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1.  Sleep Characteristics, Mental Health, and Diabetes Risk 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(10):3154-3161.
Research has suggested that a higher risk of type 2 diabetes associated with sleep characteristics exists. However, studies have not thoroughly assessed the potential confounding effects of mental health conditions associated with alterations in sleep.
We prospectively assessed the association between sleep characteristics and self-reported incident diabetes among Millennium Cohort Study participants prospectively followed over a 6-year time period. Surveys are administered approximately every 3 years and collect self-reported data on demographics, height, weight, lifestyle, features of military service, sleep, clinician-diagnosed diabetes, and mental health conditions assessed by the PRIME-MD Patient Health Questionnaire and the PTSD Checklist–Civilian Version. Statistical methods for longitudinal data were used for data analysis.
We studied 47,093 participants (mean 34.9 years of age; mean BMI 26.0 kg/m2; 25.6% female). During 6 years of follow-up, 871 incident diabetes cases occurred (annual incidence 3.6/1,000 person-years). In univariate analyses, incident diabetes was significantly more likely among participants with self-reported trouble sleeping, sleep duration <6 h, and sleep apnea. Participants reporting incident diabetes were also significantly older, of nonwhite race, of higher BMI, less likely to have been deployed, and more likely to have reported baseline symptoms of panic, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression. After adjusting for covariates, trouble sleeping (odds ratio 1.21 [95% CI 1.03–1.42]) and sleep apnea (1.78 [1.39–2.28]) were significantly and independently related to incident diabetes.
Trouble sleeping and sleep apnea predict diabetes risk independent of mental health conditions and other diabetes risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3781550  PMID: 23835691
2.  Hepatitis E Virus Infection in HIV-infected Persons 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2012;18(3):502-506.
To determine whether hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a cause of hepatitis among HIV-infected persons, we evaluated 1985–2009 data for US military beneficiaries. Evidence of acute or prior HEV infection was detected for 7 (4%) and 5 (3%) of 194 HIV-infected persons, respectively. HEV might be a cause of acute hepatitis among HIV-infected persons.
PMCID: PMC3309581  PMID: 22377220
Hepatitis E virus; HIV; epidemiology; hepatitis; military; viruses
3.  Health-Related Behaviors and Effectiveness of Trivalent Inactivated versus Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine in Preventing Influenza-Like Illness among Young Adults 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102154.
Vaccination is the preferred preventive strategy against influenza. Though health behaviors are known to affect immunity and vaccine delivery modes utilize different immune processes, data regarding the preferred influenza vaccine type among adults endorsing specific health-related behaviors (alcohol use, tobacco use, and exercise level) are limited.
The relative effectiveness of two currently available influenza vaccines were compared for prevention of influenza-like illness during 2 well-matched influenza seasons (2006/2007, 2008/2009) among US military personnel aged 18–49 years. Relative vaccine effectiveness was compared between those self-reporting and not reporting recent smoking history and potential alcohol problem, and by exercise level using Cox proportional hazard modeling adjusted for sociodemographic and military factors, geographic area, and other health behaviors.
28,929 vaccination events and 3936 influenza-like illness events over both influenza seasons were studied. Of subjects, 27.5% were smokers, 7.7% had a potential alcohol-related problem, 10.5% reported minimal exercise, and 4.4% reported high exercise levels. Overall, the risk of influenza-like illness did not significantly differ between live attenuated and trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine recipients (hazard ratio, 0.98; 95% confidence interval, 0.90–1.06). In the final adjusted model, the relative effectiveness of the 2 vaccine types did not differ by smoking status (p = 0.10), alcohol status (p = 0.21), or activity level (p = 0.11).
Live attenuated and trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines were similarly effective in preventing influenza-like illness among young adults and did not differ by health-related behavior status. Influenza vaccine efforts should continue to focus simply on delivering vaccine.
PMCID: PMC4094506  PMID: 25013931
4.  Race/ethnicity and HAART initiation in a military HIV infected cohort 
Prior studies have suggested that HAART initiation may vary by race/ethnicity. Utilizing the U.S. military healthcare system, which minimizes confounding from healthcare access, we analyzed whether timing of HAART initiation and the appropriate initiation of primary prophylaxis among those at high risk for pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) varies by race/ethnicity.
Participants in the U.S. Military HIV Natural History Study from 1998-2009 who had not initiated HAART before 1998 and who, based on DHHS guidelines, had a definite indication for HAART (CD4 <200, AIDS event or severe symptoms; Group A), an indication to consider HAART (including CD4 <350; Group B) or electively started HAART (CD4 >350; Group C) were analyzed for factors associated with HAART initiation. In a secondary analysis, participants were also evaluated for factors associated with starting primary PCP prophylaxis within four months of a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3. Multiple logistic regression was used to compare those who started vs. delayed therapy; comparisons were expressed as odds ratios (OR).
