed to zidovudine in utero, and these results suggest (though cannot prove) that these children may be at a slightly higher risk of heart defects. Current World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission no longer recommend zidovudine for first-line therapy.
The implications of the higher rate of neurological birth defects observed in infants exposed to efavirenz in the first trimester are less clear. The EUROCAT classification excludes minor neurological abnormalities without serious medical consequences, and so the WHO guidelines that stress the importance of careful clinical follow-up of children with exposure to efavirenz seem adequate, based on the findings of this study. The study is limited by the lack of data on the use of additional medication and alcohol and tobacco use, which could have a direct impact on fetal development, and by the absence of data on birth defects and antiretroviral drug exposure from low-income countries. However, the findings of this study overall are reassuring and suggest that apart from zidovudine and possibly efavirenz, other antiretroviral drugs are not associated with birth defects, and their use during pregnancy does not pose a risk to the infant.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001635.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Mofenson and Watts
The World Health Organization has a webpage on mother-to-child transmission of HIV
The US National Institutes of Health provides links to additional information on mother-to-child transmission of HIV
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation also has a webpage on mother-to-child transmission
The French Perinatal Cohort has a webpage describing the cohort and its main publications (in French, with a summary in English)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001635
PMCID: PMC4004551  PMID: 24781315
5.  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
6.  Evolution of Antiretroviral Drug Costs in Brazil in the Context of Free and Universal Access to AIDS Treatment  
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(11):e305.
Background
Little is known about the long-term drug costs associated with treating AIDS in developing countries. Brazil's AIDS treatment program has been cited widely as the developing world's largest and most successful AIDS treatment program. The program guarantees free access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for all people living with HIV/AIDS in need of treatment. Brazil produces non-patented generic antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), procures many patented ARVs with negotiated price reductions, and recently issued a compulsory license to import one patented ARV. In this study, we investigate the drivers of recent ARV cost trends in Brazil through analysis of drug-specific prices and expenditures between 2001 and 2005.
Methods and Findings
We compared Brazil's ARV prices to those in other low- and middle-income countries. We analyzed trends in drug expenditures for HAART in Brazil from 2001 to 2005 on the basis of cost data disaggregated by each ARV purchased by the Brazilian program. We decomposed the overall changes in expenditures to compare the relative impacts of changes in drug prices and drug purchase quantities. We also estimated the excess costs attributable to the difference between prices for generics in Brazil and the lowest global prices for these drugs. Finally, we estimated the savings attributable to Brazil's reduced prices for patented drugs. Negotiated drug prices in Brazil are lowest for patented ARVs for which generic competition is emerging. In recent years, the prices for efavirenz and lopinavir–ritonavir (lopinavir/r) have been lower in Brazil than in other middle-income countries. In contrast, the price of tenofovir is US$200 higher per patient per year than that reported in other middle-income countries. Despite precipitous price declines for four patented ARVs, total Brazilian drug expenditures doubled, to reach US$414 million in 2005. We find that the major driver of cost increases was increased purchase quantities of six specific drugs: patented lopinavir/r, efavirenz, tenofovir, atazanavir, enfuvirtide, and a locally produced generic, fixed-dose combination of zidovudine and lamivudine (AZT/3TC). Because prices declined for many of the patented drugs that constitute the largest share of drug costs, nearly the entire increase in overall drug expenditures between 2001 and 2005 is attributable to increases in drug quantities. Had all drug quantities been held constant from 2001 until 2005 (or for those drugs entering treatment guidelines after 2001, held constant between the year of introduction and 2005), total costs would have increased by only an estimated US$7 million. We estimate that in the absence of price declines for patented drugs, Brazil would have spent a cumulative total of US$2 billion on drugs for HAART between 2001 and 2005, implying a savings of US$1.2 billion from price declines. Finally, in comparing Brazilian prices for locally produced generic ARVs to the lowest international prices meeting global pharmaceutical quality standards, we find that current prices for Brazil's locally produced generics are generally much higher than corresponding global prices, and note that these prices have risen in Brazil while declining globally. We estimate the excess costs of Brazil's locally produced generics totaled US$110 million from 2001 to 2005.
Conclusions
Despite Brazil's more costly generic ARVs, the net result of ARV price changes has been a cost savings of approximately US$1 billion since 2001. HAART costs have nevertheless risen steeply as Brazil has scaled up treatment. These trends may foreshadow future AIDS treatment cost trends in other developing countries as more people start treatment, AIDS patients live longer and move from first-line to second and third-line treatment, AIDS treatment becomes more complex, generic competition emerges, and newer patented drugs become available. The specific application of the Brazilian model to other countries will depend, however, on the strength of their health systems, intellectual property regulations, epidemiological profiles, AIDS treatment guidelines, and differing capacities to produce drugs locally.
Amy Nunn and colleagues analyze the cost of antiretroviral drugs in Brazil between 2001 and 2005 and discuss the implications for HIV treatment in other developing countries.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has killed 29 million people since the first case occurred in 1981 and an estimated 40 million people live with HIV/AIDS today. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which destroys the immune system. Infected individuals are consequently very susceptible to other infections. Early in the AIDS epidemic, most HIV-positive individuals died within a few years of becoming infected. Then, in 1996, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)—a cocktail of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs)—was developed. For people who could afford HAART (which holds HIV infections in check), AIDS became a chronic disease. People who start HAART must keep taking it or their illness will progress.
Unfortunately, few people in low- and middle-income countries could afford these expensive drugs. In 2001, ARV prices fell in developing countries as AIDS activists and developing country governments challenged pharmaceutical companies about ARV prices, pharmaceutical companies set tiered prices for the low- and middle-income countries and more generic (inexpensive copies of brand-named drugs) ARVs became available. In 2003, the lack of access to HIV/AIDS treatment was declared a global health emergency. Governments, international organizations, and funding bodies began to set targets and provide funds to increase access to HAART in developing countries. By 2007, over 2 million people in low- and middle-income countries had access to HAART, but another 5 million remain in urgent need of drugs for treatment.
Why Was This Study Done?
In 1995, many countries in the world signed the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement, which requires countries to acknowledge intellectual property rights for many products, including pharmaceuticals. In 1996, Brazil became the first developing country to commit to and implement policies to provide free and universal access to HAART. Since then, Brazil's successful AIDS treatment program has become a model for the developing world, and 180,000 Brazilians were receiving HAART at the end of 2006. However, as a WTO member that signed on to the TRIPS agreement, Brazil was required to recognize the intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical companies' patented ARVs. As Brazil scaled up treatment in the late 1990s, the cost of treating AIDS patients rose quickly and the country took controversial public policy steps to reduce the cost of providing HAART to people living with HIV/AIDS. Brazil produces several non-patented ARVs locally, and since 2001 has challenged multinational pharmaceutical companies about the prices of patented ARVs. To induce price reductions for patented ARVs, Brazil has threatened to issue compulsory licenses (which under WTO terms allow countries facing a health emergency to produce patented drugs without consent of the company holding the patent). Brazil also recently issued a compulsory license for one ARV.
