Cardiovascular complications are more common in human immunodeficiency virus–infected individuals than in age-matched uninfected individuals. Antiretroviral therapy reduces the risk of cardiovascular complications, suggesting that viral replication directly or indirectly causes vascular disease. Long-term effective antiretroviral therapy does not fully restore vascular health, and treated adults continue to have higher-than-expected rates of disease progression. Although this excess risk during therapy is likely due to multiple factors, a growing body of evidence suggests that chronic inflammation, which persists during effective antiretroviral therapy, is directly and causally associated with vascular dysfunction and the accelerated development of atherosclerosis.
A small proportion of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infected individuals, termed HIV-1 controllers, suppress viral replication to very low levels in the absence of therapy. Genetic investigations of this phenotype have strongly implicated variation in the class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region as key to HIV-1 control. We collected sequence-based classical class I HLA genotypes at 4-digit resolution in HIV-1-infected African American controllers and progressors (n = 1107), and tested them for association with host control using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data to account for population structure. Several classical alleles at HLA-B were associated with host control, including B*57:03 [odds ratio (OR) = 5.1; P= 3.4 × 10–18] and B*81:01 (OR = 4.8; P= 1.3 × 10−9). Analysis of variable amino acid positions demonstrates that HLA-B position 97 is the most significant association with host control in African Americans (omnibus P = 1.2 × 10−21) and explains the signal of several HLA-B alleles, including B*57:03. Within HLA-B, we also identified independent effects at position 116 (omnibus P= 2.8 × 10−15) in the canonical F pocket, position 63 in the B pocket (P= 1.5 × 10−3) and the non-pocket position 245 (P= 8.8 × 10−10), which is thought to influence CD8-binding kinetics. Adjusting for these HLA-B effects, there is evidence for residual association in the MHC region. These results underscore the key role of HLA-B in affecting HIV-1 replication, likely through the molecular interaction between HLA-B and viral peptides presented by infected cells, and suggest that sites outside the peptide-binding pocket also influence HIV-1 control.
To examine the association between early HIV viremia and mortality after HIV-associated lymphoma.
Multicenter observational cohort study.
Center for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems cohort.
HIV-infected patients with lymphoma diagnosed between 1996 and 2011, who were alive 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis and with ≥2 HIV RNA values during the 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis.
Cumulative HIV viremia during the 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis, expressed as viremia copy-6-months.
Main outcome measure
All-cause mortality between 6 months and 5 years after lymphoma diagnosis.
Of 224 included patients, 183 (82%) had non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and 41 (18%) had Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). At lymphoma diagnosis, 105 (47%) patients were on antiretroviral therapy (ART), median CD4 count was 148 cells/µlL (IQR 54– 322), and 33% had suppressed HIV RNA (<400 copies/mL). In adjusted analyses, mortality was associated with older age [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) 1.37 per decade increase, 95% CI 1.03–1.83], lymphoma occurrence on ART (AHR 1.63, 95% CI 1.02– 2.63), lower CD4 count (AHR 0.75 per 100 cell/µL increase, 95% CI 0.64–0.89), and higher early cumulative viremia (AHR 1.35 per log10copies × 6-months/mL, 95% CI 1.11–1.65). The detrimental effect of early cumulative viremia was consistent across patient groups defined by ART status, CD4 count, and histology.
Exposure to each additional 1-unit log10 in HIV RNA throughout the 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis, was associated with a 35% increase in subsequent mortality. These results suggest that early and effective ART during chemotherapy may improve survival.
AIDS; Burkitt lymphoma; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; HIV; Hodgkin lymphoma; lymphoma; non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Although antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection prevents AIDS related complications and prolongs life, it does not fully restore health. Long-term treated patients remain at higher than expect risk for a number of complications typically associated with aging, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and other end-organ diseases. The potential effect of HIV on health is perhaps most clearly exhibited by a number of immunologic abnormalities that persist despite effect suppression of HIV replication. These changes are consistent with some of the changes to the adaptive immune system that are seen in the very old (“immunosenescence”) and that are likely related in part to persistent inflammation. HIV-associated inflammation and immunosenescence have been implicated as causally related to the premature onset of other end organ diseases. Novel therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing or reversing these immunologic defects may be necessary if HIV infected patients are achieve normal life span.