1262 participants were evaluated in the analysis of HAART initiation (A = 208, B = 637, C = 479 [62 participants were evaluated in both Groups A and B]; 94% male, 46% African American, 40% Caucasian). Race/ethnicity was not associated with HAART initiation in Groups A or B. In Group C, African American race/ethnicity was associated with lower odds of initiating HAART (OR 0.49, p = 0.04). Race and ethnicity were also not associated with the initiation of primary PCP prophylaxis among the 408 participants who were at risk.
No disparities in the initiation of HAART or primary PCP prophylaxis according to race/ethnicity were seen among those with an indication for therapy. Among those electively initiating HAART at the highest CD4 cell counts, African American race/ethnicity was associated with decreased odds of starting. This suggests that free healthcare can potentially overcome some of the observed disparities in HIV care, but that unmeasured factors may contribute to differences in elective care decisions.
PMCID: PMC3922739  PMID: 24460764
HIV; HAART; Race; Ethnicity; Indications for HIV treatment; Disparities in care; African Americans
5.  Low prevalence of neurocognitive impairment in early diagnosed and managed HIV-infected persons 
Neurology  2013;80(4):371-379.
To describe the prevalence of neurocognitive impairment (NCI) among early diagnosed and managed HIV-infected persons (HIV+) compared to HIV-negative controls.
We performed a cross-sectional study among 200 HIV+ and 50 matched HIV-uninfected (HIV−) military beneficiaries. HIV+ patients were categorized as earlier (<6 years of HIV, no AIDS-defining conditions, and CD4 nadir >200 cells/mm3) or later stage patients (n = 100 in each group); both groups were diagnosed early and had access to care. NCI was diagnosed using a comprehensive battery of standardized neuropsychological tests.
HIV+ patients had a median age of 36 years, 91% were seroconverters (median window of 1.2 years), had a median duration of HIV of 5 years, had a CD4 nadir of 319, had current CD4 of 546 cells/mm3, and 64% were on highly active antiretroviral therapy (initiated 1.3 years after diagnosis at a median CD4 of 333 cells/mm3). NCI was diagnosed among 38 (19%, 95% confidence interval 14%–25%) HIV+ patients, with a similar prevalence of NCI among earlier and later stage patients (18% vs 20%, p = 0.72). The prevalence of NCI among HIV+ patients was similar to HIV− patients.
HIV+ patients diagnosed and managed early during the course of HIV infection had a low prevalence of NCI, comparable to matched HIV-uninfected persons. Early recognition and management of HIV infection may be important in limiting neurocognitive impairment.
PMCID: PMC3589242  PMID: 23303852
6.  Vitamin D Deficiency and Its Association With Low Bone Mineral Density, HIV-Related Factors, Hospitalization, and Death in a Predominantly Black HIV-Infected Cohort 
Despite a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (VDD) among a predominantly black human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected cohort, deficiency did not explain an observed racial disparity in low bone mineral density. Prevalence of VDD among HIV-infected persons was not significantly different from non-HIV infected controls.
Background. Low bone mineral density (BMD) is common among patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and present in higher rates in black subjects. This study assessed vitamin D levels in HIV cases versus noninfected matched controls to determine if deficiency was associated with BMD and HIV clinical outcomes.
Methods. In total, 271 military beneficiaries with HIV underwent dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) screening in 2001–2. Serum 25OH-vitamin D levels were determined using stored serum from the time of DEXA and 6–18 months prior. Two non–HIV-infected controls for each active duty case (n = 205) were matched on age, sex, race, zip code, and season using the Department of Defense Serum Repository (DoDSR). Vitamin D levels <20 ng/mL were considered deficient. HIV-related factors and clinical outcomes were assessed using data collected in the DoD HIV Natural History study.
Results. In total, 165 of 205 (80.5%) active duty HIV cases had 2 matched controls available. HIV cases had greater odds of for vitamin D deficiency (VDD) compared with controls (demographics adjusted paired data odds ratio [OR], 1.46, 95% confidence interval [CI], .87–2.45), but this was not statistically significant. Blacks were disproportionately deficient (P <.001) but not relative to HIV status or BMD. Low BMD was associated with typical risk factors (low body mass index and exercise levels, alcohol use); given limited available data the relationship between tenofovir exposure and VDD or low BMD could not be determined. Analysis of HIV-specific factors and outcomes such as exposure to antiretrovirals, HIV progression, hospitalizations, and death revealed no significant associations with vitamin D levels.
Conclusions. VDD was highly prevalent in black HIV- infected persons but did not explain the observed racial disparity in BMD. Vitamin D deficiency was not more common among HIV- infected persons, nor did it seem associated with HIV- related factors/clinical outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3501334  PMID: 22972869
7.  Results of a 25 Year Longitudinal Analysis of the Serologic Incidence of Syphilis in a Cohort of HIV Infected Patients with Unrestricted Access to Care 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2012;39(6):10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318249d90f.
The well described biological and epidemiologic associations of syphilis and HIV are particularly relevant to the military, as service members are young and at risk for sexually transmitted infections. We therefore used the results of serial serologic testing to determine the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors for incident syphilis in a cohort of HIV-infected Department of Defense beneficiaries.