Although world leaders have set a target of universal access to HAART by 2010, little is known about the long-term costs of AIDS treatment in developing countries. In this study, the researchers have investigated how and why the costs of ARVs changed in Brazil between 2001 and 2005 and discuss the relevance of the Brazilian model for AIDS treatment for other resource-limited settings.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed the prices for each ARV recommended in Brazil's therapeutic guidelines for adults and estimated the changes in purchase quantities for each between 2001 and 2005. These changes likely stem from the growing number of options in Brazil's treatment guidelines, the steadily rising number of patients commencing treatment, and patients' shifts to second- and third-line treatments when their HIV infection became resistant to first-line drugs or they developed side effects. The researchers report that the generic drugs produced in Brazil were generally more expensive than similar drugs made elsewhere, but Brazil's negotiated drug prices for many patented ARVs were lower than elsewhere. Overall, total annual drug expenditure on ARVs doubled between 2001 and 2005, reaching US$414 million in 2005. Because many drug prices fell sharply as a result of declining patented drug prices over the study period, this increase was mainly attributable to increases in drug quantities purchased. If these quantities had stayed constant, the total annual cost would have increased by only $7 million, to $211 million. Conversely, without the decrease in the price of patented drugs, Brazil would have spent $952 million annually by 2005. If Brazil had enjoyed the lowest global prices for generic medicines, the total costs per year in 2005 would have been $367 million, or nearly $50 million less than the costs Brazil actually realized.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings tease out the many factors—clinical, commercial, and political—that affected the total costs of the Brazilian AIDS treatment program between 2001 and 2005.
Brazil's ability to produce generic drugs facilitated Brazil's price negotiations for patented drugs. Although Brazil saved approximately US$1 billion over the study period as a result of declining prices for patented medicines, the cost of producing generic drugs locally has risen while the prices for generic drugs have fallen elsewhere. Brazil's recent decision to import a generic ARV using a compulsory license suggests that the Brazilian model for AIDS treatment continues to evolve.
Questions remain about the precise causes of year-to-year cost trends in Brazil because, for example, the researchers did not have full data on when patients switched from first-line to second- or third-line drugs. The observed steep rise in costs from 2004 to 2005 in particular warrants further analysis. In addition, the findings may not be generalizable to countries with different policies on HIV/AIDS treatment, different access to generic drugs, or different bargaining power with multinational drug companies. Nevertheless, the trends this study highlights provide important information about how AIDS treatment costs are likely to evolve in other developing countries as efforts are made to provide universal access to life-saving ARVs.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040305.
Information from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
Information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on global HIV/AIDS topics (in English and Spanish)
HIV InSite, comprehensive and up-to-date information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS from the University of California San Francisco
Information from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on HIV and AIDS in Brazil and on HIV/AIDS treatment and care, including universal access to ARVs
Progress towards universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment, the latest report from the World Health Organization (available in several languages)
The National STD and AIDS Program of Brazil
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040305
PMCID: PMC2071936  PMID: 18001145
7.  A clinically useful risk-score for chronic kidney disease in HIV infection 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19514.
Introduction
Development of a simple, widely applicable risk score for chronic kidney disease (CKD) allows comparisons of risks or benefits of starting potentially nephrotoxic antiretrovirals (ARVs) as part of a treatment regimen.
Materials and Methods
A total of 18,055 HIV-positive persons from the Data on Adverse Drugs (D:A:D) study with >3 estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs) >1/1/2004 were included. Persons with use of tenofovir (TDF), atazanavir (ritonavir boosted (ATV/r) and unboosted (ATV)), lopinavir (LPV/r) and other boosted protease inhibitors (bPIs) before baseline (first eGFR >60 ml/min/1.73 m2 after 1/1/2004) were excluded. CKD was defined as confirmed (>3 months apart) eGFR <60. Poisson regression was used to develop a score predicting low (<0 points), medium (1–4 points) and high (>5 points) risk of developing CKD. Increased incidence of CKD associated with starting ARVs was modelled by including ARVs as time-updated variables. The risk score was externally validated on two independent cohorts.
Results
A total of 641 persons developed CKD during 103,278.5 PYFU (incidence 6.2/1000 PYFU, 95% CI 5.7–6.7). Older age, intravenous drug use, HCV+ antibody status, lower baseline eGFR, female gender, lower CD4 nadir, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease predicted CKD and were included in the risk score (Figure 1). The incidence of CKD in those at low, medium and high risk was 0.8/1000 PYFU (95% CI 0.6–1.0), 5.6 (95% CI 4.5–6.7) and 37.4 (95% CI 34.0–40.7) (Figure 1). The risk score showed good discrimination (Harrell's c statistic 0.92, 95% CI 0.90–0.93). The number needed to harm (NNTH) in patients starting ATV or LPV/r was 1395, 142 or 20, respectively, among those with low, medium or high risk. NNTH were 603, 61 and 9 for those with a low, medium or high risk starting TDF, ATV/r or bPIs. The risk score was externally validated on 2603 persons from the Royal Free Hospital clinic cohort (94 events, incidence 5.1/1000 PYFU; 95% CI 4.1–6.1) and 2013 persons from the control arms of SMART/ESPRIT (32 events, incidence 3.8/1000 PYFU; 95% CI 2.5–5.1). External validation showed consistent CKD rates across risk groups (Figure 2).
Interpretation
Traditional and HIV-related risk factors were predictive of CKD; all are routinely available, making the risk score easy to incorporate into clinical practise and of direct relevance for clinical decision making. NNTH in persons starting potentially nephrotoxic ARVs at high risk of CKD were low, and alternative ARVs may be more appropriate.
doi:10.7448/IAS.17.4.19514
PMCID: PMC4224906  PMID: 25394023
8.  Acceptability and confidence in antiretroviral generics of physicians and HIV-infected patients in France 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19608.
Introduction
Switching brand name medications to generics is recommended in France in the interest of cost effectiveness but patients and physicians are sometimes not convinced that switching is appropriate. Some antiretroviral (ARV) generics (ZDV, 3TC, NVP) have been marketed in France since 2013.
Materials and Methods
A multicentric cross-sectional survey was performed in September 2013 to evaluate the perception of generics overall and ARV generics in physicians and HIV-infected patients and factors associated to their acceptability. Adult HIV outpatients were asked to complete a self-questionnaire on their perception of generics. Physicians completed a questionnaire on the acceptability of generics and ARV generics. Socio-demographic data, medical history and HIV history were collected.
Results
116 physicians in 33 clinics (68% in University Hospital) included 556 patients (France-native 77%, active employment 59%, covered by social Insurance 100%, homosexual/bisexual contamination 47%, median HIV duration 13 years, hepatitis coinfection 16%, on ARV therapy 95%). Overall, patients accepted and had confidence in generics in 76% and 55% of the cases, respectively. Switching ARVs for generics was accepted by 44% of the patients but only by 17% if the pill burden was going to increase. 75% of the physicians would prescribe generics, but this decreased to only 26% if the combo had to be broken. The main reasons for non-prescription of generics were previous brand name ARV-induced side effects (35%), refusal of generics overall (37%), lack of understanding of generics (26%), risk of non-observance of treatment (44%), anxiety (47%) and depressive symptoms (25%). In multivariate analysis, factors associated with the acceptability of ARV generics in patients were the use of generics overall (p<0.001) and in physicians, the absence of concern regarding the drug efficacy (p<0.001) and being aware that the patient would accept generics overall (p=0.03) and ARV generics (p=0.04). No factors related to sociodemographic conditions, HIV status or comorbidities had a constrictive influence on the use of ARV generics.
