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1.  Viral Suppression in HIV Studies: Combining Times to Suppression and Rebound 
Biometrics  2014;70(2):441-448.
Summary
In HIV-1 clinical trials the interest is often to compare how well treatments suppress the HIV-1 RNA viral load. The current practice in statistical analysis of such trials is to define a single ad hoc composite event which combines information about both the viral load suppression and the subsequent viral rebound, and then analyze the data using standard univariate survival analysis techniques. The main weakness of this approach is that the results of the analysis can be easily influenced by minor details in the definition of the composite event. We propose a straightforward alternative endpoint based on the probability of being suppressed over time, and suggest that treatment differences be summarized using the restricted mean time a patient spends in the state of viral suppression. A nonparametric analysis is based on methods for multiple endpoint studies. We demonstrate the utility of our analytic strategy using a recent therapeutic trial, in which the protocol specified a primary analysis using a composite endpoint approach.
doi:10.1111/biom.12140
PMCID: PMC4319678  PMID: 24446693
AIDS; Clinical trial endpoint; Counting processes; Multistate models; Survival analysis
2.  Hepatic Safety and Tolerability of Raltegravir among HIV Patients Coinfected with Hepatitis B and/or C 
Antiviral therapy  2014;19(4):415-422.
Background
Potential liver toxicity is an important consideration for antiretroviral selection among patients coinfected with HIV and viral hepatitis (B and/or C). We sought to describe the hepatic safety profile of raltegravir in this population.
Methods
Using data from HIV clinical cohorts at Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we evaluated factors associated with liver enzyme elevations (LEEs) and calculated adverse event incidence rates for patients initiated on raltegravir-containing regimens prior to January 1, 2010. LEEs were graded according to Division of AIDS definitions.
Results
During the study period, 456 patients received raltegravir – of whom 36% were hepatitis-coinfected (138 HCV, 17 HBV, 11 HBV+HCV). Coinfected patients were more likely to have baseline abnormal LEEs, and developed severe (grade 3–4) LEEs at a rate 3.4 times that of HIV-monoinfected patients (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.28, 9.61). Among all participants, the incidence rate for first occurrence of severe LEEs was 5 per 100 person-years (95% CI, 3, 7). In adjusted analyses, coinfected patients had a 2.7-fold increased hazard of severe LEEs (95% CI, 1.03, 7.04). Sixty percent of severe abnormalities occurred within 6 months after starting raltegravir; the drug was discontinued in 3 coinfected patients (1.3%) and 18 monoinfected patients (6.2%).
Conclusions
Compared to HIV-monoinfected patients, those with HIV-hepatitis coinfection are at increased hazard of developing LEEs on raltegravir, at a level similar to other antiretrovirals. Severe events were uncommon, rarely leading to raltegravir discontinuation. With appropriate monitoring, raltegravir-based therapy is safe in hepatitis-coinfected patients.
doi:10.3851/IMP2738
PMCID: PMC4108567  PMID: 24458137
integrase strand transfer inhibitors; hepatotoxicity; clinical cohort; United States
3.  Association between Efavirenz as Initial Therapy for HIV-1 Infection and Increased Risk of Suicidal Ideation, Attempted, or Completed Suicide 
Annals of internal medicine  2014;161(1):1-10.
Background
The relationship between efavirenz use and suicidality is not well defined.
Objective
Compare time to suicidality with efavirenz-containing versus efavirenz-free antiretroviral regimens for initial treatment of HIV.
Design
Participant-level data were analyzed from four AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) antiretroviral-naïve studies conducted from 2001 to 2010. Within each study, participants were randomly assigned to an efavirenz-containing (n=3241) or efavirenz-free regimen (n=2091).
Setting
ACTG sites; 74% enrolled in the United States.
Patients
Antiretroviral-naïve participants.
Intervention
Efavirenz versus efavirenz-free regimens.
Measurements
Suicidality was defined as suicidal ideation, attempted or completed suicide. Groups were compared with a hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) estimated from a Cox model stratified by study.
Results
73% were men, median age was 37 years; 32% had documented psychiatric history or received psychoactive medication within 30 days prior to study entry. Median follow-up was 96 weeks. Suicidality incidence per 1000 person-years was 8.08 (47 events) in the efavirenz group and 3.66 (15 events) in the efavirenz-free group, HR: 2.28 (95% CI: 1.27 to 4.10, p=0.006). Incidence of attempted or completed suicide was 2.90 (17 events) and 1.22 (5 events) in the efavirenz and efavirenz-free groups, respectively, HR: 2.58 (95% CI: 0.94 to 7.06, p=0.065). Eight suicide deaths in the efavirenz group and one in the efavirenz-free group were reported.
Limitations
There was not a standardized questionnaire regarding suicidal ideation or attempt. Efavirenz was open-label in three of four studies.
Conclusions
Initial treatment with an efavirenz-containing antiretroviral regimen was associated with a two-fold increased hazard of suicidality compared to a regimen without efavirenz.
doi:10.7326/M14-0293
PMCID: PMC4204642  PMID: 24979445
efavirenz; suicide; suicidal ideation; suicidal behavior; HIV; adverse event; psychiatry
5.  Safety and efficacy of ombitasvir – 450/r and dasabuvir and ribavirin in HCV/HIV-1 co-infected patients receiving atazanavir or raltegravir ART regimens 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19500.
Objective
Whether concomitant HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) affects the safety and efficacy of interferon-free HCV therapies or whether HCV treatment may negatively affect HIV control is unclear. We assessed the 3 direct-acting antiviral (3D) regimen of ombitasvir, ABT-450 (identified by AbbVie and Enanta; co-dosed with ritonavir) and dasabuvir with ribavirin (RBV) in HCV/HIV-1 co-infected patients with and without cirrhosis, including HCV treatment-experienced, receiving atazanavir (ATV)- or raltegravir (RAL)-based ART therapy.
