Non-adherence is one of the strongest predictors of therapeutic failure in HIV-positive patients. Virologic failure with subsequent emergence of resistance reduces future treatment options and long-term clinical success.
Prospective observational cohort study including patients starting new class of antiretroviral therapy (ART) between 2003 and 2010. Participants were naïve to ART class and completed ≥1 adherence questionnaire prior to resistance testing. Outcomes were development of any IAS-USA, class-specific, or M184V mutations. Associations between adherence and resistance were estimated using logistic regression models stratified by ART class.
Of 314 included individuals, 162 started NNRTI and 152 a PI/r regimen. Adherence was similar between groups with 85% reporting adherence ≥95%. Number of new mutations increased with increasing non-adherence. In NNRTI group, multivariable models indicated a significant linear association in odds of developing IAS-USA (odds ratio (OR) 1.66, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04-2.67) or class-specific (OR 1.65, 95% CI: 1.00-2.70) mutations. Levels of drug resistance were considerably lower in PI/r group and adherence was only significantly associated with M184V mutations (OR 8.38, 95% CI: 1.26-55.70). Adherence was significantly associated with HIV RNA in PI/r but not NNRTI regimens.
Therapies containing PI/r appear more forgiving to incomplete adherence compared with NNRTI regimens, which allow higher levels of resistance, even with adherence above 95%. However, in failing PI/r regimens good adherence may prevent accumulation of further resistance mutations and therefore help to preserve future drug options. In contrast, adherence levels have little impact on NNRTI treatments once the first mutations have emerged.
Signature HIV-1 integrase mutations associated with clinical raltegravir resistance involve 1 of 3 primary genetic pathways, Y143C/R, Q148H/K/R and N155H, the latter 2 of which confer cross-resistance to elvitegravir. In accord with clinical findings, in vitro drug resistance profiling studies with wild-type and site-directed integrase mutant viruses have shown significant fold increases in raltegravir and elvitegravir resistance for the specified viral mutants relative to wild-type HIV-1. Dolutegravir, in contrast, has demonstrated clinical efficacy in subjects failing raltegravir therapy due to integrase mutations at Y143, Q148 or N155, which is consistent with its distinct in vitro resistance profile as dolutegravir’s antiviral activity against these viral mutants is equivalent to its activity against wild-type HIV-1. Kinetic studies of inhibitor dissociation from wild-type and mutant integrase-viral DNA complexes have shown that dolutegravir also has a distinct off-rate profile with dissociative half-lives substantially longer than those of raltegravir and elvitegravir, suggesting that dolutegravir’s prolonged binding may be an important contributing factor to its distinct resistance profile. To provide a structural rationale for these observations, we constructed several molecular models of wild-type and clinically relevant mutant HIV-1 integrase enzymes in complex with viral DNA and dolutegravir, raltegravir or elvitegravir. Here, we discuss our structural models and the posited effects that the integrase mutations and the structural and electronic properties of the integrase inhibitors may have on the catalytic pocket and inhibitor binding and, consequently, on antiviral potency in vitro and in the clinic.
Although ritonavir-boosted atazanavir (ATV/r) is known to be associated with nephrolithiasis, little is known about the incidence of nephrolithiasis in patients treated with ritonavir-boosted Darunavir (DRV/r), the other preferred protease inhibitor.
In a single-center cohort, the incidence of nephrolithiasis was compared between HIV-infected patients who commenced DRV/r-containing antiretroviral therapy and those on ATV/r. The effects of ATV/r use over DRV/r were estimated by univariate and multivariate Cox hazards models.
Renal stones were diagnosed in only one patient (0.86 per 1000 person-years) of the DRV/r group (n=540) and 37 (20.2 per 1000 person-years) of the ATV/r group (n=517). The median [interquartile (IQR)] observation period in the DRV/r group was 27.1 months (IQR 18.1-38.4 months), and 40.6 months (IQR 17.5-42.7) for the ATV/r group. The total observation period was 1,163.6 person-years and 1,829.6 person-years for the DRV/r group and for the ATV/r group, respectively. In the 37 patients on ATV/r who developed nephrolithiasis, the median time from commencement of ATV/r to diagnosis was 28.1 months (IQR 18.4–42.7), whereas nephrolithiasis in the single patient of the DRV/r group occurred 11.2 month after the introduction of DRV/r. ATV/r use over DRV/r was significantly associated with nephrolithiasis by uni- and multivariate analyses (HR=26.01; 95% CI, 3.541–191.0; p=0.001) (adjusted HR=21.47; 95% CI, 2.879–160.2; p=0.003).