The human gut mucosa is a major site of HIV infection and infection-associated pathogenesis. Increasing evidence shows that natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in control of HIV infection but the mechanism(s) by which they mediate antiviral activity in the gut is unclear. Here we show two distinct subsets of NK cells exist in the gut, one localized to intraepithelial spaces (IEL) and the other to the lamina propria (LP). The frequency of both subsets of NK cells was reduced in chronic infection, whereas IEL NK cells remained stable in spontaneous controllers with protective KIR/HLA genotypes. Both IEL and LP NK cells were significantly expanded in immunologic non-responsive (INR) patients, who incompletely recovered CD4+ T cells on HAART. These data suggest that both IEL and LP NK cells may expand in the gut in an effort to compensate for compromised CD4+ T cell recovery, but that only IEL NK cells may be involved in providing durable control of HIV in the gut,
Despite widespread highly active antiretroviral therapy use, HIV disease remains associated with increased risk of kidney disease. Whether tenofovir use is associated with higher risk of kidney disease is controversial.
We evaluated the association of cumulative and ever exposure to tenofovir on kidney outcomes in 10,841 HIV-infected patients from the Veterans Health Administration who initiated antiretroviral therapy from 1997-2007.
Cox proportional hazards and marginal structural models evaluated associations between tenofovir and time to first occurrence of 1) proteinuria (two consecutive urine dipstick measurements ≥30mg/dL), 2) rapid decline in kidney function (≥3ml/min/1.73m2 annual decline), and 3) CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate <60ml/min/1.73m2).
Median follow-up ranged from 3.9 years (proteinuria) to 5.5 years (CKD), during which 3400 proteinuria, 3078 rapid decline, and 533 CKD events occurred. After multivariable adjustment, each year of exposure to tenofovir was associated with 34% increased risk of proteinuria (95%CI 25-45%, p<0.0001), 11% increased risk of rapid decline (3-18%, p=0.0033), and 33% increased risk of CKD (18-51%; p<0.0001). Pre-existing renal risk factors did not appear to worsen the effects of tenofovir. Other ARVs showed weaker or inconsistent associations with kidney disease events. Among those who discontinued tenofovir use, risk of kidney disease events did not appear to decrease during follow-up.
Tenofovir exposure was independently associated with increased risk for three types of kidney disease events, and did not appear to be reversible. Because subtle kidney function decline affects long-term morbidity and mortality, the balance between efficacy and probable adverse effects requires further study.
HIV; antiretroviral therapy; kidney disease; tenofovir
Resting CD4+ T cells infected with HIV persist in the presence of suppressive anti-viral therapy (ART) and are barriers to a cure. One potential curative approach, therapeutic vaccination, is fueled by recognition of the ability of a subset of elite controllers (EC) to control virus without therapy due to robust anti-HIV immune responses. Controllers have low levels of integrated HIV DNA and low levels of replication competent virus, suggesting a small reservoir. As our recent data indicates some reservoir cells can produce HIV proteins (termed GPR cells for Gag-positive reservoir cells), we hypothesized that a fraction of HIV-expressing resting CD4+ T cells could be efficiently targeted and cleared in individuals who control HIV via anti-HIV cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). To test this we examined if superinfected resting CD4+ T cells from EC express HIV Gag without producing infectious virus and the susceptibility of these cells to CTL. We found that resting CD4+ T cells expressed HIV Gag and were cleared by autologous CD8+ T cells from EC. Importantly, we found the extent of CTL clearance in our in vitro assay correlates with in vivo reservoir size and that a population of Gag expressing resting CD4+ T cells exists in vivo in patients well controlled on therapy.
The level of T cell activation in untreated HIV disease is strongly and independently associated with risk of immunologic and clinical progression. The factors that influence the level of activation, however, are not fully defined. Since endogenous glucocorticoids are important in regulating inflammation, we sought to determine whether less optimal diurnal cortisol patterns are associated with greater T cell activation.