Methods
HCV genotype 1-positive treatment-naïve or pegIFN/RBV-experienced patients, with or without Child-Pugh A cirrhosis, CD4+ count ≥200 cells/mm3 or CD4 + % ≥14%, and plasma HIV-1 RNA suppressed on stable ART received open-label 3D + RBV for 12 or 24 weeks. Rates of HCV-sustained virologic response at post-treatment weeks 4 and 12 (SVR4 and SVR12, respectively) and bilirubin-related adverse events (AEs) are reported from post-hoc analyses for subgroups defined by treatment duration and ART regimen.
Results
The SVR12 rate for patients receiving 12 weeks of 3D + RBV was 93.5% with comparable rates in patients receiving either ATV (93.8%) or RAL therapy (93.3%) (Table 1). The SVR4 rate for the 24-week arm was 96.9% with a single virologic breakthrough at treatment week 16 in a patient receiving RAL therapy. Patients receiving concomitant ATV had more AEs related to indirect hyperbilirubinemia including ocular icterus, jaundice and grade 3 or 4 elevations in total bilirubin (predominantly indirect). No patient discontinued the study due to AEs, and no serious AEs were reported during or after treatment. No patient had a confirmed plasma HIV-1 RNA value ≥200 copies/mL during the treatment period.
Conclusions
In this first study to evaluate an IFN-free regimen in HCV genotype 1-positive treatment-naïve and experienced patients with HIV-1 co-infection, including those with cirrhosis, high rates of SVR were comparable to those with HCV monoinfection. Indirect hyperbilirubinemia was consistent with the known ABT-450 inhibition of the OATP1B1 bilirubin transporter, RBV-related haemolytic anaemia and inhibitory effect of ATV on bilirubin conjugation. The laboratory abnormalities and AEs observed did not negatively affect treatment response or lead to treatment discontinuation.
doi:10.7448/IAS.17.4.19500
PMCID: PMC4224905  PMID: 25394009
6.  Comparative effectiveness of fish oil versus fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and atorvastatin on lowering triglyceride levels among HIV-infected patients in routine clinical care 
Objective
The goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of fish oil, fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and atorvastatin on reducing triglyceride (TG) levels among a large cohort of HIV-infected patients in clinical care.
Design
Retrospective observational cohort study
Methods
The primary endpoint was absolute change in TG levels measured using the last TG value pre-treatment and the first TG value post-treatment. A pre-post quasi-experimental design was used to estimate the change in TG due to initiating fish oil. Linear regression models examined the comparative effectiveness of treatment with fish oil versus gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, or atorvastatin for TG reduction. Models were adjusted for baseline differences in age, sex, race, CD4+ cell count, diabetes, body mass index, protease inhibitor use, and time between TG measures.
Results
A total of 493 patients (mean age 46 years; 95% male) were included (46 receiving gemfibrozil, 80 fenofibrate, 291 atorvastatin, 76 fish oil) with a mean baseline TG of 347 mg/dL. New use of fish oil decreased TG (ΔTG -45 mg/dL 95% Confidence interval (CI):-80 to -11) in the pre-post study. Compared with fish oil (reference), fibrates were more effective (ΔTG -66; 95% CI:-120 to -12) in reducing TG levels, whereas atorvastatin was not (ΔTG -39; 95% CI:-86 to 9).
Conclusion
In HIV-infected patients in routine clinical care, fish oil is less effective than fibrates (but not atorvastatin) at lowering triglyceride values. Fish oil may still represent an attractive alternative for patients with moderately elevated triglycerides particularly among patients who may not want or tolerate fibrates.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a60e82
PMCID: PMC4112457  PMID: 23892238
fish oil; triglycerides; dyslipidemia; fibrates; HIV
7.  Validation of Medicaid claims-based diagnosis of myocardial infarction using an HIV clinical cohort 
Medical care  2013;10.1097/MLR.0b013e318287d6fd.
Background
In non-experimental comparative effectiveness research using healthcare databases, outcome measurements must be validated to evaluate and potentially adjust for misclassification bias. We aimed to validate claims-based myocardial infarction algorithms in a Medicaid population using an HIV clinical cohort as the gold standard.
Methods
Medicaid administrative data were obtained for the years 2002–2008 and linked to the UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort based on social security number, first name and last name and myocardial infarction were adjudicated. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were calculated.
Results
There were 1,063 individuals included. Over a median observed time of 2.5 years, 17 had a myocardial infarction. Specificity ranged from 0.979–0.993 with the highest specificity obtained using criteria with the ICD-9 code in the primary and secondary position and a length of stay ≥ 3 days. Sensitivity of myocardial infarction ascertainment varied from 0.588–0.824 depending on algorithm. Conclusion: Specificities of varying claims-based myocardial infarction ascertainment criteria are high but small changes impact positive predictive value in a cohort with low incidence. Sensitivities vary based on ascertainment criteria. Type of algorithm used should be prioritized based on study question and maximization of specific validation parameters that will minimize bias while also considering precision.
doi:10.1097/MLR.0b013e318287d6fd
PMCID: PMC4022708  PMID: 23604043
8.  Virologic Response, Early HIV-1 Decay and Maraviroc Pharmacokinetics with the Nucleos(t)ide-free Regimen of MaravIroc plus Darunavir/ritonavir in a Pilot Study 
Objective
To address the need for nucleos(t)ide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-sparing regimens, we explored the virologic and pharmacokinetic characteristics of maraviroc plus ritonavir-boosted darunavir in a single-arm, open-label, 96-week study.