The incidence of nephrolithiasis was substantially lower in patients on DRV/r than those on ATV/r. The results suggest that DRV/r should be selected for treatment of HIV-infected patients at risk of chronic kidney disease.
HIV-1 transmission; phylogenetics; primary infection; treatment as prevention
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a valuable tool for the detection and quantification of HIV-1 variants in vivo. However, these technologies require detailed characterization and control of artificially induced errors to be applicable for accurate haplotype reconstruction. To investigate the occurrence of substitutions, insertions, and deletions at the individual steps of RT-PCR and NGS, 454 pyrosequencing was performed on amplified and non-amplified HIV-1 genomes. Artificial recombination was explored by mixing five different HIV-1 clonal strains (5-virus-mix) and applying different RT-PCR conditions followed by 454 pyrosequencing. Error rates ranged from 0.04–0.66% and were similar in amplified and non-amplified samples. Discrepancies were observed between forward and reverse reads, indicating that most errors were introduced during the pyrosequencing step. Using the 5-virus-mix, non-optimized, standard RT-PCR conditions introduced artificial recombinants in a fraction of at least 30% of the reads that subsequently led to an underestimation of true haplotype frequencies. We minimized the fraction of recombinants down to 0.9–2.6% by optimized, artifact-reducing RT-PCR conditions. This approach enabled correct haplotype reconstruction and frequency estimations consistent with reference data obtained by single genome amplification. RT-PCR conditions are crucial for correct frequency estimation and analysis of haplotypes in heterogeneous virus populations. We developed an RT-PCR procedure to generate NGS data useful for reliable haplotype reconstruction and quantification.
Recent evidence points to the apparent increase of HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) in different settings with concentrated epidemics, including the Latin American region. In 2011, Mexico implemented an ambitious HIV prevention program in all major cities, funded by the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The program was intended to strengthen the prevention response for the most at risk populations: MSM and injecting drug users. This paper presents the HIV prevalence results of a nationally representative baseline survey in 24 Mexican cities throughout the 5 regions in the country and reports the socio-demographic and sexual risk behaviors that predict the probability of infection.
The survey was implemented in two phases. We first identified and characterized places where MSM gather in each city and then conducted in a second phase, a seroprevalence survey that included rapid HIV testing and a self-administered questionnaire. The prevalence of HIV was estimated by adjusting for positive predicted value. We applied a probit model to estimate the probability of having a positive result from the HIV test as a function of socio-demographic characteristics and self-reported sexual risk behaviors.
We found an overall HIV prevalence among MSM gathering in meeting points of 16.9% [95% CI: 15.6–18.3], significantly higher than previously reported estimates. Our regression results suggest that the risk of infection increases with age, with the number of sexual partners, and among those who play a receptive sexual role, and the risk decreases with higher education.
Our findings suggest a higher HIV prevalence among MSM than previously acknowledged and that a significant regional variability exist throughout the country. These two findings combined, signal an important dynamic in the epidemic that should be better understood and promptly addressed with strong prevention efforts targeted at key populations.
The HIV epidemic continues unabated, with no highly effective vaccine and no cure. Each new infection has significant economic, social and human costs and prevention efforts are now as great a priority as global antiretroviral therapy (ART) scale up. Reverse transcriptase inhibitors, the first licensed class of ART, have been at the forefront of treatment and prevention of mother to child transmission over the past two decades. Now, their use in adult prevention is being extensively investigated. We describe two approaches: treatment as prevention (TasP) - the use of combination ART (2NRTI and 1NNRTI) following HIV diagnosis to limit transmission and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) –the use of single or dual oral agents prior to sexual exposure. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission using NRTI has been highly successful, though does not involve sustained use of NRTI to limit transmission. Despite theoretical and preliminary support for TasP and PrEP, data thus far indicate that adherence, retention in care and late diagnosis are the major barriers to their successful, sustained implementation. Future advances in drug technologies will be needed to overcome the issue of drug adherence, through development of drugs that involve both less frequent dosing as well as reduced toxicity, possibly through specific targeting of infected cells.