We studied 128 HIV-infected adults who were not on treatment and had a CD4+ T cell count above 250 cells/µl. We assessed T cell activation by CD38 expression using flow cytometry, and diurnal cortisol was assessed with salivary measurements.
Lower waking cortisol levels correlated with greater T cell immune activation, measured by CD38 mean fluorescent intensity, on CD4+ T cells (r = −0.26, p = 0.006). Participants with lower waking cortisol also showed a trend toward greater activation on CD8+ T cells (r = −0.17, p = 0.08). A greater diurnal decline in cortisol, usually considered a healthy pattern, correlated with less CD4+ (r = 0.24, p = 0.018) and CD8+ (r = 0.24, p = 0.017) activation.
These data suggest that the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis contributes to the regulation of T cell activation in HIV. This may represent an important pathway through which psychological states and the HPA axis influence progression of HIV.
Background. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been implicated in immune activation and accelerated progression of immunodeficiency from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection. We hypothesized that CMV is associated with vascular disease in HIV-infected adults.
Methods. In the Women's Interagency HIV Study, we studied 601 HIV-infected and 90 HIV-uninfected participants. We assessed the association of CMV immunoglobulin G (IgG) level with carotid artery intima-media thickness, carotid artery distensibility, Young's elastic modulus, and blood pressures. Multivariable models adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, smoking, diabetes, and body mass index.
Results. Mean CMV IgG levels were higher in HIV-infected women compared with HIV-uninfected women (P < .01). Among HIV-infected women, higher CMV IgG level was associated with decreased carotid artery distensibility (P < .01) and increased Young's modulus (P = .02). Higher CMV IgG antibody level was associated with increased prevalence of carotid artery lesions among HIV-infected women who achieved HIV suppression on antiretroviral therapy, but not among viremic or untreated HIV-infected women. Adjustment for Epstein–Barr virus antibody levels and C-reactive protein levels had no effect on the associations between CMV IgG levels and vascular parameters.
Conclusions. Cytomegalovirus antibody titers are increased in HIV-infected women and associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease. Host responses to CMV may be abnormal in HIV infection and associated with clinical disease.
Individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have higher risk than HIV-negative individuals for diseases associated with aging. T-cell senescence, characterized by expansion of cells lacking the costimulatory molecule CD28, has been hypothesized to mediate these risks.
We measured the percentage of CD28−CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from HIV-infected treatment-naive adults from 5 Adult Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) antiretroviral therapy (ART) studies and the ALLRT (ACTG Longitudinal Linked Randomized Trials) cohort, and from 48 HIV-negative adults. Pretreatment and 96-week posttreatment %CD28− cells were assessed using linear regression for associations with age, sex, race/ethnicity, CD4 count, HIV RNA, ART regimen, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
In total, 1291 chronically HIV-infected adults were studied. Pretreatment, lower CD4 count was associated with higher %CD28−CD4+ and %CD28−CD8+ cells. For CD8+ cells, younger age and HCV infection were associated with a lower %CD28−. ART reduced %CD28− levels at week 96 among virally suppressed individuals. Older age was strongly predictive of higher %CD28−CD8+. Compared to HIV-uninfected individuals, HIV-infected individuals maintained significantly higher %CD28−.
Effective ART reduced the proportion of CD28− T cells. However, levels remained abnormally high and closer to levels in older HIV-uninfected individuals. This finding may inform future research of increased rates of age-associated disease in HIV-infected adults.
APOBEC3 proteins mediate potent antiretroviral activity by hypermutating the retroviral genome during reverse transcription. To counteract APOBEC3 and gain a replicative advantage, lentiviruses such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) have evolved the Vif protein, which targets APOBEC3 proteins for proteasomal degradation. However, the proteasome plays a critical role in the generation of T cell peptide epitopes. Whether Vif-mediated destruction of APOBEC3 proteins leads to the generation and presentation of APOBEC3-derived T cell epitopes on the surfaces of lentivirus-infected cells remains unknown. Here, using peptides derived from multiple Vif-sensitive APOBEC3 proteins, we identified APOBEC3-specific T cell responses in both HIV-1-infected patients and SIV-infected rhesus macaques. These results raise the possibility that these T cell responses may be part of the larger antiretroviral immune response.