Conclusion
Acceptability of ARV generics in this French population is mostly dictated by the patient's and physician's knowledge and use of generics overall. Switching ARV brand name to a generic would be better accepted if the pill burden remained unchanged.
doi:10.7448/IAS.17.4.19608
PMCID: PMC4224798  PMID: 25394112
9.  Outcomes in a Cohort of Women Who Discontinued Maternal Triple-Antiretroviral Regimens Initially Used to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding—Kenya, 2003–2009 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93556.
Background
In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) amended their 2010 guidelines for women receiving limited duration, triple-antiretroviral drug regimens during pregnancy and breastfeeding for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (tARV-PMTCT) (Option B) to include the option to continue lifelong combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) (Option B+). We evaluated clinical and CD4 outcomes in women who had received antiretrovirals for prevention of mother-to-child transmission and then discontinued antiretrovirals 6-months postpartum.
Methods and Findings
The Kisumu Breastfeeding Study, 2003–2009, was a prospective, non-randomized, open-label clinical trial of tARV-PMTCT in ARV-naïve, Kenyan women. Women received tARV-PMTCT from 34 weeks' gestation until 6-months postpartum when women were instructed to discontinue breastfeeding. Women with CD4 count (CD4) <250cells/mm3 or WHO stage III/IV prior to 6-months postpartum continued cART indefinitely. We estimated the change in CD4 after discontinuing tARV-PMTCT and the adjusted relative risk [aRR] for factors associated with declines in maternal CD4. We compared maternal and infant outcomes following weaning–when tARV-PMTCT discontinued–by maternal ARV status through 24-months postpartum. Compared with women who continued cART, discontinuing antiretrovirals was associated with infant HIV transmission and death (10.1% vs. 2.4%; P = 0.03). Among women who discontinued antiretrovirals, CD4<500 cells/mm3 at either initiation (21.8% vs. 1.5%; P = 0.002; aRR: 9.8; 95%-confidence interval [CI]: 2.4–40.6) or discontinuation (36.9% vs. 8.3%; P<0.0001; aRR: 4.4; 95%-CI: 1.9–5.0) were each associated with increased risk of women requiring cART for their own health within 6 months after discontinuing.
Conclusions
Considering the serious health risks to the woman's infant and the brief reprieve from cART gained by stopping, every country should evaluate the need for and feasibility to implement WHO Option B+ for PMTCT. Evaluating CD4 at antiretroviral initiation or 6-months postpartum can identify pregnant women who would most benefit from continuing cART in settings unable to implement WHO Option B+.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093556
PMCID: PMC3986059  PMID: 24733021
10.  Triple-Antiretroviral Prophylaxis to Prevent Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission through Breastfeeding—The Kisumu Breastfeeding Study, Kenya: A Clinical Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(3):e1001015.
Timothy Thomas and colleagues report the results of the Kisumu breastfeeding study (Kenya), a single-arm trial that assessed the feasibility and safety of a triple-antiretroviral regimen to suppress maternal HIV load in late pregnancy.
Background
Effective strategies are needed for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) in resource-limited settings. The Kisumu Breastfeeding Study was a single-arm open label trial conducted between July 2003 and February 2009. The overall aim was to investigate whether a maternal triple-antiretroviral regimen that was designed to maximally suppress viral load in late pregnancy and the first 6 mo of lactation was a safe, well-tolerated, and effective PMTCT intervention.
Methods and Findings
HIV-infected pregnant women took zidovudine, lamivudine, and either nevirapine or nelfinavir from 34–36 weeks' gestation to 6 mo post partum. Infants received single-dose nevirapine at birth. Women were advised to breastfeed exclusively and wean rapidly just before 6 mo. Using Kaplan-Meier methods we estimated HIV-transmission and death rates from delivery to 24 mo. We compared HIV-transmission rates among subgroups defined by maternal risk factors, including baseline CD4 cell count and viral load.
Among 487 live-born, singleton, or first-born infants, cumulative HIV-transmission rates at birth, 6 weeks, and 6, 12, and 24 mo were 2.5%, 4.2%, 5.0%, 5.7%, and 7.0%, respectively. The 24-mo HIV-transmission rates stratified by baseline maternal CD4 cell count <500 and ≥500 cells/mm3 were 8.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.8%–12.0%) and 4.1% (1.8%–8.8%), respectively (p = 0.06); the corresponding rates stratified by baseline maternal viral load <10,000 and ≥10,000 copies/ml were 3.0% (1.1%–7.8%) and 8.7% (6.1%–12.3%), respectively (p = 0.01). None of the 12 maternal and 51 infant deaths (including two second-born infants) were attributed to antiretrovirals. The cumulative HIV-transmission or death rate at 24 mo was 15.7% (95% CI 12.7%–19.4%).
Conclusions
This trial shows that a maternal triple-antiretroviral regimen from late pregnancy through 6 months of breastfeeding for PMTCT is safe and feasible in a resource-limited setting. These findings are consistent with those from other trials using maternal triple-antiretroviral regimens during breastfeeding in comparable settings.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00146380
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, about half a million children become infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nearly all these newly infected children live in resource-limited countries and most acquire HIV from their mother, so-called mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Without intervention, 25%–50% of babies born to HIV-positive mothers become infected with HIV during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. This infection rate can be reduced by treating mother and child with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. A single dose of nevirapine (a “non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor” or NNRTI) given to the mother at the start of labor and to her baby soon after birth nearly halves the risk of MTCT. Further reductions in risk can be achieved by giving mother and baby three ARVs—an NNRTI and two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs such as zidovudine and lamivudine)—during pregnancy and perinatally (around the time of birth).
Why Was This Study Done?