Participants with a positive non-treponemal test at HIV diagnosis that was confirmed on treponemal testing were categorized as prevalent cases, whereas participants with an initial negative non-treponemal test who subsequently developed a confirmed positive non-treponemal test as incident cases.
At HIV diagnosis the prevalence of syphilis was 5.8% (n=202). 4239 participants contributed 27,192 person years (PY) to the incidence analysis and 347 (8%) developed syphilis (rate 1.3/100 PY; [1.1, 1.4]). Syphilis incidence was highest during the calendar years 2006 - 2009 (2.5/100 PY; [2.0, 2.9]). In multivariate analyses, younger age (per 10 year increase HR 0.8;[0.8-0.9]); male gender (HR 5.6; [2.3-13.7]); non European-American ethnicity (African-American (HR 3.2; [2.5-4.2]; Hispanic HR 1.9; [1.2-3.0]); history of hepatitis B (HR 1.5; [1.2-1.9]) or gonorrhea (HR 1.4; [1.1 −1.8]) were associated with syphilis.
The significant burden of disease both at and after HIV diagnosis, observed in this cohort, suggests that the cost-effectiveness of extending syphilis screening to at risk military members should be assessed. In addition, HIV infected persons continue to acquire syphilis, emphasizing the continued importance of prevention for positive programs.
PMCID: PMC3846570  PMID: 22592829
Seroincidence; Seroprevalence; Risk Factors; Syphilis; HIV infected persons
8.  Early Postseroconversion CD4 Cell Counts Independently Predict CD4 Cell Count Recovery in HIV-1–Postive Subjects Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy 
The relationship between CD4+ T-cell counts determined soon after seroconversion with HIV-1 (baseline CD4), nadir CD4, and CD4 levels attained during highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is unknown.
Longitudinal, including baseline (at or soon after HIV diagnosis), intermediate (nadir), and distal (post-HAART) CD4+ T-cell counts were assessed in 1085 seroconverting subjects who achieved viral load suppression from a large well-characterized cohort. The association of baseline with post-HAART CD4+ T-cell count was determined after adjustment for other relevant covariates.
A higher baseline CD4+ T-cell count predicted a greater post- HAART CD4+ T-cell count, independent of the nadir and other explanatory variables. Together, baseline and nadir strongly predicted the post-HAART CD4+ count such that a high baseline and lower nadir were associated with a maximal immune recovery after HAART. Likelihood of recovery of the baseline count after HAART was significantly higher when the nadir/baseline count ratio was consistently ≥0.6.
Among viral load suppressing seroconverters, the absolute CD4+ T-cell count attained post-HAART is highly dependent on both baseline and nadir CD4+ T-cell counts. These associations further support the early diagnosis and initiation of HAART among HIV-infected persons.
PMCID: PMC3786783  PMID: 21546844
CD4 count; highly active antiretroviral therapy; outcomes; predictors; treatment response
9.  The impact of deployment experience and prior healthcare utilization on enrollment in a large military cohort study 
Longitudinal cohort studies are highly valued in epidemiologic research for their ability to establish exposure-disease associations through known temporal sequences. A major challenge in cohort studies is recruiting individuals representative of the targeted sample population to ensure the generalizability of the study’s findings.
We evaluated nearly 350,000 invited subjects (from 2004-2008) of the Millennium Cohort Study, a prospective cohort study of the health of US military personnel, for factors prior to invitation associated with study enrollment. Multivariable logistic regression was utilized, adjusting for demographic and other confounders, to determine the associations between both deployment experience and prior healthcare utilization with enrollment into the study.
Study enrollment was significantly greater among those who deployed prior to and/or during the enrollment cycles or had at least one outpatient visit in the 12 months prior to invitation. Mental disorders and hospitalization for more than two days within the past year were associated with reduced odds of enrollment.
These findings suggest differential enrollment by deployment experience and health status, and may help guide recruitment efforts in future studies.
PMCID: PMC3716641  PMID: 23844762
10.  Skin and Soft Tissue Infections among HIV-Infected Persons in the Late HAART Era 
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) occur at higher rates among HIV-infected persons, but current trends and risk factors are largely undefined. We evaluated SSTIs among a prospective cohort of HIV-infected persons during the late HAART era (2006-2010). Of the 1918 HIV-infected persons evaluated, 379 (20%) developed an SSTI during a median of 3.7 years of follow-up; of these,118 (31%) developed at least one recurrent SSTI. The incidence rate of SSTIs was 101 (95% CI 93-109) cases per 1000 PYs, and rates did not significantly change during the study period. Compared to not receiving HAART and having an HIV RNA level ≥1000 copies/ml, patients receiving HAART with an HIV RNA level <1000 copies/ml had a reduced risk of an SSTI (HR 0.64, 95% CI 0.48-0.86, p<0.01). In summary, initial and recurrent SSTIs are common among HIV-infected persons. HIV control is associated with a lower risk of SSTIs.
