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1.  Disparities in the Quality of HIV Care When Using US Department of Health and Human Services Indicators 
Althoff, Keri N. | Rebeiro, Peter | Brooks, John T. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly | Martin, Jeffrey | Hogg, Robert | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Klein, Marina | Gill, M. John | Sterling, Timothy R. | Yehia, Baligh | Silverberg, Michael J. | Crane, Heidi | Justice, Amy C. | Gange, Stephen J. | Moore, Richard | Kitahata, Mari M. | Horberg, Michael A. | Kirk, Gregory D. | Benson, Constance A. | Bosch, Ronald J. | Collier, Ann C. | Boswell, Stephen | Grasso, Chris | Mayer, Kenneth H. | Hogg, Robert S. | Richard Harrigan, P. | Montaner, Julio SG | Cescon, Angela | Samji, Hasina | Brooks, John T. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly A. | Moore, Richard D. | Moore, Richard D. | Carey, John T. | Horberg, Michael A. | Silverberg, Michael J. | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Goedert, James J. | Jacobson, Lisa P. | Klein, Marina B. | Rourke, Sean B. | Burchell, Ann N. | 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. | Althoff, Keri N. | 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. | Morton, Liz | McReynolds, Justin | Lober, William B. | 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
We estimated US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)–approved human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) indicators. Among patients, 71% were retained in care, 82% were prescribed treatment, and 78% had HIV RNA ≤200 copies/mL; younger adults, women, blacks, and injection drug users had poorer outcomes. Interventions are needed to reduce retention- and treatment-related disparities.
doi:10.1093/cid/ciu044
PMCID: PMC3967825  PMID: 24463281
HIV; quality of care; retention in care; antiretroviral therapy; HIV RNA suppression
2.  End-Stage Renal Disease Among HIV-Infected Adults in North America 
Abraham, Alison G. | Althoff, Keri N. | Jing, Yuezhou | Estrella, Michelle M. | Kitahata, Mari M. | Wester, C. William | Bosch, Ronald J. | Crane, Heidi | Eron, Joseph | Gill, M. John | Horberg, Michael A. | Justice, Amy C. | Klein, Marina | Mayor, Angel M. | Moore, Richard D. | Palella, Frank J. | Parikh, Chirag R. | Silverberg, Michael J. | Golub, Elizabeth T. | Jacobson, Lisa P. | Napravnik, Sonia | Lucas, Gregory M. | 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. | Moore, Richard D. | Carey, John T. | 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. | Althoff, Keri N. | 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
Human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals have benefited from improved viral suppression, but a discrepancy in end-stage renal disease risk between black and nonblack HIV-infected persons remains, in part due to continued disparities in antiretroviral use and viral suppression, and higher rates of comorbidities.
Background. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adults, particularly those of black race, are at high-risk for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but contributing factors are evolving. We hypothesized that improvements in HIV treatment have led to declines in risk of ESRD, particularly among HIV-infected blacks.
Methods. Using data from the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration for Research and Design from January 2000 to December 2009, we validated 286 incident ESRD cases using abstracted medical evidence of dialysis (lasting >6 months) or renal transplant. A total of 38 354 HIV-infected adults aged 18–80 years contributed 159 825 person-years (PYs). Age- and sex-standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were estimated by race. Poisson regression was used to identify predictors of ESRD.
Results. HIV-infected ESRD cases were more likely to be of black race, have diabetes mellitus or hypertension, inject drugs, and/or have a prior AIDS-defining illness. The overall SIR was 3.2 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.8–3.6) but was significantly higher among black patients (4.5 [95% CI, 3.9–5.2]). ESRD incidence declined from 532 to 303 per 100 000 PYs and 138 to 34 per 100 000 PYs over the time period for blacks and nonblacks, respectively, coincident with notable increases in both the prevalence of viral suppression and the prevalence of ESRD risk factors including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hepatitis C virus coinfection.
Conclusions. The risk of ESRD remains high among HIV-infected individuals in care but is declining with improvements in virologic suppression. HIV-infected black persons continue to comprise the majority of cases, as a result of higher viral loads, comorbidities, and genetic susceptibility.
doi:10.1093/cid/ciu919
PMCID: PMC4357817  PMID: 25409471
end-stage renal disease (ESRD); chronic kidney disease (CKD); HIV infection/AIDS; HIV/AIDS; glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
3.  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
4.  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
5.  HIV and Ageing: Improving Quantity and Quality of Life 
Seminars in pediatric surgery  1995;4(4):252-261.
Purpose of Review
Evidence-based strategies are needed to address the growing complexity of care of those ageing with HIV so that as life expectancy is extended, quality of life is also enhanced.
Recent Findings
Modifiable contributing factors to the quantity and quality of life in adults ageing with HIV include: burden of harmful health behaviours, injury from HIV infection, HIV treatment toxicity, and general burden of age-associated comorbidities. In turn, these factors contribute to geriatric syndromes including multimorbidity and polypharmacy, physiologic frailty, falls and fragility fractures, and cognitive dysfunction, which further compromise the quality of life long before they lead to mortality.
Summary
Viral suppression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with combination antiviral therapy (cART) has led to increasing longevity but has not enabled a complete return to health among ageing HIV-infected individuals (HIV+). As adults age with HIV, the role of HIV itself and associated inflammation, effects of exposure to antiretroviral agents, the high prevalence of modifiable risk factors for age-associated conditions (e.g. smoking), and the effects of other viral coinfections are all influencing the health trajectory of persons ageing with HIV. We must move from the simplistic notion of HIV becoming a “chronic controllable illness” to understanding the continually evolving “treated” history of HIV infection with the burden of age-associated conditions and geriatric syndromes in the context of an altered and ageing immune system.