Breastfeeding is crucial for child survival in poor countries but it is also responsible for up to half of MTCT. Consequently, many researchers are investigating how various ARV regimens given to mothers and/or their infants during the first few months of life as well as during pregnancy and perinatally affect MTCT. In this single-arm trial, the researchers assess the feasibility and safety of using a triple-ARV regimen to suppress the maternal HIV load (amount of virus in the blood) from late pregnancy though 6 months of breastfeeding among HIV-positive women in Kisumu, Kenya, and ask whether this approach achieves a lower HIV transmission rate than other ARV regimens that have been tested in resource-limited settings. In a single-arm trial, all the participants are given the same treatment. By contrast, in a “randomized controlled” trial, half the participants chosen at random are given the treatment under investigation and the rest are given a control treatment. A randomized controlled trial provides a better comparison of treatments than a single-arm trial but is more costly.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In the Kisumu Breastfeeding Study (KiBS), HIV-infected pregnant women took a triple-ARV regimen containing zidovudine and lamivudine and either nevirapine or the protease inhibitor nelfinavir from 34–36 weeks of pregnancy to 6 months after delivery. They were advised to breastfeed their babies (who received single-dose nevirapine at birth), and to wean them rapidly just before 6 months. The researchers then used Kaplan-Meier statistical methods to estimate HIV transmission and death rates among 487 live-born infants from delivery to 24 months. The cumulative HIV transmission rate rose from 2.5% at birth to 7.0% at 24 months. The cumulative HIV transmission or death rate at 24 months was 15.7%; no infant deaths were attributed to ARVs. At 24 months, 3.0% of babies born to mothers with a low viral load were HIV positive compared to 8.7% of babies born to mothers with a high viral load, a statistically significant difference. Similarly, at 24 months, 8.4% of babies born to mothers with low baseline CD4 cell counts (CD4 cells are immune system cells that are killed by HIV; CD4 cell counts indicate the level of HIV-inflicted immune system damage) were HIV positive compared to 4.1% of babies born to mothers with high baseline CD4 cell counts, although this difference did not achieve statistical significance.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although these findings are limited by the single-arm design, they support the idea that giving breastfeeding women a triple-ARV regimen from late pregnancy to 6 months is a safe, feasible way to reduce MTCT in resource-limited settings. The HIV transmission rates in this study are comparable to those recorded in similar trials in other resource-limited settings and are lower than MTCT rates observed previously in Kisumu in a study in which no ARVs were used. Importantly, the KiBS mothers took most of the ARVs they were prescribed and most stopped breastfeeding by 6 months as advised. The intense follow-up employed in KiBS may be partly responsible for this good adherence to the trial protocol and thus this study's findings may not be generalizable to all resource-limited settings. Nevertheless, they suggest that a simple triple-ARV regimen given to HIV-positive pregnant women regardless of their baseline CD4 cell count can reduce MTCT during pregnancy and breastfeeding in resource-limited setting.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001015.
The accompanying PLoS Medicine Research article by Zeh and colleagues describes the emergence of resistance to ARVs in KiBS
Information on HIV and AIDS is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on children, HIV, and AIDS and on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (in English and Spanish)
UNICEF also has information about children and HIV and AIDS (in several languages)
The World Health organization has information on mother-to-child transmission of HIV http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/mtct/en/index.html (in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001015
PMCID: PMC3066129  PMID: 21468300
11.  Stigmatizing attitudes and low levels of knowledge but high willingness to participate in HIV management: A community-based survey of pharmacies in Pune, India 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:517.
Background
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the role of pharmacists in low-income settings be expanded to address the increasing complexity of HIV antiretroviral (ARV) and co-infection drug regimens. However, in many such settings including in India, many pharmacists and pharmacy workers are often neither well trained nor aware of the intricacies of HIV treatment. The aims of our study were; to determine the availability of ARVs, provision of ARVs, knowledge about ARVs, attitudes towards HIV-infected persons and self-perceived need for training among community-based pharmacies in an urban area of India.
Methods
We performed a survey of randomly selected, community-based pharmacies located in Pune, India, in 2004-2005 to determine the availability of ARVs at these pharmacies, how they were providing ARVs and their self-perceived need for training. We also assessed knowledge, attitudes and perceptions on HIV and ARVs and factors associated with stocking ARVs.
Results
Of 207 pharmacies included in the survey, 200 (96.6%) were single, private establishments. Seventy-three (35.3%) pharmacies stocked ARVs and 38 (18.4%) ordered ARVs upon request. The reported median number of ARV pills that patients bought at one time was 30, a two week supply of ARVs (range: 3-240 pills). Six (2.9%) pharmacy respondents reported selling non-allopathic medicines (i.e. Ayurvedic, homeopathy) for HIV. Ninety (44.2%) pharmacy respondents knew that ARVs cannot cure HIV, with those stocking ARVs being more likely to respond correctly (60.3% vs. 34.8%, p = 0.001). Respondents of pharmacies which stocked ARVs were also more likely to believe it was a professional obligation to provide medications to HIV-infected persons (91.8% vs. 78.8%, p = 0.007) but they were also more likely to believe that HIV-infected persons are unable to adhere to their medicines (79.5% vs. 40.9%, p < 0.01). Knowledge of the most common side effects of nevirapine, abnormal liver enzyme profile and skin rash, was reported correctly by 8 (3.9%) and 23 (11.1%) respondents, respectively. Seven (3.4%) respondents reported that they had received special training on HIV, 3 (1.5%) reported receipt of special training on ART and 167 (80.7%) reported that they believed that pharmacy staff should get special training on ART.
Conclusion
There is a high willingness to participate in HIV management among community-based pharmacies but there is a tremendous need for training on HIV therapies. Furthermore, stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV-infected persons persist and interventions to reduce stigma are needed, particularly among those that stock ARVs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-517
PMCID: PMC2939646  PMID: 20799948
12.  Cardiovascular Disease in HIV Infection 
Current opinion in HIV and AIDS  2011;6(4):266-271.
Purpose of Review
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use has markedly reduced AIDS-related mortality and opportunistic illness. With improved survival, cardiovascular disease (CVD) has emerged as an important non-infectious chronic co-morbidity among antiretroviral (ARV)-treated HIV-infected persons.
Recent Findings
HIV infection can impact CVD and co-morbidiities known to increase CVD risk. Untreated HIV can cause proatherogenic elevations in serum lipids. Chronic HIV viremia results in increases in systemic inflammation, hypercoagulation, and reductions in endovascular reactivity, all of which are at least partially reversible with virally suppressive HAART. Chronic T cell activation can also result in adverse vascular effects. Use of some ARV drugs can impact CVD risk by causing pro-atherogenic serum lipid elevations, induction of insulin resistance, increases in visceral adiposity or subcutaneous fat loss. Abacavir use may increase myocardial infarction risk by reducing vascular reactivity and/or increasing platelet activation. Traditional risk factors such as advancing age, smoking, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension remain important predictors of CVD among HAART-treated HIV-infected persons.
Summary
HIV in the HAART era is a chronic manageable condition. CVD is an important cause of morbidity among HIV-infected persons. Untreated HIV can increase CVD risk in several ways and these effects are at least partially reversible with successful treatment. Use of specific ARV’s can adversely impact CVD risk but the multiple long-term benefits of chronic HIV suppression and immune reconstitution achievable with potent HAART outweigh the adverse impact upon CVD risks that they may have. Standard CVD screening and risk-reducing interventions should be routinely undertaken for HIV-infected persons.
doi:10.1097/COH.0b013e328347876c
PMCID: PMC3501268  PMID: 21546831
Cardiovascular disease in HIV infection; Inflammation; hypercoagulation; vascular functioning; Effects of antiretroviral drugs; Hyperlipidemia
13.  The suspected unexpected and serious adverse events of antiretroviral drugs used as HIV prophylaxis in HIV uninfected persons 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19733.
Introduction
With increased usage of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in HIV uninfected persons proper reporting on suspected unexpected serious adverse reactions (SUSARs) and continued insight into serious adverse events (SAEs) is needed for adequate information on ARVs safety in such populations.