PMCID: PMC3408627  PMID: 22844006
HIV; Skin and soft tissue infection; SSTI; MRSA; epidemiology; risk factors
11.  Prevalence and Factors Associated With Sleep Disturbances Among Early-Treated HIV-Infected Persons 
Persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have a high prevalence of insomnia (46%) and daytime drowsiness (30%). Factors associated with insomnia among patients with HIV infection include depression and increased waist size. Screening for sleep disturbances should be considered among HIV-infected persons.
Background. Sleep disturbances are reportedly common among persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but recent data, including comparisons with HIV-uninfected persons, are limited.
Methods. We performed a cross-sectional study among early-treated HIV-infected military beneficiaries (n = 193) to determine the prevalence and factors associated with insomnia (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI]) and daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale [ESS]). Data were compared with HIV-uninfected persons (n = 50) matched by age, sex, race or ethnicity, and military rank.
Results. Forty-six percent of HIV-infected persons had insomnia (PSQI >5), and 30% reported daytime drowsiness (ESS ≥10). The prevalence of insomnia and daytime sleepiness was not significantly higher compared with the HIV-uninfected group (38% [P = .30] and 20% [P = .18], respectively). In the multivariate model, factors associated with insomnia among HIV infected patients included depression (odds ratio [OR], 16.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0–142.1; P = .01), increased waist size (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4–5.1; P = .002), and fewer years of education (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, .7–.95; P = .006). Neurocognitive impairment (diagnosed in 19% of HIV-infected participants) was not associated with insomnia; however, HIV-infected persons with insomnia were 3.1-fold more likely to have a decline in activities of daily living than those without insomnia (23% vs 9%; P = .01). Only 18% of HIV-infected persons reported using a sleep medication at least weekly.
Conclusions. HIV-infected persons have a high prevalence of insomnia, but among an early-treated cohort this rate was not significantly higher compared with HIV-uninfected persons. Factors associated with insomnia among HIV-infected patients include depression and increased waist size. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of sleep disturbances are advocated and may improve quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3334363  PMID: 22431801
12.  Prevalence and factors associated with asymptomatic gonococcal and chlamydial infection among US Navy and Marine Corps men infected with the HIV: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(5):e002775.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) can facilitate transmission of HIV. Men who have sex with men (MSM) may harbour infections at genital and extragenital sites. Data regarding extragenital GC and CT infections in military populations are lacking. We examined the prevalence and factors associated with asymptomatic GC and CT infection among this category of HIV-infected military personnel.
Cross-sectional cohort study (pilot).
Infectious diseases clinic at a single military treatment facility in San Diego, CA.
Ninety-nine HIV-positive men were evaluated—79% men who had sex with men, mean age 31 years, 36% black and 33% married. Inclusion criteria: male, HIV-infected, Department of Defense beneficiary. Exclusion criteria: any symptom related to the urethra, pharynx or rectum.
Primary outcome measures
GC and CT screening results.
Twenty-four per cent were infected with either GC or CT. Rectal swabs were positive in 18% for CT and 3% for GC; pharynx swabs were positive in 8% for GC and 2% for CT. Only one infection was detected in the urine (GC). Anal sex (p=0.04), male partner (OR 7.02, p=0.04) and sex at least once weekly (OR 3.28, p=0.04) were associated with infection. Associated demographics included age <35 years (OR 6.27, p=0.02), non-Caucasian ethnicity (p=0.03), <3 years since HIV diagnosis (OR 2.75, p=0.04) and previous sexually transmitted infection (STI) (OR 5.10, p=0.001).
We found a high prevalence of extragenital GC/CT infection among HIV-infected military men. Only one infection was detected in the urine, signalling the need for aggressive three-site screening of MSM. Clinicians should be aware of the high prevalence in order to enhance health through comprehensive STI screening practices.
PMCID: PMC3657657  PMID: 23793671
gonorrhea; chlamydia; DADT; MSM
13.  Hepatitis B Virus Coinfection Negatively Impacts HIV Outcomes in HIV Seroconverters 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;205(2):185-193.
(See the editorial commentary by Peters and Marston, on pages 166–8.)
Background. Understanding the impact of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection has been limited by heterogeneity of HIV disease. We evaluated HBV coinfection and HIV-related disease progression in a cohort of HIV seroconverters.
Methods. Participants with HIV diagnosis seroconversion window of ≤3 years and serologically confirmed HBV infection (HB) status were classified at baseline into 4 HB groups. The risk of clinical AIDS/death in HIV seroconverters was calculated by HB status.
Results. Of 2352 HIV seroconverters, 474 (20%) had resolved HB, 82 (3%) had isolated total antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAb), and 64 (3%) had chronic HB. Unadjusted rates (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) of clinical AIDS/death for the HB-negative, resolved HB, isolated HBcAb, and chronic HB groups were 2.43 (2.15–2.71); 3.27 (2.71–3.84); 3.75 (2.25–5.25); and 5.41 (3.41–7.42), respectively. The multivariable risk of clinical AIDS/death was significantly higher in the chronic HB group compared to the HB-negative group (hazard ratio [HR], 1.80; 95% CI, 1.20–2.69); while the HRs were increased but nonsignificant for those with resolved HB (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, .94–1.46) and isolated HBcAb (HR, 1.14; 95% CI, .75–1.75).