Protein arginine methyltransferase 6 (PRMT6) is a nuclear enzyme that methylates arginine residues on histones and transcription factors. In addition, PRMT6 inhibits HIV-1 replication in cell culture by directly methylating and interfering with the functions of several HIV-1 proteins, i.e. Tat, Rev and nucleocapsid (NC). PRMT6 also displays automethylation capacity but the role of this post-translational modification in its antiretroviral activity remains unknown.
Here we report the identification by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry of R35 within PRMT6 as the target residue for automethylation and have confirmed this by site-directed mutagenesis and in vitro and in vivo methylation assays. We further show that automethylation at position 35 greatly affects PRMT6 stability and is indispensable for its antiretroviral activity, as demonstrated in HIV-1 single-cycle TZM-bl infectivity assays.
These results show that PRMT6 automethylation plays a role in the stability of this protein and that this event is indispensible for its anti-HIV-1 activity.
PRMT6; HIV-1; Automethylation; Protein stability; Antiretroviral activity
In the Asia-Pacific region many countries have adopted the WHO’s public health approach to HIV care and treatment. We performed exploratory analyses of the factors associated with first major modification to first-line combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-rich and resource-limited countries in the region.
We selected treatment naive HIV-positive adults from the Australian HIV Observational Database (AHOD) and the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD). We dichotomised each country’s per capita income into high/upper-middle (T-H) and lower-middle/low (T-L). Survival methods stratified by income were used to explore time to first major modification of first-line ART and associated factors. We defined a treatment modification as either initiation of a new class of antiretroviral (ARV) or a substitution of two or more ARV agents from within the same ARV class.
A total of 4250 patients had 961 major modifications to first-line ART in the first five years of therapy. The cumulative incidence (95% CI) of treatment modification was 0.48 (0.44–0.52), 0.33 (0.30–0.36) and 0.21 (0.18–0.23) for AHOD, T-H and T-L respectively. We found no strong associations between typical patient characteristic factors and rates of treatment modification. In AHOD, relative to sites that monitor twice-yearly (both CD4 and HIV RNA-VL), quarterly monitoring corresponded with a doubling of the rate of treatment modifications. In T-H, relative to sites that monitor once-yearly (both CD4 and HIV RNA-VL), monitoring twice-yearly corresponded to a 1.8 factor increase in treatment modifications. In T-L, no sites on average monitored both CD4 & HIV RNA-VL concurrently once-yearly. We found no differences in rates of modifications for once- or twice-yearly CD4 count monitoring.
Low-income countries tended to have lower rates of major modifications made to first-line ART compared to higher-income countries. In higher-income countries, an increased rate of RNA-VL monitoring was associated with increased modifications to first-line ART.
Etravirine (ETR) is an expanded-spectrum nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) approved for use as an antiretroviral agent in treatment-experienced patients. Y181C and E138K in HIV-1 RT are among 20 different drug resistance mutations associated with ETR. However, E138K can be consistently selected by ETR when wild-type viruses but not viruses containing Y181C are grown in tissue culture. This study was carried out to evaluate any possible mechanisms that might explain antagonism between the Y181C and E138K mutations. Accordingly, we performed tissue culture studies to investigate the evolutionary dynamics of E138K in both a wild-type (WT) and a Y181C background. We also generated recombinant enzymes containing Y181C and E138K alone or in combination in order to study enzyme processivity, rates of processive DNA synthesis, enzyme kinetics, and susceptibility to ETR. We now show that the presence of the Y181C mutation prevented the emergence of E138K in cell culture and that the simultaneous presence of E138K and Y181C impaired each of enzyme activity, processivity, rate of processive DNA synthesis, and deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) affinity. The addition of E138K to Y181C also decreased the level of resistance to ETR compared to that obtained with Y181C alone.