PMCID: PMC5084838  PMID: 8548215
HIV; ageing; multimorbidity; patient centered care; polypharmacy
6.  Depression and HIV Infection are Risk Factors for Incident Heart Failure Among Veterans: Veterans Aging Cohort Study 
Circulation  2015;132(17):1630-1638.
Background
Both HIV and depression are associated with increased heart failure (HF) risk. Depression, a common comorbidity, may further increase the risk of HF among HIV+ adults. We assessed the association between HIV, depression and incident HF.
Methods and Results
Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) participants free from cardiovascular disease at baseline (N = 81,427; 26,908 HIV+, 54,519 HIV-) were categorized into four groups: HIV- without major depressive disorder (MDD) [reference]; HIV- with MDD; HIV+ without MDD; and HIV+ with MDD. ICD-9 codes from medical records were used to determine MDD and the primary outcome, HF. After 5.8 follow-up years, HF rates per 1000 person-years were highest among HIV+ participants with MDD (9.32; 95% CI, 8.20–10.6). In Cox proportional hazards models, HIV+ participants with MDD had significantly higher risk of HF [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 1.68; 95% CI, 1.45–1.95] compared to HIV- participants without MDD. MDD was associated with HF in separate fully adjusted models for HIV- and HIV+ participants (aHR = 1.21; 1.06–1.37 and 1.29; 1.11–1.51, respectively). Among those with MDD, baseline antidepressant use was associated with lower risk of incident HF events (aHR = 0.76; 0.58–0.99).
Conclusions
Our study is the first to suggest MDD is an independent risk factor for HF in HIV+ adults. These results reinforce the importance of identifying and managing MDD among HIV+ patients. Future studies must clarify mechanisms linking HIV, MDD, antidepressants, and HF; and identify interventions to reduce HF morbidity and mortality in those with both HIV and MDD.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.014443
PMCID: PMC4624488  PMID: 26358261
HIV infection; depression; psychiatric comorbidity; heart failure; epidemiology
7.  Estimating healthcare mobility in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System 
Background
Healthcare mobility, defined as healthcare utilization in more than one distinct healthcare system, may have detrimental effects on outcomes of care. We characterized healthcare mobility and associated characteristics among a national sample of Veterans.
Methods
Using the Veterans Health Administration Electronic Health Record, we conducted a retrospective cohort study to quantify healthcare mobility within a four year period. We examined the association between sociodemographic and clinical characteristics and healthcare mobility, and characterized possible temporal and geographic patterns of healthcare mobility.
Results
Approximately nine percent of the sample were healthcare mobile. Younger Veterans, divorced or separated Veterans, and those with hepatitis C virus and psychiatric disorders were more likely to be healthcare mobile. We demonstrated two possible patterns of healthcare mobility, related to specialty care and lifestyle, in which Veterans repeatedly utilized two different healthcare systems.
Conclusions
Healthcare mobility is associated with young age, marital status changes, and also diseases requiring intensive management. This type of mobility may affect disease prevention and management and has implications for healthcare systems that seek to improve population health.
doi:10.1186/s12913-016-1841-4
PMCID: PMC5075153  PMID: 27769221
Geographic mobility; Migration; Healthcare utilization; Veterans
8.  HIV status and the risk of ischemic stroke among men 
Neurology  2015;84(19):1933-1940.
Objective:
Given conflicting data regarding the association of HIV infection and ischemic stroke risk, we sought to determine whether HIV infection conferred an increased ischemic stroke risk among male veterans.
Methods:
The Veterans Aging Cohort Study–Virtual Cohort consists of HIV-infected and uninfected veterans in care matched (1:2) for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and clinical site. We analyzed data on 76,835 male participants in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study–Virtual Cohort who were free of baseline cardiovascular disease. We assessed demographics, ischemic stroke risk factors, comorbid diseases, substance use, HIV biomarkers, and incidence of ischemic stroke from October 1, 2003, to December 31, 2009.
Results:
During a median follow-up period of 5.9 (interquartile range 3.5–6.6) years, there were 910 stroke events (37.4% HIV-infected). Ischemic stroke rates per 1,000 person-years were higher for HIV-infected (2.79, 95% confidence interval 2.51–3.10) than for uninfected veterans (2.24 [2.06–2.43]) (incidence rate ratio 1.25 [1.09–1.43]; p < 0.01). After adjusting for demographics, ischemic stroke risk factors, comorbid diseases, and substance use, the risk of ischemic stroke was higher among male veterans with HIV infection compared with uninfected veterans (hazard ratio 1.17 [1.01–1.36]; p = 0.04).
Conclusions:
HIV infection is associated with an increased ischemic stroke risk among HIV-infected compared with demographically and behaviorally similar uninfected male veterans.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000001560
PMCID: PMC4433456  PMID: 25862803
9.  Primary Care of Women Aging with HIV 
Women are living longer with HIV infection, but their life expectancy is shorter than for women in the general population. How best to manage the multiple comorbidities and polypharmacy that are common in HIV infected individuals has not been studied.
This paper explores areas where the primary care of women with HIV may differ from that of aging women in the general population. We also discuss aspects of care that may not commonly be considered in those under the age of 65, specifically multimorbidity and polypharmacy.
