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1.  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.
PMCID: PMC3657490  PMID: 23315317
antiretroviral therapy; healthcare disparities; HIV; time factors; viral load
2.  Hepatic Safety and Tolerability of Raltegravir among HIV Patients Coinfected with Hepatitis B and/or C 
Antiviral therapy  2014;19(4):415-422.
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.
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.
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%).
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.
PMCID: PMC4108567  PMID: 24458137
integrase strand transfer inhibitors; hepatotoxicity; clinical cohort; United States
4.  Comparative effectiveness of fish oil versus fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and atorvastatin on lowering triglyceride levels among HIV-infected patients in routine clinical care 
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.
Retrospective observational cohort study
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC4112457  PMID: 23892238
fish oil; triglycerides; dyslipidemia; fibrates; HIV
5.  Validation of Medicaid claims-based diagnosis of myocardial infarction using an HIV clinical cohort 
Medical care  2013;10.1097/MLR.0b013e318287d6fd.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC4022708  PMID: 23604043
6.  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.
PMCID: PMC3778973  PMID: 23904290
HIV; hepatitis C virus; chronic kidney disease; hepatitis C RNA; cohort study; glomerular filtration rate; injection drug use
7.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3739467  PMID: 23735330
HIV-associated malignancies; AIDS-defining cancer; non-AIDS-defining cancer; combination antiretroviral therapy
8.  Temporal Trends in Presentation and Survival for HIV-Associated Lymphoma in the Antiretroviral Therapy Era 
Lymphoma is the leading cause of cancer-related death among HIV-infected patients in the antiretroviral therapy (ART) era.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3748003  PMID: 23892362
9.  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.
PMCID: PMC4125118  PMID: 23384328
Hispanic; HIV; CD4 lymphocyte count; Southeast United States; immigrants
10.  Evidence for risk stratification when monitoring for toxicities following initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(10):1593-1602.
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.
Observational study in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems Cohort.
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.
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)].
New abnormalities decreased after week 16 of cART. For abnormalities not present by week 16, subsequent monitoring should be guided by comorbidities.
PMCID: PMC4108282  PMID: 23435300
hematologic; hepatic; laboratory; lipid; monitoring HIV; renal
11.  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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3685694  PMID: 23565888
12.  Short Communication: Lack of Occult HIV Infection Among Non-AIDS-Defining Cancer Patients in Three Academic Oncology Clinics in the United States 
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).
PMCID: PMC3653389  PMID: 23351216
13.  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.
PMCID: PMC3654034  PMID: 23446495
Laboratory Monitoring; Antiretroviral Therapy; Antiretroviral Toxicity
14.  Invasive cervical cancer risk among HIV-infected women: A North American multi-cohort collaboration prospective study 
HIV infection and low CD4+ T-cell count are associated with an increased risk of persistent oncogenic HPV infection – the major risk factor for cervical cancer. Few reported prospective cohort studies have characterized the incidence of invasive cervical cancer (ICC) in HIV-infected women.
Data were obtained from HIV-infected and -uninfected female participants in the NA-ACCORD with no history of ICC at enrollment. Participants were followed from study entry or January, 1996 through ICC, loss-to follow-up or December, 2010. The relationship of HIV infection and CD4+ T-cell count with risk of ICC was assessed using age-adjusted Poisson regression models and standardized incidence ratios (SIR). All cases were confirmed by cancer registry records and/or pathology reports. Cervical cytology screening history was assessed through medical record abstraction.
A total of 13,690 HIV-infected and 12,021 HIV-uninfected women contributed 66,249 and 70,815 person-years (pys) of observation, respectively. Incident ICC was diagnosed in 17 HIV-infected and 4 HIV-uninfected women (incidence rate of 26 and 6 per 100,000 pys, respectively). HIV-infected women with baseline CD4+ T-cells of ≥ 350, 200–349 and <200 cells/uL had a 2.3-times, 3.0-times and 7.7-times increase in ICC incidence, respectively, compared with HIV-uninfected women (Ptrend =0.001). Of the 17 HIV-infected cases, medical records for the 5 years prior to diagnosis showed that 6 had no documented screening, 5 had screening with low grade or normal results, and 6 had high-grade results.
This study found elevated incidence of ICC in HIV-infected compared to -uninfected women, and these rates increased with immunosuppression.