Methods
24 antiretroviral-naïve R5 HIV-1-infected participants received maraviroc 150 mg and DRV/r 800/100 mg (MVC/DRV/r) once-daily. The primary outcome was virologic failure (VF) = confirmed viral load (VL) >50 copies/mL at week 24 in the modified intent-to-treat population. To determine viral dynamics, participant-specific first- and second-phase empirical Bayes estimates were compared to decay rates from efavirenz plus lopinavir/ritonavir, lopinavir/ritonavir plus 2NRTIs and efavirenz plus 2NRTIs. Maraviroc plasma concentrations were determined at weeks 2, 4,12, 24 and 48.
Results
Baseline median (Q1, Q3) CD4 count and VL were 455 (299, 607) cells/mm3 and 4.62 (4.18, 4.80) log10 copies/mL, respectively. VF occurred in 3/24 participants (12.5 % [95% CI 2.7, 32.4]) at week 24. One of these resuppressed, yielding a week 48 VF rate of 2/24 (8.3 % [95% CI 1.0, 27.0]). The week 48 failures were 2 of the 4 (50%) participants with baseline VL >100,000 copies/mL. Week 96 VF rate was 2/20 (10 % [95% CI 1.2, 31.7]). Phase 1 decay was faster with MVC/DRV/r than reported for ritonavir-boosted lopinavir plus 2 NRTIs (p=0.0063) and similar to efavirenz-based regimens. Individual maraviroc trough concentrations collected between 20–28 hours post dose (n=59) was 13.7 to 130 ng/mL (Q1, 23.4 ng/mL; Q3, 46.5 ng/mL), and modeled steady-state concentration was 128 ng/mL.
Conclusion
MVC/DRV/r 150/800/100 mg once-daily has potential for treatment-naïve patients with R5 HIV-1.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a03d95
PMCID: PMC4208821  PMID: 23797691
maraviroc; darunavir; nucleos(t)ide-sparing; pharmacokinetics; viral dynamics
9.  Hepatitis C Viremia and the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease in HIV-Infected Individuals 
Lucas, Gregory M. | Jing, Yuezhou | Sulkowski, Mark | Abraham, Alison G. | Estrella, Michelle M. | Atta, Mohamed G. | Fine, Derek M. | Klein, Marina B. | Silverberg, Michael J. | Gill, M. John | Moore, Richard D. | Gebo, Kelly A. | Sterling, Timothy R. | Butt, Adeel A. | Kirk, Gregory D. | Benson, Constance A. | Bosch, Ronald J. | Collier, Ann C. | Boswell, Stephen | Grasso, Chris | Mayer, Ken | Hogg, Robert S. | Harrigan, Richard | Montaner, Julio | Cescon, Angela | Brooks, John T. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly A. | Moore, Richard D. | Carey, John T. | Rodriguez, Benigno | Horberg, Michael A. | Silverberg, Michael J. | Horberg, Michael A. | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Goedert, James J. | Jacobson, Lisa P. | Klein, Marina B. | Rourke, Sean B. | Burchell, Ann | Rachlis, Anita R. | Rico, Puerto | Hunter-Mellado, Robert F. | Mayor, Angel M. | Gill, M. John | Deeks, Steven G. | Martin, Jeffrey N. | Patel, Pragna | Brooks, John T. | Saag, Michael S. | Mugavero, Michael J. | Willig, James | Eron, Joseph J. | Napravnik, Sonia | Kitahata, Mari M. | Crane, Heidi M. | Justice, Amy C. | Dubrow, Robert | Fiellin, David | Sterling, Timothy R. | Haas, David | Bebawy, Sally | Turner, Megan | Gange, Stephen J. | Anastos, Kathryn | Moore, Richard D. | Saag, Michael S. | Gange, Stephen J. | Kitahata, Mari M. | McKaig, Rosemary G. | Justice, Amy C. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Moore, Richard D. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Lent, Carol | Kitahata, Mari M. | Van Rompaey, Stephen E. | Crane, Heidi M. | Webster, Eric | Morton, Liz | Simon, Brenda | Gange, Stephen J. | Althoff, Keri N. | Abraham, Alison G. | Lau, Bryan | Zhang, Jinbing | Jing, Jerry | Golub, Elizabeth | Modur, Shari | Hanna, David B. | Rebeiro, Peter | Wong, Cherise | Mendes, Adell
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(8):1240-1249.
Background. The role of active hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication in chronic kidney disease (CKD) risk has not been clarified.
Methods. We compared CKD incidence in a large cohort of HIV-infected subjects who were HCV seronegative, HCV viremic (detectable HCV RNA), or HCV aviremic (HCV seropositive, undetectable HCV RNA). Stages 3 and 5 CKD were defined according to standard criteria. Progressive CKD was defined as a sustained 25% glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decrease from baseline to a GFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2. We used Cox models to calculate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results. A total of 52 602 HCV seronegative, 9508 HCV viremic, and 913 HCV aviremic subjects were included. Compared with HCV seronegative subjects, HCV viremic subjects were at increased risk for stage 3 CKD (adjusted HR 1.36 [95% CI, 1.26, 1.46]), stage 5 CKD (1.95 [1.64, 2.31]), and progressive CKD (1.31 [1.19, 1.44]), while HCV aviremic subjects were also at increased risk for stage 3 CKD (1.19 [0.98, 1.45]), stage 5 CKD (1.69 [1.07, 2.65]), and progressive CKD (1.31 [1.02, 1.68]).
Conclusions. Compared with HIV-infected subjects who were HCV seronegative, both HCV viremic and HCV aviremic individuals were at increased risk for moderate and advanced CKD.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jit373
PMCID: PMC3778973  PMID: 23904290
HIV; hepatitis C virus; chronic kidney disease; hepatitis C RNA; cohort study; glomerular filtration rate; injection drug use
10.  Incident sexually transmitted infection as a biomarker for high risk sexual behavior following diagnosis with acute HIV 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2014;41(7):447-452.