Conclusions. HBV coinfection has a significant impact on HIV outcomes. The hazard for an AIDS or death event is almost double for those with chronic HB compared, with HIV-monoinfected persons.
PMCID: PMC3244364  PMID: 22147794
14.  Identification of an Abbreviated Test Battery for Detection of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Impairment in an Early-Managed HIV-Infected Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e47310.
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remain prevalent despite improved antiretroviral treatment (ART), and it is essential to have a sensitive and specific HAND screening tool.
Participants were 200 HIV-infected US military beneficiaries, managed early in the course of HIV infection, had few comorbidities, and had open access to ART. Participants completed a comprehensive, seven-domain (16-test), neuropsychological battery (∼120 min); neurocognitive impairment (NCI) was determined using a standardized score derived from demographically adjusted T-scores (global deficit score ≥0.5). Restricting the estimated administration time of the screening battery to < = 20 minutes, we examined the sensitivity and specificity of detecting NCI for all possible combinations of 2-, 3-, and 4- tests from the comprehensive battery.
Participants were relatively healthy (median CD4 count: 546 cells/mm3) with 64% receiving ART. Prevalence of NCI was low (19%). The best 2-test screener included the Stroop Color Test and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (11 min; sensitivity = 73%; specificity = 83%); the best 3-test screener included the above measures plus the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT; 16 min; sensitivity = 86%; specificity = 75%). The addition of Action Fluency to the above three tests improved specificity (18 min; sensitivity = 86%; specificity = 87%).
Combinations of widely accepted neuropsychological tests with brief implementation time demonstrated good sensitivity and specificity compared to a time intensive neuropsychological test battery. Tests of verbal learning, attention/working memory, and processing speed are particularly useful in detecting NCI. Utilizing validated, easy to administer, traditional neuropsychological tests with established normative data may represent an excellent approach to screening for NCI in HIV.
PMCID: PMC3493574  PMID: 23144815
15.  Elevated CD8 Counts During HAART are Associated with HIV Virologic Treatment Failure 
To evaluate whether elevated CD8 counts are associated with increased risk of virologic treatment failure in HIV-infected individuals.
Retrospective cohort study.
U.S. Military HIV Natural History Study participants who initiated HAART in 1996-2008, had 6- and 12-month post-HAART HIV RNA <400 c/ml, ≥2 subsequent HIV viral loads and a baseline CD8 count were eligible (n=817). Baseline was 12 months after HAART start, virologic failure was defined as confirmed HIV RNA ≥400 c/ml, and CD8 counts ≥1200 cells/mm3 were considered elevated. Cox models were used to examine the effect of baseline and time-updated CD8 counts on virologic failure.
There were 216 failures for a rate of 5.6 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.9-6.4). Among those initiating HAART in 2000-2008, participants with elevated baseline CD8 counts had significantly greater risk of virologic failure compared to those with baseline CD8 counts ≤600 cells/mm3 (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.68, 95% CI 1.13 – 6.35). Participants with elevated CD8 counts at >20% of prior 6-month follow-up visits had greater risk of failure at the current visit than those who did not (HR = 1.53, 95% CI 1.14 - 2.06). Those with CD8 counts that increased after HAART start had greater risk of failure than those with CD8 counts that decreased or remained the same (HR = 1.59, 95% CI 1.19 – 2.13).
Initial or serial elevated CD8 counts while on HAART or an increase in CD8 counts from HAART initiation may be early warnings for future treatment failure.
PMCID: PMC3173352  PMID: 21602694
Human immunodeficiency virus; CD8 count; antiretroviral therapy; HIV viral load suppression; HIV virologic failure
16.  Long-term Durability of Immune Responses After Hepatitis A Vaccination Among HIV-Infected Adults 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;203(12):1815-1823.
Background.  Vaccination provides long-term immunity to hepatitis A virus (HAV) among the general population, but there are no such data regarding vaccine durability among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected adults.
Methods.  We retrospectively studied HIV-infected adults who had received 2 doses of HAV vaccine. We analyzed blood specimens taken at 1 year, 3 years, and, when available, 6–10 years postvaccination. HAV immunoglobulin G (IgG) values of ≥10 mIU/mL were considered seropositive.
Results.  We evaluated specimens from 130 HIV-infected adults with a median age of 35 years and a median CD4 cell count of 461 cells/mm3 at or before time of vaccination. Of these, 49% had an HIV RNA load <1000 copies/mL. Initial vaccine responses were achieved in 89% of HIV-infected adults (95% confidence interval [CI], 83%–94%), compared with 100% (95% CI, 99%–100%) of historical HIV-uninfected adults. Among initial HIV-infected responders with available specimens, 90% (104 of 116; 95% CI, 83%–95%) remained seropositive at 3 years and 85% (63 of 74; 95% CI, 75%–92%) at 6–10 years. Geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) among HIV-infected adults were 154, 111, and 64 mIU/mL at 1, 3, and 6–10 years, respectively, compared with 1734, 687, and 684 mIU/mL among HIV-uninfected persons. Higher GMCs over time among HIV-infected adults were associated with lower log10 HIV RNA levels (β = −.12, P = .04).