Methods
We have evaluated medical documentation of persons receiving ARVs after non-occupationally HIV exposure (nPEP) during five concomitant years (2009–2013). SAEs and SUSARs were evaluated by two HIV physicians and defined according to international standards. In statistical methods, Kaplan Meier survival analysis was used to estimate the probability of SAE and Cox proportional hazard models to identify independent predictors of developing SAE. Only the first SAE was included in these analyses.
Results
In total, 375 persons received nPEP. The most common reason was needle stick (43%), followed by unprotected sexual intercourse (17%), rape (10%) and first aid (10%). In 84 (22%) cases, the source patient was either known to be HIV positive or within a high risk group (active injecting drug user). In total, 170 SAEs were reported, 139 persons had only one SAE and majority developed it within first two weeks. The most frequent first SAEs were gastrointestinal disorders (22%), followed by general symptoms (9%), hypersensitivity reactions (1.6%) and CNS symptoms (1.3%). The remaining events were laboratory abnormalities of liver and kidney function, haematological disorders, other and unknown, each contributing to less than 1% of all patients. 8 (2.1%) patients have developed a SUSAR (bradycardia, vivid dreams, lymphadenopathy of the neck, increased platelet count, swelling and pain of large joints, swelling of lower limbs, peripheral oedema and loss of concentration). 22 (5.9%) persons discontinued nPEP due to adverse event and 19 (5.1%) required a paid sick leave from work. In multivariate analyzes, only age was independent predictor of developing SAE (HR 1.17; [95% CI 1.03–1.34]; p=0.02).
Conclusions
In our observation, SAEs in reaction to nPEP were frequent yet usually mild events, mostly occurring in first two weeks and rarely causing discontinuation. The only significant factor increasing the risk of SAE was age. SUSARs were rare and moderately significant. More insight into this important area is required in order to ascertain proper pharmacovigilance of ARVs usage in HIV uninfected persons.
doi:10.7448/IAS.17.4.19733
PMCID: PMC4225290  PMID: 25397479
14.  The Role of Toxicity-Related Regimen Changes in the Development of Antiretroviral Resistance 
Abstract
In an effort to evaluate factors associated with the development of antiretroviral (ARV) resistance, we assessed the prevalence of toxicity-related regimen changes and modeled its association to the subsequent development of ARV resistance in a cohort of treatment-naive individuals initiating ARV therapy (ART). A retrospective analysis of patients initiating ART was conducted at the UAB 1917 Clinic from 1 January 2000 to 30 September 2007. Cox proportional hazards models were fit to identify factors associated with the development of resistance to ≥1 ARV drug class. Among 462 eligible participants, 14% (n=64) developed ARV resistance. Individuals with ≥1 toxicity-related regimen change (HR=3.94, 95% CI=1.09–14.21), initiating ART containing ddI or d4T (4.12, 1.19–14.26), and from a minority race (2.91, 1.16–7.28) had increased risk of developing resistance. Achieving virologic suppression within 12 months of ART initiation (0.10, 0.05–0.20) and higher pretreatment CD4 count (0.85 per 50 cells/mm3, 0.75–0.96) were associated with decreased hazards of resistance. Changes in ART due to drug intolerance were associated with the subsequent development of ARV resistance. Understanding the role of ARV drug selection and other factors associated with the emergence of ARV resistance will help inform interventions to improve patient care and ensure long-term treatment success.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0291
PMCID: PMC3192056  PMID: 21342052
15.  Efflux transporters- and cytochrome P-450-mediated interactions between drugs of abuse and antiretrovirals☆ 
Life sciences  2010;88(21-22):959-971.
Multidrug regimens and corresponding drug interactions cause many adverse reactions and treatment failures. Drug efflux transporters: P-gp, MRP, BCRP in conjunction with metabolizing enzymes (CYPs) are major factors in such interactions. Most effective combination antiretrovirals (ARV) therapy includes a PI or a NNRTI or two NRTI. Coadministration of such ARV may induce efflux transporters and/or CYP3A4 resulting in sub-therapeutic blood levels and therapeutic failure due to reduced absorption and/or increased metabolism. A similar prognosis is true for ARV-compounds and drugs of abuse combinations. Morphine and nicotine enhance CYP3A4 and MDR1 expression in vitro. A 2.5 fold rise of cortisol metabolite was evident in smokers relative to nonsmokers. Altered functions of efflux transporters and CYPs in response to ARV and drugs of abuse may result in altered drug absorption and metabolism. Appropriate in vitro models can be employed to predict such interactions. Influence of genetic polymorphism, SNP and inter-individual variation in drug response has been discussed. Complexity underlying the relationship between efflux transporters and CYP makes it difficult to predict the outcome of HAART as such, particularly when HIV patients taking drugs of abuse do not adhere to HAART regimens. HIV+ pregnant women on HAART medications, indulging in drugs of abuse, may develop higher viral load due to such interactions and lead to increase in mother to child transmission of HIV. A multidisciplinary approach with clear understanding of mechanism of interactions may allow proper selection of regimens so that desired therapeutic outcome of HAART can be reached without any side effects.
doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2010.09.012
PMCID: PMC3100475  PMID: 20932495
P-glycoprotein; Multidrug resistance-associated protein; Breast cancer resistance protein; Cytochrome P-450; Antiretrovirals agents; Protease inhibitors and drugs of abuse
16.  A pharmacovigilance study of adults on highly active antiretroviral therapy, South Africa: 2007 – 2011 
Background
Of the 1.6 million South African people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), approximately 970,000 (55%) have been initiated on HAART. Despite these numbers, very little has been published about the safety profile of antiretroviral (ARV) medicines in the country. This study was performed at the Medunsa National Pharmacovigilance Centre and aimed to describe the demographic characteristics of patients enrolled in the pharmacovigilance surveillance study; highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation regimen patterns; reasons for regimen changes; and adverse effects of ARV medicines.
Methods
A cohort study of HIV-infected individuals aged 15 years or older who were on ARV medicines was conducted at four sentinel sites.
Results
After HAART initiation, with an average lapse of 17.8 months (range: 0 – 83.8 months), 2,815 patients were enrolled into the study. Results show that patients were observed for 1,606.2 person-years for pharmacy visits (collection of ARV medicines) and 817.1 person-years for clinical visits (consultation with the doctor). Females constituted 69.6% (1,958/2,815) of the study population. Almost all patients initiated HAART on first-line regimens (2,801/2,815). Some patients (6.7%, 190/2,815) dropped out of the study after HAART initiation. Reasons for regimen changes were not recorded for 2.5% (22/891) of the patients who changed regimens. The primary reason for regimen changes was drug-related toxicity (76.1%, 678/891), mostly evident in patients taking first-line regimens. Adverse effects experienced by patients were polyneuropathy (24.0%, 163/678); lipodystrophy (23.9%, 162/678); neuropathy (10.6%, 72/678); and suspected lactic acidosis (3.8%, 26/678).