PMCID: PMC3633634  PMID: 23254153
Human papilloma virus; HIV-infection; Invasive Cervical Cancer; Immunosuppression
15.  Outcomes of Second Combination Antiretroviral Therapy Regimens Among HIV-Infected Persons in Clinical Care: A Multicenter Cohort Study 
Data on the effectiveness of second-line combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) are limited. We evaluated virologic outcomes of second cART in a multicenter cohort collaboration. The study population initiated first and second modern cART between 1996 and 2010. The second cART required a switch in at least the anchor agent of first cART. We evaluated time to virologic failure of second cART and factors associated with greater risk of failure using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. Of 488 patients who switched to second-line cART, 67% were black and 32% were women. The median HIV-1 RNA at second cART initiation was 9,565 copies/ml [interquartile range (IQR); 123, 94,108]. The time to virologic failure of second cART was longer if HIV-1 RNA was undetectable at switch (p=0.001), although 12% and 17% of patients with undetectable and detectable HIV-1 RNA experienced virologic failure within 6 months of second cART initiation, respectively. A lower CD4 cell count at second cART initiation was associated with a greater risk of virologic failure. Failure rates decreased in more recent calendar years [adjusted relative hazard of 0.40 comparing 2008 to 2010 with 1996 to 1998 (95% confidence interval; 0.15, 1.00)]; however, type of anchor agent was not associated with failure. In conclusion, virologic failure of second cART was less likely if patients switched with undetectable HIV-1 RNA, although risk of early failure was similar. The effectiveness of second cART regimens improved over calendar time and was independent of the anchor agent in the regimen.
PMCID: PMC3581035  PMID: 23072322
16.  Closing the Gap: Increases in Life Expectancy among Treated HIV-Positive Individuals in the United States and Canada 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81355.
Combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) has significantly increased survival among HIV-positive adults in the United States (U.S.) and Canada, but gains in life expectancy for this region have not been well characterized. We aim to estimate temporal changes in life expectancy among HIV-positive adults on ART from 2000–2007 in the U.S. and Canada.
Participants were from the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD), aged ≥20 years and on ART. Mortality rates were calculated using participants' person-time from January 1, 2000 or ART initiation until death, loss to follow-up, or administrative censoring December 31, 2007. Life expectancy at age 20, defined as the average number of additional years that a person of a specific age will live, provided the current age-specific mortality rates remain constant, was estimated using abridged life tables.
The crude mortality rate was 19.8/1,000 person-years, among 22,937 individuals contributing 82,022 person-years and 1,622 deaths. Life expectancy increased from 36.1 [standard error (SE) 0.5] to 51.4 [SE 0.5] years from 2000–2002 to 2006–2007. Men and women had comparable life expectancies in all periods except the last (2006–2007). Life expectancy was lower for individuals with a history of injection drug use, non-whites, and in patients with baseline CD4 counts <350 cells/mm3.
A 20-year-old HIV-positive adult on ART in the U.S. or Canada is expected to live into their early 70 s, a life expectancy approaching that of the general population. Differences by sex, race, HIV transmission risk group, and CD4 count remain.
PMCID: PMC3867319  PMID: 24367482
17.  Association between U.S. State AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Features and HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation, 2001–2009 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78952.
U.S. state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) are federally funded to provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) as the payer of last resort to eligible persons with HIV infection. States differ regarding their financial contributions to and ways of implementing these programs, and it remains unclear how this interstate variability affects HIV treatment outcomes.
We analyzed data from HIV-infected individuals who were clinically-eligible for ART between 2001 and 2009 (i.e., a first reported CD4+ <350 cells/uL or AIDS-defining illness) from 14 U.S. cohorts of the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD). Using propensity score matching and Cox regression, we assessed ART initiation (within 6 months following eligibility) and virologic suppression (within 1 year) based on differences in two state ADAP features: the amount of state funding in annual ADAP budgets and the implementation of waiting lists. We performed an a priori subgroup analysis in persons with a history of injection drug use (IDU).
Among 8,874 persons, 56% initiated ART within six months following eligibility. Persons living in states with no additional state contribution to the ADAP budget initiated ART on a less timely basis (hazard ratio [HR] 0.73, 95% CI 0.60–0.88). Living in a state with an ADAP waiting list was not associated with less timely initiation (HR 1.12, 95% CI 0.87–1.45). Neither additional state contributions nor waiting lists were significantly associated with virologic suppression. Persons with an IDU history initiated ART on a less timely basis (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.47–0.95).