Background
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis following diagnosis of acute HIV infection (AHI) indicates ongoing high-risk sexual behavior and possible risk of HIV transmission. We assessed predictors of STI acquisition and the effect of time since care entry on STI incidence in AHI patients in care and receiving consistent risk-reduction messaging.
Methods
Data on incident gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, primary/secondary syphilis, demographic, and clinical risk factors were abstracted from medical charts for patients diagnosed with AHI and engaged in care. Poisson regression models using generalized estimating equations were fit to estimate incidence rates (IR), incidence rate ratios (IRR), and robust 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results
Among 185 AHI patients, 26 (14%) were diagnosed with ≥1 incident STI over 709.4 person-years; 46 STIs were diagnosed during follow-up (IR=6.8/100 person-years). The median time from HIV care entry to first STI diagnosis was 609 days (range=168–1681). Men who have sex with men (MSM) (p=0.03), a shorter time between presentation to medical care and AHI diagnosis (p=0.06), and STI diagnosis prior to AHI diagnosis (p=0.0003) were predictors of incident STI. STI IR >1 year after entering care was double that of patients in care ≤1 year (IRR=2.0 95% CI 0.8–4.9). HIV viral load was above the limits of detection within 1 month of 11 STI diagnoses in 6 patients (23.1%) (median=15,898 copies/mL, range=244–152,000 copies/mL).
Conclusions
Despite regular HIV care, STI incidence was high among this primarily young, MSM AHI cohort. Early antiretroviral initiation may decrease HIV transmission given ongoing risk behaviors despite risk-reduction messaging.
doi:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000147
PMCID: PMC4191902  PMID: 24922104
acute HIV infection; sexually transmitted infection; incidence; antiretroviral therapy; HIV care
11.  Incidence and Timing of Cancer in HIV-Infected Individuals Following Initiation of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy 
Kaposi sarcoma and lymphoma rates were highest immediately after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, particularly among patients with low CD4 cell counts, whereas other cancers increased with time on ART. Calendar year of ART initiation was not associated with subsequent cancer incidence.
Background
Cancer is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but patterns of cancer incidence after combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation remain poorly characterized.
Methods
We evaluated the incidence and timing of cancer diagnoses among patients initiating ART between 1996 and 2011 in a collaboration of 8 US clinical HIV cohorts. Poisson regression was used to estimate incidence rates. Cox regression was used to identify demographic and clinical characteristics associated with cancer incidence after ART initiation.
Results
At initiation of first combination ART among 11 485 patients, median year was 2004 (interquartile range [IQR], 2000–2007) and median CD4 count was 202 cells/mm3 (IQR, 61–338). Incidence rates for Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and lymphomas were highest in the first 6 months after ART initiation (P < .001) and plateaued thereafter, while incidence rates for all other cancers combined increased from 416 to 615 cases per 100 000 person-years from 1 to 10 years after ART initiation (average 7% increase per year; 95% confidence interval, 2%–13%). Lower CD4 count at ART initiation was associated with greater risk of KS, lymphoma, and human papillomavirus–related cancer. Calendar year of ART initiation was not associated with cancer incidence.
Conclusions
KS and lymphoma rates were highest immediately following ART initiation, particularly among patients with low CD4 cell counts, whereas other cancers increased with time on ART, likely reflecting increased cancer risk with aging. Our results underscore recommendations for earlier HIV diagnosis followed by prompt ART initiation along with ongoing aggressive cancer screening and prevention efforts throughout the course of HIV care.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit369
PMCID: PMC3739467  PMID: 23735330
HIV-associated malignancies; AIDS-defining cancer; non-AIDS-defining cancer; combination antiretroviral therapy
12.  Temporal Trends in Presentation and Survival for HIV-Associated Lymphoma in the Antiretroviral Therapy Era 
Background
Lymphoma is the leading cause of cancer-related death among HIV-infected patients in the antiretroviral therapy (ART) era.
Methods
We studied lymphoma patients in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems from 1996 until 2010. We examined differences stratified by histology and diagnosis year. Mortality and predictors of death were analyzed using Kaplan–Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards.
Results
Of 23 050 HIV-infected individuals, 476 (2.1%) developed lymphoma (79 [16.6%] Hodgkin lymphoma [HL]; 201 [42.2%] diffuse large B-cell lymphoma [DLBCL]; 56 [11.8%] Burkitt lymphoma [BL]; 54 [11.3%] primary central nervous system lymphoma [PCNSL]; and 86 [18.1%] other non-Hodgkin lymphoma [NHL]). At diagnosis, HL patients had higher CD4 counts and lower HIV RNA than NHL patients. PCNSL patients had the lowest and BL patients had the highest CD4 counts among NHL categories. During the study period, CD4 count at lymphoma diagnosis progressively increased and HIV RNA decreased. Five-year survival was 61.6% for HL, 50.0% for BL, 44.1% for DLBCL, 43.3% for other NHL, and 22.8% for PCNSL. Mortality was associated with age (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] = 1.28 per decade increase, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06 to 1.54), lymphoma occurrence on ART (AHR = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.53 to 3.20), CD4 count (AHR = 0.81 per 100 cell/µL increase, 95% CI = 0.72 to 0.90), HIV RNA (AHR = 1.13 per log10copies/mL, 95% CI = 1.00 to 1.27), and histology but not earlier diagnosis year.
Conclusions
HIV-associated lymphoma is heterogeneous and changing, with less immunosuppression and greater HIV control at diagnosis. Stable survival and increased mortality for lymphoma occurring on ART call for greater biologic insights to improve outcomes.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djt158
PMCID: PMC3748003  PMID: 23892362
13.  HIV risk behaviors and sociodemographic features of HIV-infected Latinos residing in a new Latino settlement area in the Southeastern United States 
AIDS care  2013;25(10):1298-1307.