Conclusion
The majority of prescribers complied with the HAART guidelines and initiated most patients on first-line regimens. However, adverse effects are evident in patients taking first-line regimens. We recommend that the Department of Health should introduce less toxic first-line ARV regimens. Future efforts will aim to initiate patients on HAART and enrol them into the study simultaneously to determine early risk profiles of ARV medicines.
PMCID: PMC3343667  PMID: 22593775
Pharmacovigilance; human immunodeficiency virus; antiretroviral medicines; surveillance
17.  What do mathematical models tell us about the emergence and spread of drug-resistant HIV? 
Current opinion in HIV and AIDS  2011;6(2):131-140.
Structured abstract
Purpose of review
To discuss recent HIV epidemic models examining the transmission of antiretroviral (ARV) drug resistance.
Recent findings
A relatively small number of recent transmission models have investigated ARV resistance in the context of therapeutic, combined ART (cART); ARV-vaginal microbicides (ARV-VMB); and oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Models of cART use have highlighted potential concerns about future resistance transmission, particularly in resource-constrained settings, and have emphasized the benefits of viral load monitoring in limiting resistance spread. PrEP models have concluded that inadvertent use by HIV-infected individuals could increase resistance prevalence, and that risk compensation by PrEP users could limit their beneficial effects on HIV transmission. ARV-VMB models have demonstrated that while resistance can reduce prophylactic effectiveness in preventing HIV acquisition of female ARV-VMB users, it may concomitantly benefit users' male partners if the resistant strains that female users acquire are less transmissible than wild-type strains. The models have examined the balance between these two factors at the population level.
Summary
Recent HIV transmission models have adopted a wide assortment of structures and assumptions to explore drug resistance in the context of different ARV interventions in various settings. There is a need for future work emphasizing the simultaneous effects of multiple ARV interventions, as well as the public health impact of resistance, not just its prevalence.
doi:10.1097/COH.0b013e328343ad03
PMCID: PMC3096989  PMID: 21505388
HIV; mathematical modeling; antiretroviral; resistance; pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); microbicides
18.  Birth defects among a cohort of infants born to HIV-infected women on antiretroviral medication 
Journal of perinatal medicine  2010;39(2):163-170.
Objective
To determine rate of and risk factors for birth defects in infants born to HIV-infected women receiving nucleoside and protease inhibitor antiretroviral (ARV) therapy.
Methods
Birth defects were evaluated among infants on the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group 316 trial that studied addition of peripartum nevirapine to established ARV regimen for prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Maternal therapy was categorized by trimester of earliest exposure. Birth defects were coded using conventions of the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry.
Results
Birth defects were detected in 60/1414 (4.2%; 95% CI 3.3–5.4%) infants including 30/636 (4.7%; 95% CI 3.2–6.7%) with first trimester ARV exposure and 30/778 (3.9%; 95% CI 2.6–5.5%) with exposure only after the first trimester (P=0.51). Rates of classes of defects were similar between first trimester compared to later exposure groups except heart defects which occurred in 16 (2.5%; 95% CI 1.4–4.1%) with first trimester ARV exposure and in six (0.8%; 95% CI 0.3–1.7%) infants with later exposure (P=0.02). Exposure to ARV was not associated with specific types of heart defects. Two cases of cardiomyopathy were noted.
Conclusion
ARV use in early pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk of birth defects overall. The possible association of ARV exposure with heart defects requires further surveillance.
doi:10.1515/JPM.2010.139
PMCID: PMC3068472  PMID: 21142844
Antiretrovirals; birth defects; HIV
19.  Safety of Perinatal Exposure to Antiretroviral Medications: Developmental Outcomes in Infants 
Background
This study evaluated effects of perinatal exposure to antiretroviral (ARV) medications on neurodevelopment of HIV-exposed, uninfected infants.
Methods
HIV-exposed, uninfected infants (age 9-15 months) enrolled in SMARTT, a multisite prospective surveillance study, completed the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development—Third Edition (Bayley-III), assessing cognition, language, motor skills, social-emotional development, and adaptive behavior. Linear regression models were used to evaluate associations between Bayley-III outcomes in infants with and without perinatal and neonatal ARV exposure, by regimen (combination ARV [cARV] versus non-cARV), type of regimen (defined by drug class), and individual ARVs (for infants with cARV exposure), adjusting for maternal and infant health and demographic covariates.
Results
As of May 2010, 374 infants had valid Bayley-III evaluations. Median age at testing was 12.7 months; 49% male, 79% black, 16% Hispanic. Seventy-nine percent were exposed to regimens containing protease inhibitors (PIs; 9% of PI-containing regimens also included non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors [NNRTIs]), 5% to regimens containing NNRTIs (without PI), and 14% to regimens containing only nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Overall, 83% were exposed to cARV. No Bayley-III outcome was significantly associated with overall exposure to cARV, ARV regimen, or neonatal prophylaxis. For individual ARVs, following sensitivity analyses, the adjusted group mean on the Language domain was within age expectations but significantly lower for infants with perinatal exposure to atazanavir (p=0.01).
Conclusions
These results support the safety of perinatal ARV use. Continued monitoring for adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in older children is warranted, and the safety of atazanavir merits further study.
doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e318284129a
PMCID: PMC3723344  PMID: 23340561
HIV; ARV; infant; neurodevelopment; developmental assessment
20.  Incident HIV during Pregnancy and Postpartum and Risk of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(2):e1001608.
Alison Drake and colleagues conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate maternal HIV incidence during pregnancy and the postpartum period and to compare mother-to-child HIV transmission risk among women with incident versus chronic infection.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Women may have persistent risk of HIV acquisition during pregnancy and postpartum. Estimating risk of HIV during these periods is important to inform optimal prevention approaches. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate maternal HIV incidence during pregnancy/postpartum and to compare mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) risk among women with incident versus chronic infection.
Methods and Findings
We searched PubMed, Embase, and AIDS-related conference abstracts between January 1, 1980, and October 31, 2013, for articles and abstracts describing HIV acquisition during pregnancy/postpartum. The inclusion criterion was studies with data on recent HIV during pregnancy/postpartum. Random effects models were constructed to pool HIV incidence rates, cumulative HIV incidence, hazard ratios (HRs), or odds ratios (ORs) summarizing the association between pregnancy/postpartum status and HIV incidence, and MTCT risk and rates. Overall, 1,176 studies met the search criteria, of which 78 met the inclusion criterion, and 47 contributed data. Using data from 19 cohorts representing 22,803 total person-years, the pooled HIV incidence rate during pregnancy/postpartum was 3.8/100 person-years (95% CI 3.0–4.6): 4.7/100 person-years during pregnancy and 2.9/100 person-years postpartum (p = 0.18). Pooled cumulative HIV incidence was significantly higher in African than non-African countries (3.6% versus 0.3%, respectively; p<0.001). Risk of HIV was not significantly higher among pregnant (HR 1.3, 95% CI 0.5–2.1) or postpartum women (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.6–1.6) than among non-pregnant/non-postpartum women in five studies with available data. In African cohorts, MTCT risk was significantly higher among women with incident versus chronic HIV infection in the postpartum period (OR 2.9, 95% CI 2.2–3.9) or in pregnancy/postpartum periods combined (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2–4.4). However, the small number of studies limited power to detect associations and sources of heterogeneity.