Effectiveness of ART regimens strongly depends upon complex interactions between the selective pressure of drugs and the evolution of mutations that allow or restrict drug resistance.
Four clinical isolates from NRTI-exposed, NNRTI-naive subjects were passaged in increasing concentrations of NVP in combination with 1 µM 3 TC and 2 µM ADV to assess selective pressures of multi-drug treatment. A novel parameter inference procedure, based on a stochastic viral growth model, was used to estimate phenotypic resistance and fitness from in vitro combination passage experiments.
Newly developed mathematical methods estimated key phenotypic parameters of mutations arising through selective pressure exerted by 3 TC and NVP. Concentrations of 1 µM 3 TC maintained the M184V mutation, which was associated with intrinsic fitness deficits. Increasing NVP concentrations selected major NNRTI resistance mutations. The evolutionary pathway of NVP resistance was highly dependent on the viral genetic background, epistasis as well as stochasticity. Parameter estimation indicated that the previously unrecognized mutation L228Q was associated with NVP resistance in some isolates.
Serial passage of viruses in the presence of multiple drugs may resemble the selection of mutations observed among treated individuals and populations in vivo and indicate evolutionary preferences and restrictions. Phenotypic resistance estimated here “in silico” from in vitro passage experiments agreed well with previous knowledge, suggesting that the unique combination of “wet-” and “dry-lab” experimentation may improve our understanding of HIV-1 resistance evolution in the future.
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) consists of a combination of drugs to achieve maximal virological response and reduce the potential for the emergence of antiviral resistance. Despite being the first antivirals described to be effective against HIV, reverse transcriptase inhibitors remain the cornerstone of HAART. There are two broad classes of reverse transcriptase inhibitor, the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). Since the first such compounds were developed, viral resistance to them has inevitably been described; this necessitates the continuous development of novel compounds within each class. In this review, we consider the NRTIs and NNRTIs currently in both preclinical and clinical development or approved for second-line therapy and describe the patterns of resistance associated with their use as well as the underlying mechanisms that have been described. Due to reasons of both affordability and availability, some reverse transcriptase inhibitors with a low genetic barrier are more commonly used in resource-limited settings. Their use results in the emergence of specific patterns of antiviral resistance and so may require specific actions to preserve therapeutic options for patients in such settings.
Our loyal friend Kuan-Teh Jeang, “Teh” to friends and colleagues, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 54 on the evening of January 27, 2013. Great shock and sorrow was apparent in the avalanche of email messages by the very many international colleagues with whom Teh interacted over the years. Many of us came to know Teh as an energetic and gifted scientist for whom we had much respect and affection.
It has been said that women hold up half the sky. In the HIV epidemic, women carry half the burden of the epidemic, perhaps even more. The HIV burden on women is dramatically higher in some regions, certain age groups and among marginalized groups, such as female sex workers. Women's vulnerability to HIV is exacerbated by gender inequality and domestic violence.
The global effort towards elimination of paediatric HIV and keeping mothers alive deserves applause. However, the needs of women go beyond their child-bearing age or potentials and/or reproductive desires and must be recognized in the global HIV agenda. In particular, more female-controlled prevention tools are urgently required to allow women to protect themselves.
It is time to turn the tide through promoting gender equality and genuinely committing to gender-responsive policies and programmes, and encouraging a more gender-aware research agenda that can generate necessary evidence. In recognition of International Women's Day, the Journal of the International AIDS Society is pleased to launch a thematic series to highlight articles that address the different dimensions of HIV as they relate to women.
HIV subtypes A and CRF01_AE (A/AE) became prevalent in Israel, first through immigration of infected people, mostly intravenous-drug users (IVDU), from Former Soviet-Union (FSU) countries and then also by local spreading. We retrospectively studied virus-transmission patterns of these subtypes in comparison to the longer-established subtype B, evaluating in particular risk-group related differences. We also examined to what extent distinct drug-resistance patterns in subtypes A/AE versus B reflected differences in patient behavior and drug-treatment history.