Conclusions.  Most adults with well-controlled HIV infections had durable seropositive responses up to 6–10 years after HAV vaccination. Suppressed HIV RNA levels are associated with durable HAV responses.
PMCID: PMC3100512  PMID: 21606540
Vaccine  2011;29(17):3183-3191.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons are at risk for severe influenza infections. Although vaccination against the H1N1 pandemic influenza strain is recommended, currently, there are no data on the durability of post-vaccination antibody responses in this population.
HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adults (18–50 years old) received a single dose of monovalent 2009 influenza A (H1N1) vaccine (strain A/California/7/2009H1N1). Antibody levels to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain were determined at day 0, day 28, and 6 months by hemagglutination-inhibition assay. A seroprotective response was a post-vaccination titer of ≥1:40 among those with a pre-vaccination level of ≤1:10. Geometric mean titers (GMT) and factors associated with higher levels were also evaluated.
We studied 127 participants with a median age of 35 (interquartile range (IQR) 28, 42) years. Among the HIV-infected arm (n=63), the median CD4 count was 595 (IQR 476, 819) cells/mm3 and 83% were receiving HAART. Thirty-five percent of all participants had a pre-vaccination level of >1:10. HIV-infected compared to HIV-uninfected adults were less likely to generate a seroprotective response at day 28 (54% vs. 75%, adjusted OR 0.23, p=0.021) or have a durable response at 6 months post-vaccination (28% vs. 56%, adjusted OR 0.19, p=0.005). Additionally, although pre-vaccination GMT were similar in both arms (median 7 vs. 8, p=0.11), the GMT at 6 months was significantly lower among HIV-infected versus HIV-uninfected adults (median 20 vs. 113, p=0.003). Among HIV-infected persons, younger age (p=0.035) and receipt of HAART (p=0.028) were associated with higher GMTs at 6 months.
Despite vaccination, most HIV-infected adults do not have durable seroprotective antibody responses to the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus, and hence may remain vulnerable to infection. In addition to HAART use, more immunogenic vaccines are likely needed for improving protection against influenza in this population.
PMCID: PMC3078993  PMID: 21371580
influenza; pandemic 2009 H1N1; vaccine responses; HIV; durability; long-term immunity
18.  Long-Term Safety and Serologic Response to Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination in HIV-1 Infected Adults 
Vaccine  2011;29(16):2874-2880.
We analyzed HIV viral load (VL) and CD4 count changes, and antibody responses following MMR vaccination of individuals in the U.S. Military HIV Natural History Study cohort. Cases receiving at least one dose of MMR vaccine after HIV diagnosis were matched 1:2 to HIV-positive controls not receiving the vaccine. Baseline was defined as time of vaccination for cases and indexed and matched to the time post-HIV diagnosis for controls. Changes in CD4 count and VL at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months were compared between cases and controls using a general linear model. Available sera from cases were tested for MMR seropositivity at baseline and post-vaccination at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Overall mean CD4 count change from baseline through 24 months was 20 (±23) cells/μL greater for cases than controls (p=0.39). Similar non-significant changes in CD4 cell count were seen in the subset of those not on HAART at baseline. VL changes were small and similar between groups (mean differential change −0.04 (±0.18) log10 copies/mL; p=0.84). Of 21 vaccinated participants with baseline serologic testing, 14 (67%) were reactive to measles, 19 (91%) to mumps, and 20 (95%) to rubella. Three (43%) of 7 participants nonreactive to measles developed measles IgG; for mumps, 1 (50%) of 2 developed mumps IgG; for rubella, 1 (100%) developed rubella IgG. MMR vaccination did not result in detrimental immunologic or virologic changes through 24 months post-vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3073409  PMID: 21352938
Measles; Mumps; MMR Vaccine; Human Immunodeficiency Virus; Vaccines; Vaccination
19.  Hepatitis B Vaccine Antibody Response and the Risk of Clinical AIDS or Death 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33488.
Whether seroresponse to a vaccine such as hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine can provide a measure of the functional immune status of HIV-infected persons is unknown.This study evaluated the relationship between HBV vaccine seroresponses and progression to clinical AIDS or death.