With the advent of highly effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has become a chronic disease rather than a death sentence. Nevertheless, effectively treated individuals have a higher than normal risk for developing noninfectious comorbidities, including cardiovascular and renal disease. Although traditional risk factors of aging as well as treatment toxicity contribute to this risk, many investigators consider chronic HIV-associated inflammation a significant factor in such end-organ disease. Despite effective viral suppression, chronic inflammation persists at levels higher than in uninfected people, yet the stimuli for the inflammation and the mechanism by which inflammation persists and promotes disease pathology remain incompletely understood. This critical gap in scientific understanding complicates and hampers effective decision making about appropriate medical intervention. To better understand the mechanism(s) of chronic immune activation in treated HIV disease, three questions need answers: (1) what is the cause of persistent immune activation during treated HIV infection, (2) what are the best surrogate markers of chronic immune activation in this setting, and (3) what therapeutic intervention(s) could prevent or reverse this process? The NIH sponsored and convened a meeting to discuss the state of knowledge concerning these questions and the best course for developing effective therapeutic strategies. This report summarizes the findings of that NIH meeting.
HIV infection is associated with decreased thrombin generation and an increased antithrombin level. These data suggest that HIV infection may not be associated with an increased propensity towards clotting.
Background. Excess risk of cardiovascular disease occurs in effectively treated individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Although elevated plasma D-dimer levels are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, the impact of HIV infection on coagulation in vivo has not been well studied.
Methods. We measured D-dimers, antithrombin, endogenous thrombin potential (ETP; a functional measure of thrombin generation in vitro), thrombin/antithrombin complexes (TAT; a measure of thrombin generation in vivo), tissue factor, prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (F1+2), and normalized APC sensitivity ratio (nAPCsr) in 199 HIV-positive men who were receiving antiretroviral therapy and had an undetectable HIV RNA level, in 79 HIV-positive untreated men, and in 39 uninfected controls.
Results. Median antithrombin levels were higher while the ETP was lower among HIV-infected adults (treated and untreated), compared with controls. There were few differences between coagulation markers in the 2 HIV groups. Compared with controls, the nAPCsr was lower in treated men and the TAT level was lower in untreated individuals. We observed little difference among measured levels of D-dimer, tissue factor, or F1+2 between HIV-infected individuals and controls. Antiretroviral therapy exposure was associated with a lower antithrombin level, a lower nAPCsr, and a lower ETP, while history of opportunistic infection was associated with a higher nAPCsr.
Conclusions. HIV infection is associated with decreased thrombin generation, as measured by the ETP, and an increased antithrombin level. These data suggest that HIV infection may not be associated with increased propensity toward clotting, as has been suggested on the basis of isolated measures of D-dimer levels.
Losses to follow-up after initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) are common in Africa and are a considerable obstacle to understanding the effectiveness of nascent treatment programs. We sought to characterize, through a sampling-based approach, reasons for and outcomes of patients who become lost to follow-up.
We searched for and interviewed a representative sample of lost patients or close informants in the community to determine reasons for and outcomes among lost patients.
Three thousand six hundred twenty-eight HIV-infected adults initiated ART between January 1, 2004 and September 30, 2007 in Mbarara, Uganda. Eight hundred twenty-nine became lost to follow-up (cumulative incidence at 1, 2, and 3 years of 16%, 30%, and 39%). We sought a representative sample of 128 lost patients in the community and ascertained vital status in 111 (87%). Top reasons for loss included lack of transportation or money and work/child care responsibilities. Among the 111 lost patients who had their vital status ascertained through tracking, 32 deaths occurred (cumulative 1-year incidence 36%); mortality was highest shortly after the last clinic visit. Lower pre-ART CD4+ T-cell count, older age, low blood pressure, and a central nervous system syndrome at the last clinic visit predicted deaths. Of patients directly interviewed, 83% were in care at another clinic and 71% were still using ART.