Reverse-transcriptase (RT) and protease sequences were retrospectively analyzed along with clinical and epidemiological data. MEGA, ClusalX, and Beast programs were used in a phylogenetic analysis to identify transmission networks.
318 drug-naive individuals with A/AE or patients failing combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) were identified. 61% were IVDU. Compared to infected homosexuals, IVDU transmitted HIV infrequently and, typically, only to a single partner. 6.8% of drug-naive patients had drug resistance. Treatment-failing, regimen-stratified subtype-A/AE- and B-patients differed from each other significantly in the frequencies of the major resistance-conferring mutations T215FY, K219QE and several secondary mutations. Notably, failing boosted protease-inhibitors (PI) treatment was not significantly associated with protease or RT mutations in either subtype.
While sizable transmission networks occur in infected homosexuals, continued HIV transmission among IVDU in Israel is largely sporadic and the rate is relatively modest, as is that of drug-resistance transmission. Deviation of drug-naive A/AE sequences from subtype-B consensus sequence, documented here, may subtly affect drug-resistance pathways. Conspicuous differences in overall drug-resistance that are manifest before regimen stratification can be largely explained in terms of treatment history, by the different efficacy/adherence limitations of older versus newer regimens. The phenomenon of treatment failure in boosted-PI-including regimens in the apparent absence of drug-resistance to any of the drugs, and its relation to adherence, require further investigation.
Clinical studies have shown that integrase strand transfer inhibitors can be used to treat HIV-1 infection. Although the first-generation integrase inhibitors are susceptible to the emergence of resistance mutations that impair their efficacy in therapy, such resistance has not been identified to date in drug-naïve patients who have been treated with the second-generation inhibitor dolutegravir. During previous in vitro selection study, we identified a R263K mutation as the most common substitution to arise in the presence of dolutegravir with H51Y arising as a secondary mutation. Additional experiments reported here provide a plausible explanation for the absence of reported dolutegravir resistance among integrase inhibitor-naïve patients to date.
We now show that H51Y in combination with R263K increases resistance to dolutegravir but is accompanied by dramatic decreases in both enzymatic activity and viral replication.
Since H51Y and R263K may define a unique resistance pathway to dolutegravir, our results are consistent with the absence of resistance mutations in antiretroviral drug-naive patients treated with this drug.
HIV integrase; Dolutegravir; Resistance to antiretrovirals; Viral fitness; Strand-transfer assay
A recent addition to the anti-human immunodeficiency virus armamentarium of drugs is rilpivirine, which is a potent non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. This review focuses on the clinical utility of rilpivirine in terms of efficacy and virologic suppression, drug resistance, drug-drug interactions, and safety. The rilpivirine-tenofovir-emtricitabine combination is a safe and effective regimen for use in most patients who are ready to start first-line anti-human immunodeficiency virus therapy. Although drug resistance can be a problem in patients who initiate therapy on rilpivirine-based regimens with viral loads > 100,000 copies of viral RNA/mL, this problem can be alleviated by first starting therapy with efavirenz-tenofovir-emtricitabine for several months to suppress viral load to <50 copies/mL before switching to rilpivirine-based therapy. E138K is the most important mutation associated with resistance against rilpivirine and its development must be avoided whenever possible, because this mutation confers broad cross-resistance against all approved members of the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor family of drugs.