We found that living in states that did not contribute additionally to the ADAP budget was associated with delayed ART initiation when treatment was clinically indicated. Given the changing healthcare environment, continued assessment of the role of ADAPs and their features that facilitate prompt treatment is needed.
PMCID: PMC3832515  PMID: 24260137
18.  Prevalence of Transmitted Antiretroviral Drug Resistance Differs between Acutely and Chronically HIV-Infected Patients 
The associations of acute HIV infection (AHI) and other predictors with transmitted drug resistance (TDR) prevalence were assessed in a cohort of HIV-infected, antiretroviral-naïve patients. AHI was defined as being seronegative with detectable HIV RNA. Binomial regression was used to estimate prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations with TDR. Among 43 AHI patients, TDR prevalence was 20.9%, while prevalence was 8.6% among 677 chronically-infected patients. AHI was associated with 1.9 times the prevalence of TDR (95% CI: 1.0, 3.6) in multivariable analysis. AHI patients may represent a vanguard group that portends increasing TDR in the future.
PMCID: PMC3458150  PMID: 22692092
Transmitted drug resistance; HIV-1; Acute HIV Infection; Antiretroviral Resistance
19.  Association of early HIV viremia with mortality after HIV-associated lymphoma 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(15):2365-2373.
To examine the association between early HIV viremia and mortality after HIV-associated lymphoma.
Multicenter observational cohort study.
Center for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems cohort.
HIV-infected patients with lymphoma diagnosed between 1996 and 2011, who were alive 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis and with ≥2 HIV RNA values during the 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis.
Cumulative HIV viremia during the 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis, expressed as viremia copy-6-months.
Main outcome measure
All-cause mortality between 6 months and 5 years after lymphoma diagnosis.
Of 224 included patients, 183 (82%) had non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and 41 (18%) had Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). At lymphoma diagnosis, 105 (47%) patients were on antiretroviral therapy (ART), median CD4 count was 148 cells/µlL (IQR 54– 322), and 33% had suppressed HIV RNA (<400 copies/mL). In adjusted analyses, mortality was associated with older age [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) 1.37 per decade increase, 95% CI 1.03–1.83], lymphoma occurrence on ART (AHR 1.63, 95% CI 1.02– 2.63), lower CD4 count (AHR 0.75 per 100 cell/µL increase, 95% CI 0.64–0.89), and higher early cumulative viremia (AHR 1.35 per log10copies × 6-months/mL, 95% CI 1.11–1.65). The detrimental effect of early cumulative viremia was consistent across patient groups defined by ART status, CD4 count, and histology.
Exposure to each additional 1-unit log10 in HIV RNA throughout the 6 months after lymphoma diagnosis, was associated with a 35% increase in subsequent mortality. These results suggest that early and effective ART during chemotherapy may improve survival.
PMCID: PMC3773290  PMID: 23736149
AIDS; Burkitt lymphoma; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; HIV; Hodgkin lymphoma; lymphoma; non-Hodgkin lymphoma
20.  Phylogenetic insights into regional HIV transmission 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(14):1813-1822.
Despite prevention efforts new HIV diagnoses continue in the Southern US, where the epidemic is characterized by significant racial/ethnic disparities. We integrated phylogenetic analyses with clinical data to reveal trends in local HIV transmission.
Cross-sectional analysis of 1671 HIV-infected individuals each with one B-subtype pol sequence obtained during chronic (82%; UNC Center for AIDS Research Clinical Cohort) or acute/recent (18%; Duke/UNC Acute HIV Consortium) infection.
Phylogenies were inferred using neighbor joining to select related sequences then confirmed with Bayesian methods. We characterized transmission clusters (clades n≥3 sequences supported by posterior probabilities=1) by factors including race/ethnicity and transmission risk. Factors associated with cluster membership were evaluated for newly diagnosed patients.
Overall, 72% were male, 59% black and 39% MSM. A total of 557 (33%) sequences grouped in either 108 pairs (n=216) or 67 clusters (n=341). Clusters ranged from 3–36 (median 4) members. Composition was delineated primarily by race, with 28% exclusively black, and to a lesser extent by risk group. Both MSM and heterosexuals formed discrete clusters though substantial mixing was observed. In multivariable analysis, patients with age ≤30 years (P=0.009), acute infection (P=0.02), local residence (P=0.002), and transmitted drug resistance (P=0.02) were more likely to be cluster members while Latinos were less likely (P<0.001).