Sociostructural factors are the primary reasons for loss to follow-up. Outcomes among the lost are heterogeneous: both deaths and transfers to other clinics were common. Tracking a sample of lost patients is an efficient means for programs to understand site-specific reasons for and outcomes among patients lost to follow-up.
Africa; antiretroviral scale-up; losses to follow-up; monitoring and evaluation; sampling studies
Host genetic factors are thought to contribute to the interindividual differences in the control of HIV replication. The aim of the present investigation was to determine whether genes encoding GM and KM allotypes—genetic markers of immunoglobulin γ and κ chains, respectively—and those encoding Fcgamma receptor (FcγR) IIa and IIIa are associated with the host control of HIV replication. A case-control design was employed amongst HIV-infected subjects, with a group that spontaneously controlled HIV replication (“controllers”) as cases (n=73) and those who did not control replication, as controls (n=100). Genotyping was done by PCR-RFLP, direct DNA sequencing, and TaqMan® genotyping assays. In Caucasian Americans, certain combinations of FcγR and GM genotypes were differentially distributed between controllers and non-controllers. Among the non-carriers of FcγRIIa arginine allele, GM21 non-carriers had over seven-fold greater odds of being controllers than the carriers of this allele (OR=7.47). These GM determinants also interacted with FcγRIIIa alleles. Among the carriers of the FcγRIIIa valine allele, GM21 non-carriers had over three-fold greater odds of being controllers than the carriers of this allele (OR=3.26). These results show epistatic interactions of genes on chromosomes 14 (GM) and 1 (FcγR) in influencing the control of HIV replication.
GM allotypes; KM allotypes; FcγR; ADCC; HIV
Although combination antiretroviral therapy can dramatically reduce the circulating viral load in those infected with HIV, replication-competent virus persists. To eliminate the need for indefinite treatment, there is growing interest in creating a functional HIV-resistant immune system through the use of gene-modified hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Proof-of-concept for this approach has been provided in the instance of an HIV-infected adult transplanted with allogeneic stem cells from a donor lacking the HIV co-receptor, CCR5. Here, we review this and other strategies for HSC-based gene therapy for HIV disease.
Although, single tablet regimen (STR) efavirenz, emtricibine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (EFV/FTC/TDF) may be appealing in HIV infected persons who are at high risk for non-adherence, the degree to which this simplified formulation affects adherence is not known. The virologic effectiveness of this STR in a potentially non-adherent population remains a concern, given the rapid selection of drug-resistance seen with these drugs. We performed a prospective observational study assessing adherence and virologic response to EFV/FTC/TDF STR among a cohort of homeless and marginally housed individuals. We compared adherence and viral suppression to historical controls followed in the same cohort. Adherence was higher in EFV/FTC/TDF STR regimen compared to non-one-pill once daily therapy (p=0.0060) after controlling for multiple confounders. Viral suppression (HIV RNA <50 c/ml) was greater in EFV/FTC/TDF STR than non-one pill daily regimens (69.2% vs 46.5%; p=0.02), but there was no difference in viral suppression after controlling for adherence. Once daily EFV/TNF/FTC STR appears to be a reasonable option for individuals with multiple barriers to adherence. Randomized clinical trials addressing various therapeutic strategies for this patient population are needed.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are involved in the endothelium repair. Low circulating EPC levels are predictive of cardiovascular events in HIV-negative subjects. The impact of HIV infection on EPCs, and the role of EPCs in HIV-associated cardiovascular disease, is not known. We hypothesized that circulating EPCs would be inversely associated with carotid artery intima-media thickness (c-IMT) changes in HIV-infected subjects.