The Southeastern United States (US) has a rapidly growing Latino population, yet little is known about HIV-infected Latinos in the region. To help inform future prevention studies, we compared sociodemographic, clinical, and behavioral characteristics between immigrant and US-born HIV-infected Latinos using face-to-face interviews conducted at three clinics in North Carolina. Questions encompassed HIV testing, acculturation, sexual- and substance-related behaviors, and migration history. Behavioral data were compared with 451 black and white clinic patients. Differences were tested using Pearson’s and Kruskal–Wallis tests. Participants (n = 127) were primarily male (74%) and immigrants (82%). Most immigrants were Mexican (67%), had low acculturation scores (92%), and were diagnosed a median of 8 years (IQR 0–12) following immigration. Compared with US-born Latinos, immigrants had lower CD4 counts at clinic entry (median 187 vs. 371 cells/mm3) and were less likely to have graduated high school (49% vs. 78%) or have insurance (9% vs. 52%; all P < 0.05). Most immigrants identified as heterosexual (60%) and reported fewer lifetime partners than US-born Latinos (median 6 vs. 20; P = 0.001). Immigrant men were less likely to report sex with men than US-born men (43% vs. 81%; P = 0.005). Immigrant men also had similar risk behaviors to black men, and US-born Latino men exhibited behaviors that were more similar to white men in our clinic. At the time of survey, >90% of participants were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) and most had achieved HIV RNA <50 copies/mL (62% immigrants vs. 76% US-born; P = 0.32). In conclusion, Latino immigrants were more likely to present with advanced disease, identify as heterosexual, and report different risk behaviors than US-born Latinos, yet receipt and response to ART were similar between the two groups. Prevention strategies should prioritize finding innovative methods to reach Latino immigrants for routine early testing regardless of risk stratification and include programs targeted toward the different needs of immigrant and US-born Latinos.
doi:10.1080/09540121.2013.764964
PMCID: PMC4125118  PMID: 23384328
Hispanic; HIV; CD4 lymphocyte count; Southeast United States; immigrants
14.  Associations of T cell activation and inflammatory biomarkers with virological response to darunavir/ritonavir plus raltegravir therapy 
Objectives
One of the goals of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is to attenuate HIV-induced systemic immune activation and inflammation. We determined the dynamics of biomarkers of immune activation, microbial translocation and inflammation during initial ART with a nucleos(t)ide-sparing regimen of darunavir/ritonavir plus raltegravir. We also evaluated associations between these biomarkers and the virological response to the regimen.
Methods
We determined baseline and week 24 and 48 levels of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activation (% HLA-DR+/CD38+), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interferon-γ-inducible protein-10 (IP-10), soluble CD14 (sCD14), D-dimer and lipopolysaccharide. Associations between the biomarkers at baseline were assessed using Spearman's rank correlation. The Wilcoxon signed rank test analysed changes from baseline. Comparisons between groups were made using the Wilcoxon rank sum test, and Cox proportional hazards models assessed predictors of virological failure (VF).
Results
Assays were completed on 107 of 112 subjects after excluding five subjects who had only baseline samples. The subjects included were 94 (88%) men with a median age of 37 years, a median baseline CD4 count of 261.5 cells/mm3 and a median baseline viral load (VL) of 75 876 copies/mL. Subjects with a baseline VL >100 000 copies/mL had higher baseline T cell activation, IL-6, IP-10, sCD14 and D-dimer. These biomarkers declined during treatment (P < 0.05). Although subjects who experienced VF had higher baseline CD4+ T cell activation (P = 0.035), only baseline VL independently predicted VF (hazard ratio for >100 000 versus ≤100 000 copies/mL was 4.5–5.6, P ≤ 0.002).
Conclusions
Darunavir/ritonavir plus raltegravir attenuated immune activation, inflammation and microbial translocation. T cell activation remained higher in subjects with VF than those without. Baseline VL >100 000 copies/mL remained the primary driver of VF.
doi:10.1093/jac/dkt120
PMCID: PMC3716396  PMID: 23599363
nucleos(t)ide sparing; soluble CD14; microbial translocation
15.  Evidence for risk stratification when monitoring for toxicities following initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(10):1593-1602.
Objective
Laboratory monitoring is recommended during combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), but the pattern of detected abnormalities and optimal monitoring are unknown. We assessed laboratory abnormalities during initial cART in 2000–2010 across the United States.
Design
Observational study in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems Cohort.
Methods
Among patients with normal results within a year prior to cART initiation, time to first significant abnormality was assessed by Kaplan–Meier curves stratified by event type, with censoring at first of regimen change, loss to follow-up, or 104 weeks. Incidence rates of first events were estimated using Poisson regression; multivariable analyses identified associated factors. Results were stratified by time (16 weeks) from therapy initiation.
Results
A total of 3470 individuals contributed 3639 person-years. Median age, pre-cART CD4, and follow-up duration were 40 years, 206 cells/μl, and 51 weeks, respectively. Incidence rates for significant abnormalities (per 100 person-years) in the first 16 weeks post-cART initiation were as follows: lipid 49 [95% confidence interval (CI) 41– 58]; hematologic = 44 (40–49); hepatic = 24 (20–27); and renal = 9 (7–11), dropping substantially during weeks 17–104 of cART to lipid = 23 (18–29); hematologic = 5 (4–6); hepatic = 6 (5–8); and renal = 2 (1–3) (all P < 0.05). Among patients receiving initial cART with no prior abnormality (N = 1889), strongest associations for hepatic abnormalities after 16 weeks were hepatitis B and C [hazard ratio 2.3 (95% CI 1.2–4.5) and hazard ratio = 3.0 (1.9–4.5), respectively]. The strongest association for renal abnormalities was hypertension [hazard ratio = 2.8 (1.4–5.6)].