Incorporating a gerontologic approach in the care of these women may optimize outcomes until research provides more definitive answers as to how best to collaborate with women with HIV to provide them with optimal care.
doi:10.1111/jmwh.12236
PMCID: PMC5031409  PMID: 25782848
HIV; aging; polypharmacy; multimorbidity; primary care
10.  Proceedings of the 13th annual conference of INEBRIA 
Watson, Rod | Morris, James | Isitt, John | Barrio, Pablo | Ortega, Lluisa | Gual, Antoni | Conner, Kenneth | Stecker, Tracy | Maisto, Stephen | Paroz, Sophie | Graap, Caroline | Grazioli, Véronique S | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Collins, Susan E | Bertholet, Nicolas | McNeely, Jennifer | Kushnir, Vlad | Cunningham, John A. | Crombie, Iain K | Cunningham, Kathryn B | Irvine, Linda | Williams, Brian | Sniehotta, Falko F | Norrie, John | Melson, Ambrose | Jones, Claire | Briggs, Andrew | Rice, Peter | Achison, Marcus | McKenzie, Andrew | Dimova, Elena | Slane, Peter W | Grazioli, Véronique S. | Collins, Susan E. | Paroz, Sophie | Graap, Caroline | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Baggio, Stéphanie | Dupuis, Marc | Studer, Joseph | Gmel, Gerhard | Magill, Molly | Grazioli, Véronique S. | Tait, Robert J. | Teoh, Lucinda | Kelty, Erin | Geelhoed, Elizabeth | Mountain, David | Hulse, Gary K. | Renko, Elina | Mitchell, Shannon G. | Lounsbury, David | Li, Zhi | Schwartz, Robert P. | Gryczynski, Jan | Kirk, Arethusa S. | Oros, Marla | Hosler, Colleen | Dusek, Kristi | Brown, Barry S. | Finnell, Deborah S. | Holloway, Aisha | Wu, Li-Tzy | Subramaniam, Geetha | Sharma, Gaurav | Wallhed Finn, Sara | Andreasson, Sven | Dvorak, Robert D. | Kramer, Matthew P. | Stevenson, Brittany L. | Sargent, Emily M. | Kilwein, Tess M. | Harris, Sion K. | Sherritt, Lon | Copelas, Sarah | Knight, John R. | Mdege, Noreen D | McCambridge, Jim | Bischof, Gallus | Bischof, Anja | Freyer-Adam, Jennis | Rumpf, Hans-Juergen | Fitzgerald, Niamh | Schölin, Lisa | Toner, Paul | Böhnke, Jan R. | Veach, Laura J. | Currin, Olivia | Dongre, Leigh Z. | Miller, Preston R. | White, Elizabeth | Williams, Emily C. | Lapham, Gwen T. | Bobb, Jennifer J. | Rubinsky, Anna D. | Catz, Sheryl L. | Shortreed, Susan | Bensley, Kara M. | Bradley, Katharine A. | Milward, Joanna | Deluca, Paolo | Khadjesari, Zarnie | Watson, Rod | Fincham-Campbell, Stephanie | Drummond, Colin | Angus, Kathryn | Bauld, Linda | Baumann, Sophie | Haberecht, Katja | Schnuerer, Inga | Meyer, Christian | Rumpf, Hans-Jürgen | John, Ulrich | Gaertner, Beate | Barrault-Couchouron, Marion | Béracochéa, Marion | Allafort, Vincent | Barthélémy, Valérie | Bonnefoi, Hervé | Bussières, Emmanuel | Garguil, Véronique | Auriacombe, Marc | Saint-Jacques, Marianne | Dorval, Michel | M’Bailara, Katia | Segura-Garcia, Lidia | Ibañez-Martinez, Nuria | Mendive-Arbeloa, Juan Manuel | Anoro-Perminger, Manel | Diaz-Gallego, Pako | Piñar-Mateos, Mª Angeles | Colom-Farran, Joan | Deligianni, Marianthi | Yersin, Bertrand | Adam, Angeline | Weisner, Constance | Chi, Felicia | Lu, Wendy | Sterling, Stacy | Kraemer, Kevin L. | McGinnis, Kathleen A. | Fiellin, David A. | Skanderson, Melissa | Gordon, Adam J. | Robbins, Jonathan | Zickmund, Susan | Korthuis, P. Todd | Edelman, E. Jennifer | Hansen, Nathan B. | Cutter, Christopher J. | Dziura, James | Fiellin, Lynn E. | O’Connor, Patrick G. | Maisto, Stephen A. | Bedimo, Roger | Gilbert, Cynthia | Marconi, Vincent C. | Rimland, David | Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria | Simberkoff, Michael | Justice, Amy C. | Bryant, Kendall J. | Berman, Anne H | Shorter, Gillian W | Bray, Jeremy W | Barbosa, Carolina | Johansson, Magnus | Hester, Reid | Campbell, William | Souza Formigoni, Maria Lucia O. | Andrade, André Luzi Monezi | Sartes, Laisa Marcorela Andreoli | Sundström, Christopher | Eék, Niels | Kraepelien, Martin | Kaldo, Viktor | Fahlke, Claudia | Hernandez, Lynn | Becker, Sara J. | Jones, Richard N. | Graves, Hannah R. | Spirito, Anthony | Diestelkamp, Silke | Wartberg, Lutz | Arnaud, Nicolas | Thomasius, Rainer | Gaume, Jacques | Grazioli, Véronique | Fortini, Cristiana | Malan, Zelra | Mash, Bob | Everett-Murphy, Katherine | Grazioli, Véronique S. | Studer, Joseph | Mohler-Kuo, M. | Bertholet, Nicolas | Gmel, Gerhard | Doi, Lawrence | Cheyne, Helen | Jepson, Ruth | Luna, Vanesa | Echeverria, Leticia | Morales, Silvia | Barroso, Teresa | Abreu, Ângela | Aguiar, Cosma | Stewart, Duncan | Abreu, Angela | Brites, Riany M. | Jomar, Rafael | Marinho, Gerson | Parreira, Pedro | Seale, J. Paul | Johnson, J. Aaron | Henry, Dena | Chalmers, Sharon | Payne, Freida | Tuck, Linda | Morris, Akula | Gonçalves, Cátia | Besser, Bettina | Casajuana, Cristina | López-Pelayo, Hugo | Balcells, María Mercedes | Teixidó, Lídia | Miquel, Laia | Colom, Joan | Hepner, Kimberly A. | Hoggatt, Katherine. J. | Bogart, Andy | Paddock, Susan. M. | Hardoon, Sarah L | Petersen, Irene | Hamilton, Fiona L | Nazareth, Irwin | White, Ian R. | Marston, Louise | Wallace, Paul | Godfrey, Christine | Murray, Elizabeth | Sovinová, Hana | Csémy, Ladislav