EPCs (CD34+/KDR+, CD133+/KDR+ and CD34+/CD133+/KDR+) were defined retrospectively by flow cytometry in cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected longitudinally from 66 chronic HIV-infected subjects and cross-sectionally from 50 at-risk HIV-negative subjects. The HIV-infected subjects participated in the Study of the Consequences of the Protease Inhibitor Era (SCOPE) cohort, were receiving antiretroviral therapy (59/66) and had two sequential measurements of c-IMT 1 year apart. Two distinct groups of HIV-infected subjects were identified a priori: rapid c-IMT progressors (subjects with rapid c-IMT progression, n=13, Δc-IMT>0.2 mm) and slow c-IMT progressors (subjects with slow or no c-IMT progression, n=53, Δc-IMT<0.2 mm).
Although cryopreservation reduced sensitivity of detection, EPC frequency in HIV-infected subjects was still significantly higher compared to at-risk HIV-negative subjects (CD34+/KDR+; P=0.01) and correlated positively with CD4+ T-cell count (CD34+/KDR+, r=0.27; P=0.03). No association was found between the change of EPC frequencies over time (ΔEPC) and Δc-IMT or between EPC frequencies and c-IMT or Δc-IMT.
The lack of an association between EPCs and c-IMT in our cohort does not support HIV-associated reductions in EPC frequency as a cause of accelerated atherosclerosis.
The aging process affects all aspects of the immune system, particularly the T cells. The immune system in older individuals is often characterized by lower T cell numbers, lower naive/memory T cell ratios, and lower T cell diversity. Most measures of inflammation increase with age. Why this happens, and why there is so much person-to-person variability in these changes, is not known. In this issue of the JCI, Sauce and colleagues show that removal of the thymus during infancy results in premature onset of many of these age-associated changes to the immune system (see the related article beginning on page 3070). The effect of thymectomy was particularly notable in those individuals who acquired CMV infection. Data from this study, as well as data from other observational settings, suggest that reduced thymic function and persistent viral infections combine to accelerate a decline in immunologic function.
Many human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected individuals suffer from persistent immune activation. Chronic inflammation and immune dysregulation have been associated with an increased risk of age-related diseases even among patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy. The factors leading to immune activation are complex, but have been hypothesized to include persistent viral replication with cellular death as well as microbial translocation across the gastrointestinal tract. Both processes may trigger innate immune responses since many native molecules released from dying cells are similar in structure to pathogen associated molecular patterns. These damage associated molecular patterns include mitochondrial DNA and formylated peptides. We hypothesized that circulating mitochondrial nucleic acid could serve as a biomarker for HIV-associated cell death and drive innate immune activation in infected individuals. We developed a quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay for plasma mitochondrial DNA and validated it on normal blood donors. We then measured mitochondrial DNA levels in acute and chronic HIV infection. While the assay proved to be accurate with a robust dynamic range, we did not find a significant association between HIV disease status and circulating mitochondrial DNA. We did, however, observe a negative correlation between age and plasma mitochondrial DNA levels in individuals with well-controlled HIV.
Although early initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected patients after a diagnosis of Pneumocystis pneumonia increased after ACTG 5164 (7.4%–50.0%), a subsequent implementation and dissemination initiative optimized uptake of early antiretroviral therapy as clinically routine (50.0%–80.3%).
Background. Diffusion, dissemination, and implementation of scientific evidence into routine clinical practice is not well understood. The Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Protocol 5164 showed that early antiretroviral therapy (ART; ie, within 14 days) after diagnosis of an opportunistic infection improved clinical outcomes, compared with later initiation. Subsequently, the San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) HIV/AIDS Service performed the SFGH 5164 Initiative to disseminate and implement the findings of ACTG 5164.
Methods. We evaluated patients who received a diagnosis of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) from 1 January 2001 through 30 March 2011. Survival analyses were used to assess changes in the time to initiation of ART after PCP, and logistic regression was used to evaluate changes in the odds of early ART (ie, within 14 days) because of ACTG 5164 and SFGH 5164 Initiative.
Results. Among 162 patients, the adjusted hazard of ART initiation increased by 3.05 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.86–5.02) after ACTG 5164 and by 4.89 (95% CI, 2.76–8.67) after the SFGH Initiative, compared with before ACTG 5164. When compared with before ACTG 5164, the proportion of patients who received ART within the 14 days after PCP diagnosis increased from 7.4% to 50.0% (P < .001) after ACTG 5164 and from 50.0% to 83.0% (P = .02) after the SFGH 5164 Initiative.