Conclusion
New abnormalities decreased after week 16 of cART. For abnormalities not present by week 16, subsequent monitoring should be guided by comorbidities.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283601115
PMCID: PMC4108282  PMID: 23435300
hematologic; hepatic; laboratory; lipid; monitoring HIV; renal
16.  Loss to Clinic and Five-Year Mortality among HIV-Infected Antiretroviral Therapy Initiators 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102305.
Missing outcome data due to loss to follow-up occurs frequently in clinical cohort studies of HIV-infected patients. Censoring patients when they become lost can produce inaccurate results if the risk of the outcome among the censored patients differs from the risk of the outcome among patients remaining under observation. We examine whether patients who are considered lost to follow up are at increased risk of mortality compared to those who remain under observation. Patients from the US Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS) who newly initiated combination antiretroviral therapy between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2009 and survived for at least one year were included in the study. Mortality information was available for all participants regardless of continued observation in the CNICS. We compare mortality between patients retained in the cohort and those lost-to-clinic, as commonly defined by a 12-month gap in care. Patients who were considered lost-to-clinic had modestly elevated mortality compared to patients who remained under observation after 5 years (risk ratio (RR): 1.2; 95% CI: 0.9, 1.5). Results were similar after redefining loss-to-clinic as 6 months (RR: 1.0; 95% CI: 0.8, 1.3) or 18 months (RR: 1.2; 95% CI: 0.8, 1.6) without a documented clinic visit. The small increase in mortality associated with becoming lost to clinic suggests that these patients were not lost to care, rather they likely transitioned to care at a facility outside the study. The modestly higher mortality among patients who were lost-to-clinic implies that when we necessarily censor these patients in studies of time-varying exposures, we are likely to incur at most a modest selection bias.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102305
PMCID: PMC4092142  PMID: 25010739
17.  Incidence and Clinical Features of Cerebrovascular Disease Among HIV-Infected Adults in the Southeastern United States 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2013;29(7):1068-1074.
Abstract
With aging of the HIV-infected population, non-AIDS conditions such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) now account for substantial mortality and morbidity. While myocardial infarction is the major outcome of interest in the field of HIV and CVD, cerebrovascular disease remains understudied, especially in the Southeastern United States. We determined the incidence and clinical features of cerebrovascular events (CVE) in a large HIV clinical cohort in North Carolina (NC). A total of 2,515 HIV-infected adults contributed a median of 4.5 years (IQR: 2.0, 7.8) of follow-up. Fifty-three CVEs were adjudicated for an incidence rate of 3.87 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI: 2.90, 5.06). The ischemic stroke incidence was 2.26 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI: 1.53, 3.21), approximately 1.5 times the rate of a population-based cohort in NC. At the time of CVE, the median age was 48 years (IQR: 42, 55). Of ischemic strokes 76% resulted from large artery atherosclerosis or small vessel (lacunar) disease. In multivariable analyses, age, hypertension, dyslipidemia, recent CD4+ cell count ≤200 cells/mm3, and recent HIV RNA >400 copies/ml were associated with an increased risk of CVE. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) was not associated with the risk of CVE. We concluded that in the post-ART era, HIV-infected individuals appear to be at moderately increased risk of stroke. Prevention of CVEs in this population will require modification of traditional CVD risk factors and early, effective treatment of HIV infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0334
PMCID: PMC3685694  PMID: 23565888
18.  High Levels of Antiretroviral Use and Viral Suppression among Persons in HIV Care in the United States, 2010 
Background
Contemporary data on patterns of antiretroviral therapy (ART) use in the U.S. are needed to inform efforts to improve the HIV care cascade.
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems cohort who were in HIV care in 2010 to assess ART use and outcomes, stratified by nadir CD4 count (≤350, 351-500, or >500 cells/mm3), demographics, psychiatric diagnoses, substance use, and engagement in continuous care (≥2 visits ≥3 months apart in 2010).
Results
Of 8633 patients at 7 sites who had ≥1 medical visit and ≥1 viral load (VL) in 2010, 94% had ever initiated ART, 89% were on ART, and 70% had an undetectable VL at the end of 2010. Fifty percent of ART-naïve patients had nadir CD4 counts >500 cells/mm3, but this group composed just 3% of the total population. Among patients who were ART-naïve at the time of cohort entry (N=4637), both ART initiation and viral suppression were strongly associated with nadir CD4 count. Comparing 2009 and 2010, the percentages of patients with viral suppression among those with nadir CD4 counts 351-500 and >500 cells/mm3 were 44% vs. 57% and 25% vs. 33%, respectively. Engagement in care was the only factor consistently associated with ART use and viral suppression across nadir CD4 count strata.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that ART use and viral suppression among persons in HIV care may be more common than estimated in some prior studies and increased from 2009 to 2010.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182945bc7
PMCID: PMC3691075  PMID: 23572013
Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active; HIV Infections/drug therapy; HIV Infections/prevention & control; Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data; United States
19.  Emergence of HIV Drug Resistance During First- and Second-Line Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource-Limited Settings 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;207(Suppl 2):S49-S56.
Introduction
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-limited settings has expanded in the last decade, reaching >8 million individuals and reducing AIDS mortality and morbidity. Continued success of ART programs will require understanding the emergence of HIV drug resistance patterns among individuals in whom treatment has failed and managing ART from both an individual and public health perspective. We review data on the emergence of HIV drug resistance among individuals in whom first-line therapy has failed and clinical and resistance outcomes of those receiving second-line therapy in resource-limited settings.
Results
Resistance surveys among patients initiating first-line nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)–based therapy suggest that 76%–90% of living patients achieve HIV RNA suppression by 12 months after ART initiation. Among patients with detectable HIV RNA at 12 months, HIV drug resistance, primarily due to M184V and NNRTI mutations, has been identified in 60%–72%, although the antiretroviral activity of proposed second-line regimens has been preserved. Complex mutation patterns, including thymidine-analog mutations, K65R, and multinucleoside mutations, are prevalent among cases of treatment failure identified by clinical or immunologic methods. Approximately 22% of patients receiving second-line therapy do not achieve HIV RNA suppression by 6 months, with poor adherence, rather than HIV drug resistance, driving most failures. Major protease inhibitor resistance at the time of second-line failure ranges from 0% to 50%, but studies are limited.