Integration of molecular, clinical and demographic data offers a unique view into the structure of local transmission networks. Clustering by black race, youth and TDR and inability to identify Latino clusters will inform prevention, testing and linkage to care strategies.
PMCID: PMC3566771  PMID: 22739398
Molecular epidemiology; HIV transmission; Risk Factors; Acute Infection; Southeast US
21.  Joint effects of alcohol consumption and high-risk sexual behavior on HIV seroconversion among men who have sex with men 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(5):815-823.
PMCID: PMC3746520  PMID: 23719351
Alcohol Drinking; HIV Seropositivity; Men who Have Sex with Men; Prospective Studies; Sexual Behavior
22.  Recent cancer incidence trends in an observational clinical cohort of HIV-infected patients in the US, 2000 to 2011 
In HIV-infected populations in developed countries, the most recent published cancer incidence trend analyses are only updated through 2008. We assessed changes in the distribution of cancer types and incidence trends among HIV-infected patients in North Carolina up until 2011.
We linked the University of North Carolina Center for AIDS Research HIV Clinical Cohort, an observational clinical cohort of 3141 HIV-infected patients, with the North Carolina Cancer registry. Cancer incidence rates were estimated across calendar years from 2000 to 2011. The distribution of cancer types was described. Incidence trends were assessed with linear regression.
Across 15,022 person-years of follow-up, 202 cancers were identified (incidence rate per 100,000 person-years [IR]: 1345; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1166, 1544). The majority of cancers were virus-related (61%), including Kaposi sarcoma (N = 32) (IR: 213; 95%CI: 146, 301), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (N = 34) (IR: 226; 95%CI: 157, 316), and anal cancer (N = 16) (IR: 107; 95%CI: 61, 173). Non-Hodgkin lymphoma was observed to decrease from 2000 to 2011 (decline of 15 cases per 100,000 person-years per calendar year, 95%CI: -27, -3). No other changes in incidence or changes in incidence trends were observed for other cancers (all P > 0.20).
We observed a substantial burden of a variety of cancers in this population in the last decade. Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma were consistently two of the greatest contributors to cancer burden across calendar time. Cancer rates appeared stable across calendar years, except for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which appeared to decrease throughout the study period.
PMCID: PMC3671969  PMID: 23705808
Kaposi sarcoma; AIDS; HIV; AIDS-associated malignancies; Cancer
23.  Risk of Anal Cancer in HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Individuals in North America 
In a large North American cohort study, anal cancer incidence rates were substantially higher for HIV-infected men who have sex with men, other men, and women compared with HIV-uninfected individuals. Rates increased from 1996–1999 to 2000–2003 but plateaued by 2004–2007.
Background. Anal cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), although few have evaluated rates separately for men who have sex with men (MSM), other men, and women. There are also conflicting data regarding calendar trends.
Methods. In a study involving 13 cohorts from North America with follow-up between 1996 and 2007, we compared anal cancer incidence rates among 34 189 HIV-infected (55% MSM, 19% other men, 26% women) and 114 260 HIV-uninfected individuals (90% men).
Results. Among men, the unadjusted anal cancer incidence rates per 100 000 person-years were 131 for HIV-infected MSM, 46 for other HIV-infected men, and 2 for HIV-uninfected men, corresponding to demographically adjusted rate ratios (RRs) of 80.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 42.7–151.1) for HIV-infected MSM and 26.7 (95% CI, 11.5–61.7) for other HIV-infected men compared with HIV-uninfected men. HIV-infected women had an anal cancer rate of 30/100 000 person-years, and no cases were observed for HIV-uninfected women. In a multivariable Poisson regression model, among HIV-infected individuals, the risk was higher for MSM compared with other men (RR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.8–6.0), but no difference was observed comparing women with other men (RR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.5–2.2). In comparison with the period 2000–2003, HIV-infected individuals had an adjusted RR of 0.5 (95% CI, .3–.9) in 1996–1999 and 0.9 (95% CI, .6–1.2) in 2004–2007.