Methods and Findings
From a large HIV cohort, we evaluated those who received HBV vaccine only after HIV diagnosis and had anti-HBs determination 1–12 months after the last vaccine dose. Non-response and positive response were defined as anti-HBs <10 and ≥10 IU/L, respectively. Participants were followed from date of last vaccination to clinical AIDS, death, or last visit. Univariate and multivariable risk of progression to clinical AIDS or death were evaluated with Cox regression models. A total of 795 participants vaccinated from 1986–2010 were included, of which 41% were responders. During 3,872 person-years of observation, 122 AIDS or death events occurred (53% after 1995). Twenty-two percent of non-responders experienced clinical AIDS or death compared with 5% of responders (p<0.001). Non-response to HBV vaccine was associated with a greater than 2-fold increased risk of clinical AIDS or death (HR 2.47; 95% CI, 1.38–4.43) compared with a positive response, after adjusting for CD4 count, HIV viral load, HAART use, and delayed type hypersensitivity skin test responses (an in vivo marker of cell-mediated immunity). This association remained evident among those with CD4 count ≥500 cells/mm3 (HR 3.40; 95% CI, 1.39–8.32).
HBV vaccine responses may have utility in assessing functional immune status and risk stratificating HIV-infected individuals, including those with CD4 count ≥500 cells/mm3.
PMCID: PMC3310879  PMID: 22457767
20.  Ceftaroline: A New Cephalosporin with Activity against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) 
Microbial resistance has reached alarming levels, threatening to outpace the ability to counter with more potent antimicrobial agents. In particular, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a leading cause of skin and soft-tissue infections and PVL-positive strains have been associated with necrotizing pneumonia. Increasing reports of growing resistance to glycopeptides have been noted, further limiting the efficacy of standard antibiotics, such as vancomycin. Ceftaroline is a novel fifth-generation cephalosporin, which exhibits broad-spectrum activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including MRSA and extensively-resistant strains, such as vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA), heteroresistant VISA (hVISA), and vancomycin-resistant S. aureus (VRSA). In addition to being an exciting new agent in the anti-MRSA armamentarium, ceftaroline provides efficacy against many respiratory pathogens including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. Ceftaroline (600 mg intravenously every 12 hours) has been shown effective in phase III studies in the treatment of complicated skin and soft tissue infections and community-acquired pneumonia. To date, this unique antibiotic exhibits a low propensity for inducing resistance and has a good safety profile, although further post-marketing data and clinical experience are needed. In summary, ceftaroline provides an additional option for the management of complex multidrug resistant infections, including MRSA.
PMCID: PMC3140339  PMID: 21785568
Ceftaroline; antibiotic; cephalosporin; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA; multidrug resistant organisms
21.  Clinical, demographic and laboratory parameters at HAART initiation associated with decreased post-HAART survival in a U.S. military prospective HIV cohort 
Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has improved HIV survival, some patients receiving therapy are still dying. This analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with increased risk of post-HAART mortality.
We evaluated baseline (prior to HAART initiation) clinical, demographic and laboratory factors (including CD4+ count and HIV RNA level) for associations with subsequent mortality in 1,600 patients who began HAART in a prospective observational cohort of HIV-infected U.S. military personnel.
Cumulative mortality was 5%, 10% and 18% at 4, 8 and 12 years post-HAART. Mortality was highest (6.23 deaths/100 person-years [PY]) in those with ≤ 50 CD4+ cells/mm3 before HAART initiation, and became progressively lower as CD4+ counts increased (0.70/100 PY with ≥ 500 CD4+ cells/mm3). In multivariate analysis, factors significantly (p < 0.05) associated with post-HAART mortality included: increasing age among those ≥ 40 years (Hazard ratio [HR] = 1.32 per 5 year increase), clinical AIDS events before HAART (HR = 1.93), ≤ 50 CD4+ cells/mm3 (vs. CD4+ ≥ 500, HR = 2.97), greater HIV RNA level (HR = 1.36 per one log10 increase), hepatitis C antibody or chronic hepatitis B (HR = 1.96), and HIV diagnosis before 1996 (HR = 2.44). Baseline CD4+ = 51-200 cells (HR = 1.74, p = 0.06), and hemoglobin < 12 gm/dL for women or < 13.5 for men (HR = 1.36, p = 0.07) were borderline significant.
Although treatment has improved HIV survival, defining those at greatest risk for death after HAART initiation, including demographic, clinical and laboratory correlates of poorer prognoses, can help identify a subset of patients for whom more intensive monitoring, counseling, and care interventions may improve clinical outcomes and post-HAART survival.
PMCID: PMC3320559  PMID: 22339893
Highly active antiretroviral therapy; mortality; CD4+ lymphocyte count
22.  The Timing of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Immunization Relative to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Diagnosis and the Risk of HBV Infection Following HIV Diagnosis 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2010;173(1):84-93.