Conclusions
Resistance of HIV to first-line therapy is predictable at 12 months when evaluated by means of HIV RNA monitoring and, when detected, largely preserves second-line therapy options. Optimizing adherence, performing resistance surveillance, and improving treatment monitoring are critical for long-term prevention of drug resistance.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jit107
PMCID: PMC3708738  PMID: 23687289
antiretroviral drug resistance; resource-limited settings; second-line therapy
20.  Short Communication: Lack of Occult HIV Infection Among Non-AIDS-Defining Cancer Patients in Three Academic Oncology Clinics in the United States 
Abstract
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) testing recommendations suggest universal opt-out testing in all health care settings, including cancer clinics. The incidence of non-AIDS-defining cancers (NADCs) is on the rise among HIV patients. However, to date, no data exist on the prevalence of HIV infection among NADC patients in the United States. Knowledge of HIV infection may affect clinical management, prognosis, and overall patient survival and decrease new infections in the population. The purpose of this study was to determine the point seroprevalence of HIV infection in cancer patients being seen in medical oncology clinics. A total of 634 individuals (mean age=53.2 years) participated and were tested for HIV. None of the participants tested positive for HIV in any of the three clinics. Using a futility analysis, the upper end of the 95% confidence interval for prevalence of undiagnosed HIV in cancer patients was less than 0.3%. Most participants were female (59.2%) and non-Hispanic (96.6%). The majority of study participants were white (76.5%) or African-American (17.7%). Breast cancer (19.7%), colon cancer (10.3%), and melanoma (9.7%) were the most commonly reported non-AIDS-defining cancers. While our study suggested that there was no occurrence of undiagnosed HIV among NADC patients, it is important to note that our population was largely white, females with insurance and with a different distribution of cancer than the most prevalent NADC among HIV patients. Furthermore, one-third of the patients did not consent to participate and further studies are needed to assess reasons for their unwillingness along with other populations, specifically minorities and individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES).
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0344
PMCID: PMC3653389  PMID: 23351216
21.  Hematologic, Hepatic, Renal and Lipid Laboratory Monitoring Following Initiation of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in the United States, 2000–2010 
We assessed laboratory monitoring following combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) initiation among 3,678 patients in a large US multi-site clinical cohort, censoring participants at last clinic visit, cART change, or three years. Median days (interquartile range) to first hematologic, hepatic, renal and lipid tests were 30 (18–53), 31 (19–56), 33 (20–59) and 350 (96–1106), respectively. At one year, approximately 80% received more than two hematologic, hepatic, and renal tests consistent with guidelines. However, only 40% received one or more lipid tests. Monitoring was more frequent in specific subgroups, likely reflecting better clinic attendance or clinician perception of higher susceptibility to toxicities.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31828d69f1
PMCID: PMC3654034  PMID: 23446495
Laboratory Monitoring; Antiretroviral Therapy; Antiretroviral Toxicity
22.  The Detection and Management of Early HIV Infection: A Clinical and Public Health Emergency 
This review considers the detection and management of early HIV infection (EHI), defined here as the first 6 months of infection. This phase is clinically important because a reservoir of infected cells formed in the individual renders HIV incurable, and the magnitude of viremia at the end of this period predicts the natural history of disease. Epidemiologically, it is critical because the very high viral load that typically accompanies early infection also makes infected individuals maximally contagious to their sexual partners. Future efforts to prevent HIV transmission with expanded testing and treatment may be compromised by elevated transmission risk earlier in the course of HIV infection, although the extent of this impact is yet unknown. Treatment as prevention efforts will nevertheless need to develop strategies to address testing, linkage to care, and treatment of EHI. Cost-effective and efficient identification of more persons with early HIV will depend on advancements in diagnostic technology and strengthened symptom-based screening strategies. Treatment for persons with EHI must balance individual health benefits and reduction of the risk of onward viral transmission. An increasing body of evidence supports the use of immediate antiretroviral therapy to treat EHI to maintain CD4 count and functionality, limit the size of the HIV reservoir, and reduce the risk of onward viral transmission. Although we can anticipate considerable challenges in identifying and linking to care persons in the earliest phases of HIV infection, there are many reasons to pursue this strategy.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31829871e0
PMCID: PMC4015137  PMID: 23764635
early/acute HIV infection; HIV transmission; treatment as prevention; antiretroviral therapy
23.  Social network based recruitment successfully reveals HIV-1 transmission networks among high risk individuals in El Salvador 
Objective
HIV in Central America is concentrated among certain groups such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and female sex workers (FSW). We compared social recruitment chains and HIV transmission clusters from 699 MSM and 757 FSW to better understand factors contributing to ongoing HIV transmission in El Salvador.
Methods
Phylogenies were reconstructed using pol sequences from 119 HIV-positive individuals recruited by respondent driven sampling (RDS) and compared to RDS chains in three cities in El Salvador. Transmission clusters with a mean pairwise genetic distance ≤0.015 and Bayesian posterior probabilities=1 were identified. Factors associated with cluster membership were evaluated among MSM.
Results
Sequences from 34 (43%) MSM and 4 (10%) FSW grouped in 14 transmission clusters. Clusters were defined by risk group (12 MSM clusters) and geographic residence (only one spanned separate cities). In 4 MSM clusters (all n=2), individuals were also members of the same RDS chain but only 2 had members directly linked through recruitment. All large clusters (n≥3) spanned more than one RDS chain. Among MSM, factors independently associated with cluster membership included recent infection by BED assay (P=0.02), sex with stable male partners (P=0.02), and sex with ≥3 male partners in past year (P=0.04).