doi:10.1186/s13722-016-0062-9
PMCID: PMC5032602  PMID: 27654147
12.  Cumulative Incidence of Cancer among HIV-infected Individuals in North America 
Annals of internal medicine  2015;163(7):507-518.
Background
Cancer is increasingly common among HIV patients given improved survival.
Objective
To examine calendar trends in cumulative cancer incidence and hazard rate by HIV status.
Design
Cohort study
Setting
North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design during 1996–2009
Patients
86,620 HIV-infected and 196,987 uninfected adults
Measurements
We estimated cancer-type-specific cumulative incidence by age 75 years by HIV status and calendar era, and examined calendar trends in cumulative incidence and hazard rates.
Results
Cumulative incidences (%) of cancer by age 75 (HIV+/HIV−) were: Kaposi sarcoma (KS), 4.4/0.01; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), 4.5/0.7; lung, 3.4/2.8; anal, 1.5/0.1; colorectal, 1.0/1.5; liver, 1.1/0.4; Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), 0.9/0.1; melanoma, 0.5/0.6; and oral cavity/pharyngeal, 0.8/0.8. Among HIV-infected subjects, we observed decreasing calendar trends in cumulative incidence and hazard rate for KS and NHL. For anal, colorectal and liver cancers, increasing cumulative incidence, but not hazard rate trends, were due to the decreasing mortality rate trend (−9% per year), allowing greater opportunity to be diagnosed with these cancer types. Despite decreasing hazard rate trends for lung, HL, and melanoma, we did not observe cumulative incidence trends due to the compensating effect of the declining mortality rate on cumulative incidence.
Limitations
Secular trends in screening, smoking, and viral co-infections were not evaluated.
Conclusions
Our analytic approach helped disentangle the effects of improved survival and changing cancer-specific hazard rates on cumulative incidence trends among HIV patients. Cumulative cancer incidence by age 75, approximating lifetime risk in HIV patients, may have clinical utility in this population. The high cumulative incidences by age 75 for KS, NHL, and lung cancer supports early and sustained ART and smoking cessation.
Primary Funding Source
National Institutes of Health
doi:10.7326/M14-2768
PMCID: PMC4711936  PMID: 26436616
13.  Liver Fibrosis Progression in Hepatitis C Virus Infection After Seroconversion 
JAMA internal medicine  2015;175(2):178-185.
IMPORTANCE
Knowing the rate of liver fibrosis progression in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected persons can help inform patients and providers (clinicians, medical institutions or organizations, and third-party payers) in making treatment decisions.
OBJECTIVE
To determine the rate and factors associated with liver fibrosis progression and hepatic decompensation in persons after acquiring HCV infection.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Secondary data analysis of persons in the Electronically Retrieved Cohort of HCV Infected Veterans (ERCHIVES), a national Veterans Affairs (VA) database, between 2002 and 2012. Among 610 514 persons in ERCHIVES (half were HCV positive), we identified those with an initial negative and subsequent positive test result for HCV antibody and positive HCV RNA test result (HCV+). Controls had 2 negative HCV antibody test results (HCV−) in a comparable time frame and were matched 1:1 on age (in 5-year blocks), race, and sex. We excluded persons with human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, less than 24 months of follow-up, hepatocellular carcinoma, and cirrhosis at baseline.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
Progression of liver fibrosis as estimated by the Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index; development of cirrhosis, defined by a FIB-4 score greater than 3.5; and development of hepatic decompensation.