To assess associations between the timing of hepatitis B virus (HBV) immunization relative to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnosis and vaccine effectiveness, US Military HIV Natural History Study cohort participants without HBV infection at the time of HIV diagnosis were grouped by vaccination status, retrospectively followed from HIV diagnosis for incident HBV infection, and compared using Cox proportional hazards models. A positive vaccine response was defined as hepatitis B surface antibody level ≥10 IU/L. Of 1,877 participants enrolled between 1989 and 2008, 441 (23%) were vaccinated prior to HIV diagnosis. Eighty percent of those who received vaccine doses only before HIV diagnosis had a positive vaccine response, compared with 66% of those who received doses both before and after HIV and 41% of those who received doses only after HIV (P < 0.01 for both compared with persons vaccinated before HIV only). Compared with the unvaccinated, persons vaccinated only before HIV had reduced risk of HBV infection after HIV diagnosis (hazard ratio = 0.38, 95% confidence interval: 0.20, 0.75). No reduction in HBV infection risk was observed for other vaccination groups. These data suggest that completion of the vaccine series prior to HIV infection may be the optimal strategy for preventing this significant comorbid infection in HIV-infected persons.
PMCID: PMC3025642  PMID: 21051446
hepatitis B vaccines; hepatitis B virus; HIV; immunization; vaccination
23.  Immunogenicity of a Monovalent 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccine in an Immunocompromised Population: A Prospective Study Comparing HIV-Infected Adults with HIV-Uninfected Adults 
Background. Limited data exist on the immunogenicity of the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) vaccine among immunocompromised persons, including those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
Methods. We compared the immunogenicity and tolerability of a single dose of the monovalent 2009 influenza A (H1N1) vaccine (strain A/California/7/2009H1N1) between HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adults 18–50 years of age. The primary end point was an antibody titer of ≥1:40 at day 28 after vaccination in those with a prevaccination level of ≤1:10, as measured by hemagglutination-inhibition assay. Geometric mean titers, influenza-like illnesses, and tolerability were also evaluated.
Results. One hundred thirty-one participants were evaluated (65 HIV-infected and 66 HIV-uninfected patients), with a median age of 35 years (interquartile range, 27–42 years). HIV-infected persons had a median CD4 cell count of 581 cells/mm3 (interquartile range, 476–814 cells/mm3) , and 82% were receiving antiretroviral medications. At baseline, 35 patients (27%) had antibody titers of >1:10. HIV-infected patients (29 [56%] of 52), compared with HIV-uninfected persons (35 [80%] of 44), were significantly less likely to develop an antibody response (odds ratio, .20; P = .003). Changes in the median geometric mean titer from baseline to day 28 were also significantly lower in HIV-infected patients than in HIV-uninfected persons (75 vs 153; P = .001). Five influenza-like illnesses occurred (2 cases in HIV-infected persons), but none was attributable to the 2009 influenza H1N1 virus. The vaccine was well tolerated in both groups.
Conclusions. Despite high CD4 cell counts and receipt of antiretroviral medications, HIV-infected adults generated significantly poorer antibody responses, compared with HIV-uninfected persons. Future studies evaluating a 2-dose series or more-immunogenic influenza A (H1N1) vaccines among HIV-infected adults are needed ( NCT00996970).
PMCID: PMC3060889  PMID: 21148532
24.  Impact of Weight on Immune Cell Counts among HIV-Infected Persons▿ 
Prior studies have shown that weight may impact immune cell counts. However, few data exist about the relationship of weight and immune cell counts among HIV-infected patients. We examined documented HIV seroconverters (mean window, 15.7 months) in a prospective U.S. Military HIV Natural History Study (1 January 1986 to 20 January 2010). We estimated the association of the time-updated body mass index (BMI) category with changes in immune cell counts from HIV diagnosis across time (mean follow-up of 5.1 years) using multiply adjusted longitudinal linear mixed-effects models. Of 1,097 HIV seroconverters, 448 (41%) were overweight and 93 (8%) were obese at HIV diagnosis. Immune cell counts at HIV diagnosis did not significantly differ by BMI category. In the longitudinal models for those diagnosed before the advent of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era, mean postdiagnosis decreases in the white cell count, total lymphocyte count, CD4 count, CD4 percentage, and CD4/CD8 ratio were less as the BMI category increased (all with P values of <0.05). Among HIV seroconverters diagnosed in the HAART era, obese compared to normal-weight patients had significantly smaller increases in CD4 counts, CD4 percentages, and the CD4/CD8 ratio (all with P values of <0.05). Similar findings were also noted among underweight versus normal-weight patients. In conclusion, although BMI was not associated with immune cell levels at the time of HIV diagnosis, weight appears to affect immune cells counts over the course of infection. In the HAART era, being either underweight or obese was associated with smaller increases in several important immune cell levels, including the CD4/CD8 ratio.
PMCID: PMC3122603  PMID: 21525303
25.  Is Kaposi’s Sarcoma Occurring at Higher CD4 Counts Over the Course of the HIV Epidemic? 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(18):2881-2883.
We evaluated longitudinal rates of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and trends in CD4 counts at the time of KS diagnosis during the HIV epidemic (1985–2008). Although rates of KS have decreased, cases are now occurring at higher CD4 counts over time, with more than a third of cases diagnosed in 2002–2008 occurring at CD4 counts ≥350 cells/mm3. These data support future studies evaluating the impact of HAART initiation at higher CD4 counts to further reduce KS.
PMCID: PMC2978255  PMID: 20827160

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