Conclusions. Anal cancer rates were substantially higher for HIV-infected MSM, other men, and women compared with HIV-uninfected individuals, suggesting a need for universal prevention efforts. Rates increased after the early antiretroviral therapy era and then plateaued.
PMCID: PMC3297645  PMID: 22291097
24.  U.S. Trends in Antiretroviral Therapy Use, HIV RNA Plasma Viral Loads, and CD4 T-Lymphocyte Cell Counts Among HIV-Infected Persons, 2000 to 2008 
Annals of internal medicine  2012;157(5):325-335.
The U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy targets for 2015 include increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for persons living with HIV in the United States (PLWH-US).
To demonstrate the utility of the NA-ACCORD (North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design) for monitoring trends in the HIV epidemic in the United States and to present trends in HIV treatment and related health outcomes.
Trends from annual cross-sectional analyses comparing patients from pooled, multicenter, prospective, clinical HIV cohort studies with PLWH-US, as reported to national surveillance systems in 40 states.
U.S. HIV outpatient clinics.
HIV-infected adults with 1 or more HIV RNA plasma viral load (HIV VL) or CD4 T-lymphocyte (CD4) cell count measured in any calendar year from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2008.
Annual rates of antiretroviral therapy use, HIV VL, and CD4 cell count at death.
45 529 HIV-infected persons received care in an NA-ACCORD–participating U.S. clinical cohort from 2000 to 2008. In 2008, the 26 030 NA-ACCORD participants in care and the 655 966 PLWH-US had qualitatively similar demographic characteristics. From 2000 to 2008, the proportion of participants prescribed highly active antiretroviral therapy increased by 9 percentage points to 83% (P < 0.001), whereas the proportion with suppressed HIV VL (≤2.7 log10 copies/mL) increased by 26 percentage points to 72% (P < 0.001). Median CD4 cell count at death more than tripled to 0.209 × 109 cells/L (P < 0.001).
The usual limitations of observational data apply.
The NA-ACCORD is the largest cohort of HIV-infected adults in clinical care in the United States that is demographically similar to PLWH-US in 2008. From 2000 to 2008, increases were observed in the percentage of prescribed HAART, the percentage who achieved a suppressed HIV VL, and the median CD4 cell count at death.
Primary Funding Source
National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian HIV Trials Network, and the government of British Columbia, Canada.
PMCID: PMC3534765  PMID: 22944874
25.  Comparative Effectiveness of Initial Antiretroviral Therapy Regimens: ACTG 5095 and 5142 Clinical Trials Relative to ART-CC Cohort Study 
The generalizability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinical trial efficacy findings to routine care settings is not well studied. We compared the relative effectiveness of initial ART regimens estimated in AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) randomized controlled trials with that among patients receiving ART at Antiretroviral Therapy Cohort Collaboration (ART-CC) study sites.
Treatment-naive HIV-infected patients initiating identical ART regimens in ACTG trials (A5095 and A5142) and at 15 ART-CC cohort study sites were included. Virological failure (HIV-1 RNA >200 copies/ml) at 24- and 48-weeks, incident AIDS-defining events and mortality were measured according to study design (ART-CC cohort vs. ACTG trial) and stratified by 3rd drug [Abacavir (ABC), Efavirenz (EFV), and Lopinavir/r (LPV/r)]. We used logistic regression to estimate and compare odds ratios for virological failure between different regimens and study designs, and used Cox models to estimate and compare hazard ratios for AIDS and death.
Compared with patients receiving ABC, those receiving EFV had roughly half the odds of 24-week virologic failure (>200 copies/mL) in both ACTG 5095 (OR=0.53, 95% CI 0.36–0.79) and ART-CC (0.46, 0.37–0.57). Virologic superiority of EFV (vs. ABC) appeared comparable in ART-CC and ACTG 5095 (ratio of ORs 0.86, 95% CI 0.54–1.35). Odds ratios for 48-week virologic failure, comparing EFV with LPV/r, were also comparable in ACTG 5142 and ART-CC (ratio of ORs 0.87, 0.45–1.69).
Between ART regimen virologic efficacy of 3rd drugs ABC, EFV, and LPV/r observed in the ACTG 5095 and 5142 trials appear generalizable to the routine care setting of ART-CC clinical cohorts.
PMCID: PMC3196673  PMID: 21857357
HIV; AIDS; Antiretroviral therapy; Comparative effectiveness; Viral load

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