RESULTS
The evaluable data set consisted of 1840 persons who were HCV+ and 1840 HCV-controls. The HCV+ persons were younger and had a lower mean (SD) body mass index (27.39 [5.51] vs 29.49 [6.16]; P < .001), a higher prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse and dependence diagnoses, and higher serum aminotransferase levels, but had a lower prevalence of diabetes and hypertension. Fibrosis progression started early after infection among HCV+ persons and tapered off after 5 years. A total of 452 cirrhosis and 85 hepatic decompensation events were recorded. After 10 years of follow-up, HCV+ persons were more likely to have a diagnosis of cirrhosis compared with HCV− controls (18.4% vs 6.1%). Nine years after diagnosis of cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation events were uncommon but had a higher rate in the HCV+ group (1.79% vs 0.33%).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
Persons who seroconverted for HCV have a more rapid progression of liver fibrosis and accelerated time to development of cirrhosis after seroconversion compared with HCV− controls. Fibrosis progression occurs early after infection; however, hepatic decompensation is uncommon after diagnosis of cirrhosis.
doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.6502
PMCID: PMC5017246  PMID: 25485735
14.  Thirty-Day Postoperative Mortality Among Individuals With HIV Infection Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy and Procedure-Matched, Uninfected Comparators 
JAMA surgery  2015;150(4):343-351.
IMPORTANCE
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has converted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection into a chronic condition, and patients now undergo a variety of surgical procedures, but current surgical outcomes are inadequately characterized.
OBJECTIVE
To compare 30-day postoperative mortality in patients with HIV infection receiving ART with the rates in uninfected individuals.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Retrospective analysis of nationwide electronic medical record data from the US Veterans Health Administration Healthcare System, October 1, 1996, to September 30, 2010. Common inpatient surgical procedures were grouped using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Clinical Classification System to match HIV-infected and uninfected patients in a 1:2 ratio. Data on 1641 patients with HIV infection receiving combination ART who were undergoing inpatient surgery were compared with data on 3282 procedure-matched, uninfected comparators. Poisson regression models of 30-day postoperative mortality were adjusted for procedure year, age, Charlson Comorbidity Index score, hemoglobin level, albumin level, HIV infection, CD4 cell count, and HIV-1 RNA level.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
All-cause 30-day postoperative mortality.
RESULTS
The most common procedures in both groups were cholecystectomy (10.5%), hip arthroplasty (10.5%), spine surgery (9.8%), herniorrhaphy (7.4%), and coronary artery bypass grafting (7.0%). In patients with HIV infection, CD4 cell distributions were 80.0% with 200/µL or more, 16.3% with 50/µL to 199/µL, and 3.7% with less than 50/µL; 74.1% of patients with HIV infection had undetectable HIV-1 RNA. Human immunodeficiency virus infection was associated with higher 30-day postoperative mortality compared with the mortality in uninfected patients (3.4% [56 patients]) vs 1.6% [53]); incidence rate ratio [IRR], 2.11; 95% CI, 1.41–3.17; P < .001). CD4 cell count was inversely associated with mortality, but HIV-1 RNA provided no additional information. After adjustment, patients with HIV infection had increased mortality compared with uninfected patients at all CD4 cell count strata (≥500/µL: IRR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.02–3.60; P = .04; 200–499/µL: IRR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.20–2.98; P = .01; 50–199/µL: IRR, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.29–5.47; P = .01; and <50/µL: IRR, 6.21; 95% CI, 3.55–10.85; P < .001). Hypoalbuminemia (IRR, 4.35; 95% CI, 2.78–6.81; P < .001) and age in decades (IRR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.23–1.76; P < .001) were also strongly associated with mortality.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
Current postoperative mortality rates among individuals with HIV infection who are receiving ART are low and are influenced as much by hypoalbuminemia and age as by CD4 cell status. Human immunodeficiency virus infection and CD4 cell count are only 2 of many factors associated with surgical outcomes that should be incorporated into surgical decision making.
doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.2257
PMCID: PMC5015449  PMID: 25714794
15.  Do Alcohol Misuse, Smoking, and Depression Vary Concordantly or Sequentially? A Longitudinal Study of HIV-Infected and Matched Uninfected Veterans in Care 
AIDS and behavior  2016;20(3):566-572.
We analyzed temporal patterns of alcohol misuse, smoking, and depression among veterans in care to determine whether these conditions vary concordantly or sequentially. Using the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, harmful alcohol use (AUDIT-C ≥ 4), current smoking, and depression (PHQ-9 ≥ 8), were measured. In regression analyses, predictors included each outcome condition at baseline, the other two conditions in the same survey, the other two conditions in the immediately preceding survey, number of years since enrollment, and HIV status. We found that current smoking and depression were more common among HIV infected individuals. Harmful alcohol use was more common among uninfected individuals. Temporal analyses suggested a concurrent pattern: each condition was associated with the other two conditions (p < 0.03, OR 1.12–1.66) as well as with the prior presence of the same condition (p < 0.0001; OR 6.38–22.02). Smoking was associated with prior depression after controlling for current depression (OR 1.16; p = 0.003). In conclusion, alcohol misuse, smoking, and depression were temporally concordant and persistent, raising the question of whether they constitute a common syndrome in HIV infected patients and others with chronic diseases.
doi:10.1007/s10461-015-1117-8
PMCID: PMC5009622  PMID: 26187007
Alcohol use; Aging; Temporal analysis; Depression; HIV; Smoking; Veterans
16.  Trends in Any and High-Dose Opioid Analgesic Receipt Among Aging Patients With and Without HIV 
AIDS and behavior  2016;20(3):679-686.