Conclusions
Pregnancy and the postpartum period are times of persistent HIV risk, at rates similar to “high risk” cohorts. MTCT risk was elevated among women with incident infections. Detection and prevention of incident HIV in pregnancy/postpartum should be prioritized, and is critical to decrease MTCT.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, about 3.4 million children younger than 15 years old (mostly living in sub-Saharan Africa) are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS by gradually destroying immune system cells, thereby leaving infected individuals susceptible to other serious infections. In 2012 alone, 230,000 children (more than 700 every day) were newly infected with HIV. Most HIV infections among children are the result of mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. The rate of MTCT (and deaths among HIV-positive pregnant women from complications related to HIV infection) can be greatly reduced by testing women for HIV infection during pregnancy (antenatal HIV testing), treating HIV-positive women with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs, powerful drugs that control HIV replication and allow the immune system to recover) during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding, and giving ARVs to their newborn babies.
Why Was This Study Done?
The World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have developed a global plan that aims to move towards eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015 and towards keeping their mothers alive. To ensure the plan's success, the incidence of HIV (the number of new infections) among women and the rate of MTCT must be reduced by increasing ARV uptake by mothers and their infants for the prevention of MTCT. However, the risk of HIV infection among pregnant women and among women who have recently given birth (postpartum women) is poorly understood because, although guidelines recommend repeat HIV testing during late pregnancy or at delivery in settings where HIV infection is common, pregnant women are often tested only once for HIV infection. The lack of retesting represents a missed opportunity to identify pregnant and postpartum women who have recently acquired HIV and to prevent MTCT by initiating ARV therapy. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic) and meta-analysis (a study that uses statistical methods to combine the results of several studies), the researchers estimate maternal HIV incidence during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and compare the risk of MTCT among women with incident (new) and chronic (long-standing) HIV infection.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 47 studies (35 undertaken in Africa) that examined recent HIV acquisition by women during pregnancy and the 12-month postpartum period. They used random effects statistical models to estimate the pooled HIV incidence rate and cumulative HIV incidence (the number of new infections per number of people at risk), and the association between pregnancy/postpartum status and HIV incidence and MTCT risk and rates. The pooled HIV incidence rate among pregnant/postpartum women estimated from 19 studies (all from sub-Saharan Africa) that reported HIV incidence rates was 3.8/100 person-years. The pooled cumulative HIV incidence was significantly higher in African countries than in non-African countries (3.6% and 0.3%, respectively; a “significant” difference is one that is unlikely to arise by chance). In the five studies that provided suitable data, the risk of HIV acquisition was similar in pregnant, postpartum, and non-pregnant/non-postpartum women. Finally, among African women, the risk of MTCT was 2.9-fold higher during the postpartum period among those who had recently acquired HIV than among those with chronic HIV infection, and 2.3-fold higher during the pregnancy/postpartum periods combined.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results suggest that women living in regions where HIV infection is common are at high risk of acquiring HIV infection during pregnancy and the postpartum period and that mothers who acquire HIV during pregnancy or postpartum are more likely to pass the infection on to their offspring than mothers with chronic HIV infections. However, the small number of studies included in this meta-analysis and the use of heterogeneous research methodologies in these studies may limit the accuracy of these findings. Nevertheless, these findings have important implications for the global plan to eliminate HIV infections in children. First, they suggest that women living in regions where HIV infection is common should be offered repeat HIV testing (using sensitive methods to enhance early detection of infection) during pregnancy and in the postpartum period to detect incident HIV infections, and should be promptly referred to HIV care and treatment. Second, they suggest that prevention of HIV transmission during pregnancy and postpartum should be prioritized, for example, by counseling women about the need to use condoms to prevent transmission during this period of their lives.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001608.
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS and summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on children and HIV/AIDS and on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (in English and Spanish)
The 2013 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report provides information about the AIDS epidemic and efforts to halt it; the 2013 UNAIDS Progress Report on the Global Plan provides information on progress towards eliminating new HIV infections among children; the UNAIDS Believe it. Do it website provides information about the campaign to support the UNAIDS global plan
Personal stories about living with HIV/AIDS, including stories from young people infected with HIV, are available through Avert, NAM/aidsmap, and Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001608
PMCID: PMC3934828  PMID: 24586123
21.  Pregnancy Outcome in HIV-1-infected Women Receiving Combination Antiretroviral Therapy Prior versus After Conception 
Objective
Results regarding potential adverse effects of antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy are discrepant and few studies, most from Europe, have provided information about pregnancy outcomes of those already on treatment at conception. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of antiretrovirals on pregnancy outcome according to the timing of treatment initiation in relation to pregnancy in a cohort of Brazilian HIV infected pregnant women.
Methods
A prospective cohort of 696 pregnancies followed-up in one single center between 1996 and 2006 was studied. Patients in receipt of antiretrovirals before pregnancy were compared with those treated after the first trimester. The outcomes evaluated were preterm delivery (PTD): < 37 weeks; severe PTD (< 34 weeks); low birth weight (LBW): < 2500 g; very LBW: < 1500 g.
Results
Patients on pre-conception use of ARV had higher rates of LBW (33.3% vs. 16.5%; p = 0.0002), and a similar trend for PTD (26.3% % vs. 17.7%; p = 0.09). Stratification by type of therapy (dual vs. HAART) according to timing of initiation of ARV showed that patients in use of pre-conception HAART have a higher rate of PTD (20.2% vs. 10.2%, p = 0.03) and LBW (24.2% vs. 10.2%, p = 0.002). After adjusting for several factors, pre-conception HAART was associated with an increased risk for PTD (AOR: 5.0; 95% CI: 1.5 – 17.0, p = 0.009) and LBW (OR: 3.6; 95% CI: 1.7 – 7.7, p = 0.001).
Conclusions
We identified an increased risk for LBW and PTD in patients in receipt of HAART prior to pregnancy.
doi:10.1136/sti.2008.032300
PMCID: PMC2864649  PMID: 18987014
pregnancy; outcome; HIV; antiretroviral
22.  Prevention of mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission in Burkina Faso: evaluation of vertical transmission by PCR, molecular characterization of subtypes and determination of antiretroviral drugs resistance 
Global Health Action  2015;8:10.3402/gha.v8.26065.
Background
Vertical human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission is a public health problem in Burkina Faso. The main objective of this study on the prevention of mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission was to determine the residual risk of HIV transmission in infants born to mothers receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Moreover, we detect HIV antiretroviral (ARV) drug resistance among mother–infant pairs and identify subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRF) in Burkina Faso.
Design
In this study, 3,215 samples of pregnant women were analyzed for HIV using rapid tests. Vertical transmission was estimated by polymerase chain reaction in 6-month-old infants born to women who tested HIV positive. HIV-1 resistance to ARV, subtypes, and CRFs was determined through ViroSeq kit using the ABI PRISM 3,130 sequencer.
