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1.  A Declining CD4 Count and Diagnosis of HIV-Associated Hodgkin Lymphoma: Do Prior Clinical Symptoms and Laboratory Abnormalities Aid Diagnosis? 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87442.
The incidence of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) among HIV-infected individuals remains unchanged since the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). Recent epidemiological data suggest that CD4 count decline over a year is associated with subsequent diagnosis of HL. In an era of economic austerity monitoring the efficacy of cART by CD4 counts may no longer be required where CD4 count>350 cells/µl and viral load is suppressed (<50 copies/ml).
We sought to establish among our HIV outpatient cohort whether a CD4 count decline prior to diagnosis of HL, whether any decline was greater than in patients without the diagnosis, and also whether other clinical or biochemical indices were reliably associated with the diagnosis.
Twenty-nine patients with a diagnosis of HL were identified. Among 15 individuals on cART with viral load <50 copies/ml the change in CD4 over 12 months preceding diagnosis of HL was −82 cells/µl (95% CI −163 to −3; p = 0.04). Among 18 matched controls the mean change was +5 cells/µl, 95% CI −70 to 80, p = 0.89). The decline in CD4 over the previous 6–12 months was somewhat greater in cases than controls (mean difference in change −55 cells/µl, 95% CI −151 to 39; p = 0.25). In 26 (90%) patients B symptoms had been present for a median of three months (range one–12) before diagnosis of HL.
The CD4 count decline in the 12 months prior to diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma among HIV-infected individuals with VL<50 copies/ml on cART was not significantly different from that seen in other fully virologically suppressed individuals in receipt of cART and who did not develop HL. All those who developed HL had B symptoms and/or new palpable lymphadenopathy, suggesting that CD4 count monitoring if performed less frequently, or not at all, among those virologically suppressed individuals with CD4 counts >350 may not have delayed diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3913599  PMID: 24504076
2.  Acceptability and Feasibility of Universal Offer of Rapid Point of Care Testing for HIV in an Acute Admissions Unit: Results of the RAPID Project 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35212.
UK guidance recommend all acute medical admissions be offered an HIV test. Our aim was to determine whether a dedicated staff member using a multimedia tool, a model found to be effective in the USA, is an acceptable, feasible, and cost-effective model when translated to a UK setting.
Between 14th Jan to 12th May 2010, a Health advisor (HA) approached 19–65 year olds at a central London acute medical admissions unit (AAU) and offered a rapid HIV point of care test (POCT) with the aid of an educational video. Patients with negative results had the option to watch a post-test video providing risk-reduction information. For reactive results the HA arranged a confirmatory test, and ensured linkage into HIV specialist care. Feasibility and acceptability were assessed through surveys and uptake rates. Costs per case of HIV identified were established.
Of the 606 eligible people admitted during the pilot period, 324 (53.5%) could not be approached or testing was deemed inappropriate. In total 23.0% of eligible admissions had an HIV POCT. Of the patients who watched the video and had not recently tested for HIV, 93.6% (131/140) agreed to an HIV test; four further patients had an HIV test but did not watch the video. Three tests (2.2%, 3/135) were reactive and all were confirmed HIV positive on laboratory testing. 97.5% felt HIV testing in this setting was appropriate, and 90.1% liked receiving the information via video. The cost per patient of the intervention was £21.
Universal POCT HIV testing in an acute medical setting, facilitated by an educational video and dedicated staff appears to be acceptable, feasible, effective, and low cost. These findings support the recommendation of HIV testing all admissions to AAU in high prevalence settings, although with the model used a significant proportion remained untested.
PMCID: PMC3338735  PMID: 22558129
3.  Early Predictors of Mortality from Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in HIV-Infected Patients: 1985–2006 
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) remains the leading cause of opportunistic infection among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected persons. Previous studies of PCP that identified case-fatality risk factors involved small numbers of patients, were performed over few years, and often focused on patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit.
The objective of this study was to identify case-fatality risk factors present at or soon after hospitalization among adult HIV-infected patients admitted to University College London Hospitals (London, United Kingdom) from June 1985 through June 2006.
Patients and Methods
We performed a review of case notes for 494 consecutive patients with 547 episodes of laboratory-confirmed PCP.
Overall mortality was 13.5%. Mortality was 10.1% for the period from 1985 through 1989, 16.9% for the period from 1990 through June 1996, and 9.7% for the period from July 1996 through 2006 (P = .142). Multivariate analysis identified factors associated with risk of death, including increasing patient age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11–2.23; P = .011), subsequent episode of PCP (AOR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.14–4.52; P = .019), low hemoglobin level at hospital admission (AOR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60–0.83; P < .001), low partial pressure of oxygen breathing room air at hospital admission (AOR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60–0.81; P < .001), presence of medical comorbidity (AOR, 3.93; 95% CI, 1.77–8.72; P = .001), and pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma (AOR, 6.95; 95% CI, 2.26–21.37; P =.001). Patients with a first episode of PCP were sicker (mean partial pressure of oxygen at admission ± standard deviation, 9.3 ± 2.0 kPa) than those with a second or third episode of PCP (mean partial pressure of oxygen at admission ± standard deviation, 9.9 ± 1.9 kPa; P =.008), but mortality among patients with a first episode of PCP (12.5%) was lower than mortality among patients with subsequent episodes of PCP (22.5%) (P = .019). No patient was receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy before presentation with PCP, and none began highly active antiretroviral therapy during treatment of PCP.
Mortality risk factors for PCP were identifiable at or soon after hospitalization. The trend towards improved outcome after June 1996 occurred in the absence of highly active antiretroviral therapy.
PMCID: PMC2735405  PMID: 18190281

Results 1-3 (3)