Harms of opioid analgesics, especially high-dose therapy among individuals with comorbidities and older age, are increasingly recognized. However, trends in opioid receipt among HIV-infected patients are not well characterized. We examined trends, from 1999 to 2010, in any and high-dose (≥120 mg/day) opioid receipt among patients with and without HIV, by age strata, controlling for demographic and clinical correlates. Of 127,216 patients, 64 % received at least one opioid prescription. Opioid receipt increased substantially among HIV-infected and uninfected patients over the study; high-dose therapy was more prevalent among HIV-infected patients. Trends in high-dose receipt stratified by three age groups revealed an increasing trend in each age strata, higher among HIV-infected patients. Correlates of any opioid receipt included HIV, PTSD and major depression. Correlates of high-dose receipt included HIV, PTSD, major depression and drug use disorders. These findings suggest a need for appropriate balance of risks and benefits, especially as these populations age.
doi:10.1007/s10461-015-1197-5
PMCID: PMC5006945  PMID: 26384973
Analgesics; Opioids; Aging; Pain; Chronic; Human immunodeficiency virus
17.  Cause-Specific Mortality in HIV-Positive Patients Who Survived Ten Years after Starting Antiretroviral Therapy 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(8):e0160460.
Objectives
To estimate mortality rates and prognostic factors in HIV-positive patients who started combination antiretroviral therapy between 1996–1999 and survived for more than ten years.
Methods
We used data from 18 European and North American HIV cohort studies contributing to the Antiretroviral Therapy Cohort Collaboration. We followed up patients from ten years after start of combination antiretroviral therapy. We estimated overall and cause-specific mortality rate ratios for age, sex, transmission through injection drug use, AIDS, CD4 count and HIV-1 RNA.
Results
During 50,593 person years 656/13,011 (5%) patients died. Older age, male sex, injecting drug use transmission, AIDS, and low CD4 count and detectable viral replication ten years after starting combination antiretroviral therapy were associated with higher subsequent mortality. CD4 count at ART start did not predict mortality in models adjusted for patient characteristics ten years after start of antiretroviral therapy. The most frequent causes of death (among 340 classified) were non-AIDS cancer, AIDS, cardiovascular, and liver-related disease. Older age was strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality, injecting drug use transmission with non-AIDS infection and liver-related mortality, and low CD4 and detectable viral replication ten years after starting antiretroviral therapy with AIDS mortality. Five-year mortality risk was <5% in 60% of all patients, and in 30% of those aged over 60 years.
Conclusions
Viral replication, lower CD4 count, prior AIDS, and transmission via injecting drug use continue to predict higher all-cause and AIDS-related mortality in patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy for over a decade. Deaths from AIDS and non-AIDS infection are less frequent than deaths from other non-AIDS causes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160460
PMCID: PMC4985160  PMID: 27525413
18.  Epigenome-wide differential DNA methylation between HIV-infected and uninfected individuals 
Epigenetics  2016;11(10):750-760.
ABSTRACT
Epigenetic control of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) genes is critical for viral integration and latency. However, epigenetic changes in the HIV-1-infected host genome have not been well characterized. Here, we report the first large-scale epigenome-wide association study of DNA methylation for HIV-1 infection. We recruited HIV-infected (n = 261) and uninfected (n = 117) patients from the Veteran Aging Cohort Study (VACS) and all samples were profiled for 485,521 CpG sites in DNA extracted from the blood. After adjusting for cell type and clinical confounders, we identified 20 epigenome-wide significant CpGs for HIV-1 infection. Importantly, 2 CpGs in the promoter of the NLR family, CARD domain containing gene 5 (NLRC5), a key regulator of major histocompatibility complex class I gene expression, showed significantly lower methylation in HIV-infected subjects than in uninfected subjects (cg07839457: t = −6.03, Pnominal = 4.96 × 10−9; cg16411857: t = −7.63, Pnominal = 3.07 × 10−13). Hypomethylation of these 2 CpGs was replicated in an independent sample (GSE67705: cg07839457: t = −4.44, Pnominal = 1.61 × 10−5; cg16411857: t = −5.90; P = 1.99 × 10−8). Methylation of these 2 CpGs in NLRC5 was negatively correlated with viral load in the 2 HIV-infected samples (cg07839457: P = 1.8 × 10−4; cg16411857: P = 0.03 in the VACS; and cg07839457: P = 0.04; cg164111857: P = 0.01 in GSE53840). Our findings demonstrate that differential DNA methylation is associated with HIV infection and suggest the involvement of a novel host gene, NLRC5, in HIV pathogenesis.
doi:10.1080/15592294.2016.1221569
PMCID: PMC5094631  PMID: 27672717
DNA methylation; Epigenome-wide association; HIV-1 infection; NLRC5; viral load
19.  Adherence and HIV RNA Suppression in the Current Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) 
Background
We examined trends in adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and HIV RNA suppression, and estimated the minimum cutoff of adherence to newer HAART formulations needed for HIV RNA suppression by regimen type.
Methods
We used VA pharmacy dispensing data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort between October 2000 and September 2010, and defined adherence as the duration of time the patient had the medications available, relative to the total number of days between refills for all antiretrovirals in a year. Temporal trends in adherence and viral load suppression were examined by the patient's most frequently used HAART regimen in the year. The minimum needed adherence was defined as the level at which the odds of suppression was not significantly different than that observed with ≥95% adherence using repeated measures logistic regression.
Results
21,865 HAART users contributed 82,217 person-years of follow-up. There was a significant increase (ptrend<0.001) in the proportion virally suppressed even among those with <95% adherence (2001: 38% to 2010: 84%) and the trend was similar when restricting to their first HAART regimen. For NNRTI multi-pill users, the odds of suppression did not differ for 85-89% adherence compared to those with ≥95% adherence, odds ratios: 0.82 (0.64,1.04), but for PI users, the odds of suppression significantly differed if adherence levels were <95% compared to ≥95% adherence.