Conclusions. Diffusion of findings from of a randomized trial changed practice at an academic medical center, but dissemination and implementation efforts were required to establish early ART at acceptable levels. Early ART initiation can be achieved in real-world patient populations.
Viremia copy-years predicted all-cause mortality independent of traditional, cross-sectional viral load measures and time-updated CD4+ T-lymphocyte count in antiretroviral therapy-treated patients suggesting cumulative human immunodeficiency virus replication causes harm independent of its effect on the degree of immunodeficiency.
Background. Cross-sectional plasma human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral load (VL) measures have proven invaluable for clinical and research purposes. However, cross-sectional VL measures fail to capture cumulative plasma HIV burden longitudinally. We evaluated the cumulative effect of exposure to HIV replication on mortality following initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Methods. We included treatment-naive HIV-infected patients starting ART from 2000 to 2008 at 8 Center for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems sites. Viremia copy-years, a time-varying measure of cumulative plasma HIV exposure, were determined for each patient using the area under the VL curve. Multivariable Cox models were used to evaluate the independent association of viremia copy-years for all-cause mortality.
Results. Among 2027 patients contributing 6579 person-years of follow-up, the median viremia copy-years was 5.3 log10 copy × y/mL (interquartile range: 4.9–6.3 log10 copy × y/mL), and 85 patients (4.2%) died. When evaluated separately, viremia copy-years (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.81 per log10 copy × y/mL; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.51–2.18 per log10 copy × y/mL), 24-week VL (1.74 per log10 copies/mL; 95% CI, 1.48–2.04 per log10 copies/mL), and most recent VL (HR = 1.89 per log10 copies/mL; 95% CI: 1.63–2.20 per log10 copies/mL) were associated with increased mortality. When simultaneously evaluating VL measures and controlling for other covariates, viremia copy-years increased mortality risk (HR = 1.44 per log10 copy × y/mL; 95% CI, 1.07–1.94 per log10 copy × y/mL), whereas no cross-sectional VL measure was independently associated with mortality.
Conclusions. Viremia copy-years predicted all-cause mortality independent of traditional, cross-sectional VL measures and time-updated CD4+ T-lymphocyte count in ART-treated patients, suggesting cumulative HIV replication causes harm independent of its effect on the degree of immunodeficiency.
To assess whether T cell activation independently predicts the extent of CD4+ T cell recovery and mortality in HIV-infected Ugandans initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Prospective cohort study
HIV-infected adults starting ART and achieving a plasma HIV RNA level (VL) <400 copies/ml by month 6 were sampled from the Uganda AIDS Rural Treatment Outcomes (UARTO) cohort in Mbarara, Uganda. CD4 count, VL, and the % activated (CD38+HLA-DR+) T cells were measured every 3 months.
Of 451 HIV-infected Ugandans starting ART, most were women (70%) with median pre-ART values: age, 34 years; CD4 count, 135 cells/mm3; and VL, 5.1 log10 copies/ml. Of these, 93% achieved a VL<400 c/ml by month 6 and were followed for a median of 24 months, with 8% lost to follow up at 3 years. Higher pre-ART CD8+ T cell activation was associated with diminished CD4 recovery after year 1, after adjustment for pre-ART CD4 count, VL, and gender (P=0.017). Thirty-four participants died, 15 after month 6. Each 10 percentage-point increase in activated CD8+ T cells at month 6 of suppressive ART was associated with a 1.6-fold increased hazard of subsequent death after adjusting for pre-therapy CD4 count (P=0.048).
Higher pre-ART CD8+ T cell activation independently predicts slower CD4+ T cell recovery and higher persistent CD8+ T cell activation during ART-mediated viral suppression independently predicts increased mortality among HIV-infected Ugandans. Novel therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing or reversing immune activation during ART are needed in this setting.
HIV; Uganda; Sub-Saharan Africa; T cell activation; Antiretroviral Therapy; Mortality