Conclusions
We found few HIV transmissions corresponding directly with the social recruitment. However, we identified clustering in nearly one half of MSM suggesting RDS recruitment was indirectly but successfully uncovering transmission networks, particularly among recent infections. Interrogating RDS chains with phylogenetic analyses may help refine methods for identifying transmission clusters.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318288b246
PMCID: PMC3642851  PMID: 23364512
HIV-1; molecular epidemiology; phylogenetic; respondent-driven sampling; transmission networks; El Salvador
24.  Trends and Disparities in Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation and Virologic Suppression Among Newly Treatment-Eligible HIV-Infected Individuals in North America, 2001–2009 
Hanna, David B. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly A. | Hessol, Nancy A. | Horberg, Michael A. | Jacobson, Lisa P. | Kirk, Gregory D. | Kitahata, Mari M. | Korthuis, P. Todd | Moore, Richard D. | Napravnik, Sonia | Patel, Pragna | Silverberg, Michael J. | Sterling, Timothy R. | Willig, James H. | Lau, Bryan | Althoff, Keri N. | Crane, Heidi M. | Collier, Ann C. | Samji, Hasina | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Gill, M. John | Klein, Marina B. | Martin, Jeffrey N. | Rodriguez, Benigno | Rourke, Sean B. | Gange, Stephen J. | Benson, A. | Bosch, Ronald J. | Collier, Ann C. | Boswell, Stephen | Grasso, Chris | Mayer, Ken | Hogg, Robert S. | Harrigan, Richard | Montaner, Julio | Cescon, Angela | Brooks, John T. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly A. | Moore, Richard D. | Rodriguez, Benigno | Horberg, Michael A. | Silverberg, Michael J. | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Goedert, James J. | Jacobson, Lisa P. | Klein, Marina B. | Rourke, Sean B. | Burchell, Ann | Rachlis, Anita R. | Hunter-Mellado, Robert F. | Mayor, Angel M. | Gill, M. John | Deeks, Steven G. | Martin, Jeffrey N. | Saag, Michael S. | Mugavero, Michael J. | Willig, James | Eron, Joseph J. | Napravnik, Sonia | Kitahata, Mari M. | Crane, Heidi M. | Justice, Amy C. | Dubrow, Robert | Fiellin, David | Sterling, Timothy R. | Haas, David | Bebawy, Sally | Turner, Megan | Gange, Stephen J. | Anastos, Kathryn | Moore, Richard D. | Saag, Michael S. | Gange, Stephen J. | Kitahata, Mari M. | McKaig, Rosemary G. | Justice, Amy C. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Moore, Richard D. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Lent, Carol | Platt, Aaron | Kitahata, Mari M. | Van Rompaey, Stephen E. | Crane, Heidi M. | Webster, Eric | Morton, Liz | Simon, Brenda | Gange, Stephen J. | Abraham, Alison G. | Lau, Bryan | Althoff, Keri N. | Zhang, Jinbing | Jing, Jerry | Golub, Elizabeth | Modur, Shari | Hanna, David B. | Rebeiro, Peter | Wong, Cherise | Mendes, Adell
In the last decade, timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy and resulting virologic suppression have greatly improved in North America concurrent with the development of better tolerated and more potent regimens, but significant barriers to treatment uptake remain.
Background. Since the mid-1990s, effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens have improved in potency, tolerability, ease of use, and class diversity. We sought to examine trends in treatment initiation and resulting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) virologic suppression in North America between 2001 and 2009, and demographic and geographic disparities in these outcomes.
Methods. We analyzed data on HIV-infected individuals newly clinically eligible for ART (ie, first reported CD4+ count <350 cells/µL or AIDS-defining illness, based on treatment guidelines during the study period) from 17 North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design cohorts. Outcomes included timely ART initiation (within 6 months of eligibility) and virologic suppression (≤500 copies/mL, within 1 year). We examined time trends and considered differences by geographic location, age, sex, transmission risk, race/ethnicity, CD4+ count, and viral load, and documented psychosocial barriers to ART initiation, including non–injection drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and mental illness.
Results. Among 10 692 HIV-infected individuals, the cumulative incidence of 6-month ART initiation increased from 51% in 2001 to 72% in 2009 (Ptrend < .001). The cumulative incidence of 1-year virologic suppression increased from 55% to 81%, and among ART initiators, from 84% to 93% (both Ptrend < .001). A greater number of psychosocial barriers were associated with decreased ART initiation, but not virologic suppression once ART was initiated. We found significant heterogeneity by state or province of residence (P < .001).
Conclusions. In the last decade, timely ART initiation and virologic suppression have greatly improved in North America concurrent with the development of better-tolerated and more potent regimens, but significant barriers to treatment uptake remain, both at the individual level and systemwide.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit003
PMCID: PMC3657490  PMID: 23315317
antiretroviral therapy; healthcare disparities; HIV; time factors; viral load
25.  Antiretroviral therapy initiated during acute HIV infection fails to prevent persistent T cell activation 
Initiation of ART during acute HIV-1 infection may prevent persistent immune activation. We analyzed longitudinal CD38+HLA-DR+ CD8+ T cell percentages in 31 acutely infected individuals who started early (median 43 days since infection) and successful ART, and maintained viral suppression through 96 weeks. Pre-therapy a median of 72.6% CD8+ T cells were CD38+HLA-DR+, and while this decreased to 15.6% by 96 weeks, it remained substantially higher than seronegative controls (median 8.9%, p=0.008). Shorter time to suppression predicted lower activation at 96 weeks. These results support the hypothesis that very early events in HIV-1 pathogenesis may result in prolonged immune dysfunction.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318285cd33
PMCID: PMC3683110  PMID: 23314410
acute HIV infection; antiretroviral therapy; immune activation; viral dynamics; NNRTIs

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