Conclusions
Although all HIV-infected persons should be instructed to achieve perfect adherence, concerns of slightly lower adherence should not hinder prescribing new HAART regimens early in HIV infection.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000643
PMCID: PMC4482798  PMID: 25886923
Adherence; current HAART; HIV RNA suppression; Veterans Health Administration Center
20.  Impact of Defined Clinical Population and Missing Data on Temporal Trends in HIV Viral Load Estimation within a Healthcare System 
HIV medicine  2015;16(6):346-354.
Background
Community viral load (CVL) estimates vary based on analytic methods. We extended the CVL concept and used data from the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VA) to determine trends in the healthcare system viral load (HSVL), sensitivity to varying definitions of the clinical population, and assumptions regarding missing data.
Methods
We included HIV-infected patients in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, 2000-2010, with >1 documented CD4 count, HIV-1 RNA or antiretroviral prescription (N=37,318). We created 6-month intervals including patients with ≥1 visit in the past 2 years. We assessed temporal trends in clinical population size, patient clinical status and mean HSVL and explored the impact of varying definitions of the clinical population and assumptions about missing viral load.
Results
The clinical population size varied by definition, increasing from 16,000–19,000 patients in 2000 to 23,000–26,000 in 2010. The proportion of patients with suppressed HIV-1 RNA increased over time. Over 20% of patients had no viral load measured in a given interval or prior two years. Among patients with a current HIV-1 RNA, mean HSVL decreased from 97,800 in 2000 to 2,000 copies/mL in 2010. When current HIV-1 RNA data were unavailable and the HSVL was recalculated using the last available HIV-1 RNA, HSVL decreased from 322,300 to 9,900 copies/mL. HSVL was underestimated when using only current data in each interval.
Conclusion
The CVL concept can be applied to a healthcare system, providing a measure of healthcare quality. Like CVL, HSVL estimates depend on definitions of the clinical population and assumptions about missing data.
doi:10.1111/hiv.12219
PMCID: PMC4478104  PMID: 25688937
HIV; community viral load; population surveillance; quality of health care; epidemiologic methods
21.  Weight Change After Antiretroviral Therapy and Mortality 
This study examines weight change in human immunodeficiency virus-infected veterans after 1 year of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Survival benefits of weight gain after ART initiation depended on baseline body mass index, and markers of disease severity predicted weight gain.
Background. Weight gain after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation is common, but its implication for mortality is unknown. We evaluated weight change in the first year after ART initiation and its association with subsequent mortality.
Methods. Human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) who initiated ART between 2000 and 2008, with weight recorded at baseline and 1 year later, were followed another 5 years for mortality. Baseline body mass index (BMI) was classified as underweight (<18.5 kg/m2), normal (18.5–24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25–29.9 kg/m2), and obese (≥30 kg/m2). We used multivariable Cox models to assess mortality risk with adjustment for disease severity using the VACS Index.
Results. The sample consisted of 4184 men and 127 women with a mean age of 47.9 ± 10.0 years. After 1 year of ART, median weight change was 5.9 pounds (2.7 kg) (interquartile range, −2.9 to 17.0 pounds, −1.3 to 7.7 kg). Weight gain after ART initiation was associated with lower mortality among underweight and normal-weight patients. A minimum threshold of 10- to 19.9-pound (4.5 to 9.0 kg) weight gain was beneficial for normal-weight patients (hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, .41–.78), but there was no clear benefit to weight gain for overweight/obese patients. Baseline weight, CD4 cell count status, and hemoglobin level were strongly associated with weight gain. Risk for weight gain was higher among those with greater disease severity, regardless of weight at initiation.
Conclusions. The survival benefits of weight gain after ART initiation are dependent on starting BMI. Weight gain after ART is associated with lower mortality for those who are not initially overweight.
doi:10.1093/cid/civ192
PMCID: PMC4542664  PMID: 25761868
HIV; veterans; weight; antiretroviral therapy; BMI
22.  Do Biomarkers of Inflammation, Monocyte Activation, and Altered Coagulation Explain Excess Mortality Between HIV Infected and Uninfected People? 
Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.
Background:
HIV infection and biomarkers of inflammation [measured by interleukin-6 (IL-6)], monocyte activation [soluble CD14 (sCD14)], and coagulation (D-dimer) are associated with morbidity and mortality. We hypothesized that these immunologic processes mediate (explain) some of the excess risk of mortality among HIV infected (HIV+) versus uninfected people independently of comorbid diseases.
Methods:
Among 2350 (1521 HIV+) participants from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Biomarker Cohort (VACS BC), we investigated whether the association between HIV and mortality was altered by adjustment for IL-6, sCD14, and D-dimer, accounting for confounders. Participants were followed from date of blood draw for biomarker assays (baseline) until death or July 25, 2013. Analyses included ordered logistic regression and Cox Proportional Hazards regression.
Results:
During 6.9 years (median), 414 deaths occurred. The proportional odds of being in a higher quartile of IL-6, sCD14, or D-dimer were 2–3 fold higher for viremic HIV+ versus uninfected people. Mortality rates were higher among HIV+ compared with uninfected people [incidence rate ratio (95% CI): 1.31 (1.06 to 1.62)]. Mortality risk increased with increasing quartiles of IL-6, sCD14, and D-dimer regardless of HIV status. Adjustment for IL-6, sCD14, and D-dimer partially attenuated mortality risk among HIV+ people with unsuppressed viremia (HIV-1 RNA ≥10,000 copies per milliliter) compared with uninfected people—hazard ratio (95% CI) decreased from 2.18 (1.60 to 2.99) to 2.00 (1.45 to 2.76).