Results
In this study, 12.26% (394/3,215) of the pregnant women were diagnosed HIV positive. There was 0.52% (2/388) overall vertical transmission of HIV, with rates of 1.75% (2/114) among mothers under prophylaxis and 0.00% (0/274) for those under HAART. Genetic mutations were also isolated that induce resistance to ARV such as M184V, Y115F, K103N, Y181C, V179E, and G190A. There were subtypes and CRF of HIV-1 present, the most common being: CRF06_CPX (58.8%), CRF02_AG (35.3%), and subtype G (5.9%).
Conclusions
ARV drugs reduce the residual rate of HIV vertical transmission. However, the virus has developed resistance to ARV, which could limit future therapeutic options when treatment is needed. Resistance to ARV therefore requires a permanent interaction between researchers, physicians, and pharmacists, to strengthen the network of monitoring and surveillance of drug resistance in Burkina Faso.
doi:10.3402/gha.v8.26065
PMCID: PMC4309832  PMID: 25630709
pregnant women; HAART; sequencing; genotypes; mutations
23.  Emergence of Multiclass Drug–Resistance in HIV-2 in Antiretroviral-Treated Individuals in Senegal: Implications for HIV-2 Treatment in Resouce-Limited West Africa 
Background
The efficacy of various antiretroviral (ARV) therapy regimens for human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) infection remains unclear. HIV-2 is intrinsically resistant to the nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors and to enfuvirtide and may also be less susceptible than HIV-1 to some protease inhibitors (PIs). However, the mutations in HIV-2 that confer ARV resistance are not well characterized.
Methods
Twenty-three patients were studied as part of an ongoing prospective longitudinal cohort study of ARV therapy for HIV-2 infection in Senegal. Patients were treated with nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)– and PI (indinavir)–based regimens. HIV-2 pol genes from these patients were genotyped, and the mutations predictive of resistance in HIV-2 were assessed. Correlates of ARV resistance were analyzed.
Results
Multiclass drug–resistance mutations (NRTI and PI) were detected in strains in 30% of patients; 52% had evidence of resistance to at least 1 ARV class. The reverse-transcriptase mutations M184V and K65R, which confer high-level resistance to lamivudine and emtricitabine in HIV-2, were found in strains from 43% and 9% of patients, respectively. The Q151M mutation, which confers multinucleoside resistance in HIV-2, emerged in strains from 9% of patients. HIV-1–associated thymidine analogue mutations (M41L, D67N, K70R, L210W, and T215Y/F) were not observed, with the exception of K70R, which was present together with K65R and Q151M in a strain from 1 patient. Eight patients had HIV-2 with PI mutations associated with indinavir resistance, including K7R, I54M, V62A, I82F, L90M, L99F; 4 patients had strains with multiple PI resistance–associated mutations. The duration of ARV therapy was positively associated with the development of drug resistance (P = .02). Nine (82%) of 11 patients with HIV-2 with detectable ARV resistance had undetectable plasma HIV-2 RNA loads (<1.4 log10 copies/mL), compared with 3 (25%) of 12 patients with HIV-2 with detectable ARV resistance (P = .009). Patients with ARV-resistant virus had higher plasma HIV-2 RNA loads, compared with those with non–ARV-resistant virus (median, 1.7 log10 copies/mL [range, <1.4 to 2.6 log10 copies/mL] vs. <1.4 log10 copies/mL [range, <1.4 to 1.6 log10 copies/mL]; P = .003).
Conclusions
HIV-2–infected individuals treated with ARV therapy in Senegal commonly have HIV-2 mutations consistent with multiclass drug resistance. Additional clinical studies are required to improve the efficacy of primary and salvage treatment regimens for treating HIV-2 infection.
doi:10.1086/596504
PMCID: PMC3671065  PMID: 19143530
24.  Neurodevelopment and In Utero Antiretroviral Exposure of HIV-Exposed Uninfected Infants 
Pediatrics  2010;125(2):e250-e260.
OBJECTIVE
Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are routinely provided to HIV-infected pregnant women to prevent HIV mother-to-child transmission. Although ARV use has significantly reduced mother-to-child transmission to <2% in the United States, it remains crucial to monitor uninfected infants and children for adverse consequences of in utero ARV exposure.
METHODS
We studied neurodevelopmental function in HIV-exposed uninfected children who were enrolled in Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group 219/219C, a multisite, prospective, cohort study. Mental and motor functioning were assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID), first and second editions. ARV exposure information was collected during pregnancy or within the first years of life. Linear regression methods were used to evaluate the association of in utero ARV exposure on Mental Developmental Index and Psychomotor Developmental Index at 2 years of age, controlling for demographic factors (age, gender, and race/ethnicity) and potential confounders: test version, primary language, primary caregiver, caregiver education level, low birth weight, geographic and urban/rural location, birth year, and maternal illicit drug use.
RESULTS
Among 1840 infants who were born between 1993 and 2006, 1694 (92%) were exposed to ARV in utero and 146 (8%) were not exposed. After controlling for confounders, children who were exposed in utero to any ARV did not have lower Mental Developmental Index and Psychomotor Developmental Index scores than unexposed children. Among low birth weight infants, significantly higher BSID scores were observed for prenatally ARV-exposed than unexposed children. Maternal illicit drug use was reported for 17% of mothers but was not associated with BSID scores.
CONCLUSIONS
Mental and motor functioning scores were not lower for infants with in utero ARV exposure compared with no exposure. Although these results are reassuring, continued evaluation of uninfected children with in utero ARV exposure for long-term adverse outcomes is important.
doi:10.1542/peds.2009-1112
PMCID: PMC2951128  PMID: 20083530
Bayley scales; mental development; motor development; maternal health; antiretroviral treatment; low birth weight
25.  Antiretroviral drugs: Critical issues and recent advances 
Indian Journal of Pharmacology  2012;44(3):288-298.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is now recognized as a chronic illness. Although the success of highly active antiretroviral therapy is beyond question, several issues still persist. Since the drugs cannot eradicate the virus, cure is not yet possible, and patients have to maintain a lifelong adherence with the risk of toxic effects, drug-drug interactions and drug resistance. A clear understanding of the viral replication and its interaction with host cell factors has led to the development of a large number of effective antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). New drugs in the existing class such as apricitabine, elvucitabine and etravirine have shown promising results against HIV isolates resistant to first line drugs. These drugs have offered a new choice for patients with drug resistant disease. However, the impact of their long term use on safety is yet to be assessed. Novel drugs with unique mechanism of action such as CD4 receptor attachment inhibitors, maturation inhibitors, pharmacokinetic enhancers, capsid assembly inhibitors and lens epithelium derived growth factor inhibitors are still under development. Currently, ARVs, especially tenofovir and emtricitabine, are also being evaluated for prevention of sexual transmission of HIV-1. The initial results of an HIV prevention trial network are encouraging and have recommended the use of ARVs for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Thus, ARVs form the key component of HIV prevention and treatment strategy. This article discusses the challenges associated with HIV-1 treatment and updates several major advances in the development of ARVs.
doi:10.4103/0253-7613.96296
PMCID: PMC3371447  PMID: 22701234
Antiretroviral drugs; challenges; recent advances

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