Conclusions:
HIV infection is associated with elevated IL-6, sCD14, and D-dimer, which are in turn associated with mortality. Baseline measures of these biomarkers partially mediate excess mortality risk among HIV+ versus uninfected people.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000954
PMCID: PMC4867134  PMID: 26885807
HIV; mortality; inflammation; monocyte activation; coagulation
23.  When to Monitor CD4 Cell Count and HIV RNA to Reduce Mortality and AIDS-Defining Illness in Virologically Suppressed HIV-Positive Persons on Antiretroviral Therapy in High-Income Countries: A Prospective Observational Study 
Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.
Objective:
To illustrate an approach to compare CD4 cell count and HIV-RNA monitoring strategies in HIV-positive individuals on antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Design:
Prospective studies of HIV-positive individuals in Europe and the USA in the HIV-CAUSAL Collaboration and The Center for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems.
Methods:
Antiretroviral-naive individuals who initiated ART and became virologically suppressed within 12 months were followed from the date of suppression. We compared 3 CD4 cell count and HIV-RNA monitoring strategies: once every (1) 3 ± 1 months, (2) 6 ± 1 months, and (3) 9–12 ± 1 months. We used inverse-probability weighted models to compare these strategies with respect to clinical, immunologic, and virologic outcomes.
Results:
In 39,029 eligible individuals, there were 265 deaths and 690 AIDS-defining illnesses or deaths. Compared with the 3-month strategy, the mortality hazard ratios (95% CIs) were 0.86 (0.42 to 1.78) for the 6 months and 0.82 (0.46 to 1.47) for the 9–12 month strategy. The respective 18-month risk ratios (95% CIs) of virologic failure (RNA >200) were 0.74 (0.46 to 1.19) and 2.35 (1.56 to 3.54) and 18-month mean CD4 differences (95% CIs) were −5.3 (−18.6 to 7.9) and −31.7 (−52.0 to −11.3). The estimates for the 2-year risk of AIDS-defining illness or death were similar across strategies.
Conclusions:
Our findings suggest that monitoring frequency of virologically suppressed individuals can be decreased from every 3 months to every 6, 9, or 12 months with respect to clinical outcomes. Because effects of different monitoring strategies could take years to materialize, longer follow-up is needed to fully evaluate this question.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000956
PMCID: PMC4866894  PMID: 26895294
HIV; CD4 cell count; HIV RNA; monitoring; observational studies; mortality
24.  Food Insecurity and Health: Data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study 
Public Health Reports  2015;130(3):261-268.
Objective
Food insecurity may be a modifiable and independent risk factor for worse control of medical conditions, but it has not been explored among veterans. We determined the prevalence of, and factors independently associated with, food insecurity among veterans in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS).
Methods
Using data from VACS from 2002–2008, we determined the prevalence of food insecurity among veterans who have accessed health care in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) as defined by “concern about having enough food for you or your family in the past month.” We used multivariable logistic regression to determine factors independently associated with food insecurity and tests of trend to measure the association between food insecurity and control of hypertension, diabetes, HIV, and depression.
Results
Of the 6,709 veterans enrolled in VACS, 1,624 (24%) reported being food insecure. Food insecurity was independently associated with being African American, earning <$25,000/year, recent homelessness, marijuana use, and depression. Being food insecure was also associated with worse control of hypertension, diabetes, HIV, and depression (p<0.001).
Conclusion
Food insecurity is prevalent and associated with worse control of medical conditions among veterans who have accessed care in the VA.
PMCID: PMC4388224  PMID: 25931630
25.  D-Dimer Levels before HIV Seroconversion Remain Elevated Even after Viral Suppression and Are Associated with an Increased Risk of Non-AIDS Events 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(4):e0152588.
The mechanism underlying the excess risk of non-AIDS diseases among HIV infected people is unclear. HIV associated inflammation/hypercoagulability likely plays a role. While antiretroviral therapy (ART) may return this process to pre-HIV levels, this has not been directly demonstrated. We analyzed data/specimens on 249 HIV+ participants from the US Military HIV Natural History Study, a prospective, multicenter observational cohort of >5600 active duty military personnel and beneficiaries living with HIV. We used stored blood specimens to measure D-dimer and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) at three time points: pre-HIV seroconversion, ≥6 months post-HIV seroconversion but prior to ART initiation, and ≥6 months post-ART with documented HIV viral suppression on two successive evaluations. We evaluated the changes in biomarker levels between time points, and the association between these biomarker changes and future non-AIDS events. During a median follow-up of 3.7 years, there were 28 incident non-AIDS diseases. At ART initiation, the median CD4 count was 361cells/mm3; median duration of documented HIV infection 392 days; median time on ART was 354 days. Adjusted mean percent increase in D-dimer levels from pre-seroconversion to post-ART was 75.1% (95% confidence interval 24.6–148.0, p = 0.002). This increase in D-dimer was associated with a significant 22% increase risk of future non-AIDS events (p = 0.03). Changes in IL-6 levels across time points were small and not associated with future non-AIDS events. In conclusion, ART initiation and HIV viral suppression does not eliminate HIV associated elevation in D-dimer levels. This residual pathology is associated with an increased risk of future non-AIDS diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152588
PMCID: PMC4835105  PMID: 27088215

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