non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors; rilpivirine; human immunodeficiency virus; treatment; resistance
HIV entry inhibitors, such as maraviroc (MVC), prevent cell-free viruses from entering the cells. In clinical trials, patients who were treated with MVC often displayed viral loads that were above the limit of conventional viral load detection compared to efavirenz-based regimens. We hypothesize that viruses blocked by entry inhibitors may be redistributed to plasma, where they artificially increase viral load measurements compared to those with the use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) that act intracellularly. We infected PM-1 cells with CCR5-tropic HIV-1 BaL or CXCR4-tropic HIV-1 NL4-3 in the presence of inhibitory concentrations of efavirenz, raltegravir, enfuvirtide, maraviroc, and AMD3100, the latter three being entry inhibitors. Supernatant viral load, reverse transcriptase enzyme activity, and intracellular nucleic acid levels were measured at times up to 24 h postinfection. Infectivity of redistributed dual-tropic HIV-1 was assessed using TZM-bl cells. Extracellular viral load analysis revealed that entry inhibitor-treated cells had higher levels of virus in the supernatant than the cells treated with other ARVs at 8 h postinfection. By 24 h, the supernatant viral load was still higher for entry inhibitors than other ARVs. We observed a correlation between viral load and the step of entry inhibition. Dual-tropic virus infectivity was undiminished utilizing the CCR5 coreceptor following redistribution by CXCR4 entry inhibition. This in vitro model indicates that entry inhibitors exhibit a redistribution effect unseen with intracellular ARV drugs. Based on these results, the effectiveness of some entry inhibitors may be underestimated if plasma viral load is used as a sole indicator of clinical success.
BMS-599793 is a small molecule entry inhibitor that binds to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp120, resulting in the inhibition of CD4-dependent entry into cells. Since BMS-599793 is currently considered a candidate microbicide drug, we evaluated its efficacy against a number of primary patient HIV isolates from different subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) and showed that activity varied between ∼3 ρM and 7 μM at 50% effective concentrations (EC50s). Interestingly, CRF01_AE HIV-1 isolates consistently demonstrated natural resistance against this compound. Genotypic analysis of >1,600 sequences (Los Alamos HIV sequence database) indicated that a single amino acid polymorphism in Env, H375, may account for the observed BMS-599793 resistance in CRF01_AE HIV-1. Results of site-directed mutagenesis experiments confirmed this hypothesis, and in silico drug docking simulations identified a drug resistance mechanism at the molecular level. In addition, CRF01_AE viruses were shown to be resistant to multiple broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. Thus, our results not only provide insight into how Env polymorphisms may contribute to entry inhibitor resistance but also may help to elucidate how HIV can evade some broadly neutralizing antibodies. Furthermore, the high frequency of H375 in CRF01_AE HIV-1, and its apparent nonoccurrence in other subtypes, could serve as a means for rapid identification of CRF01_AE infections.
The emergence of HIV-1 drug resistance remains a major obstacle in antiviral therapy. M184I/V and E138K are signature mutations of clinical relevance in HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) for the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) lamivudine (3TC) and emtricitabine (FTC) and the second-generation (new) nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) rilpivirine (RPV), respectively, and the E138K mutation has also been shown to be selected by etravirine in cell culture. The E138K mutation was recently shown to compensate for the low enzyme processivity and viral fitness associated with the M184I/V mutations through enhanced deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) usage, while the M184I/V mutations compensated for defects in polymerization rates associated with the E138K mutations under conditions of high dNTP concentrations. The M184I mutation was also shown to enhance resistance to RPV and ETR when present together with the E138K mutation. These mutual compensatory effects might also enhance transmission rates of viruses containing these two mutations. Therefore, we performed tissue culture studies to investigate the evolutionary dynamics of these viruses. Through experiments in which E138K-containing viruses were selected with 3TC-FTC and in which M184I/V viruses were selected with ETR, we demonstrated that ETR was able to select for the E138K mutation in viruses containing the M184I/V mutations and that the M184I/V mutations consistently emerged when E138K viruses were selected with 3TC-FTC. We also performed biochemical subunit-selective mutational analyses to investigate the impact of the E138K mutation on RT function and interactions with the M184I mutation. We now show that the E138K mutation decreased rates of polymerization, impaired RNase H activity, and conferred ETR resistance through the p51 subunit of RT, while an enhancement of dNTP usage as a result of the simultaneous presence of both mutations E138K and M184I occurred via both subunits.
Latently infected cells represent the major barrier to either a sterilizing or a functional HIV-1 cure. Multiple approaches to reactivation and depletion of the latent reservoir have been attempted clinically, but full depletion of this compartment remains a long-term goal. Compared to the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of HIV-1 latency and the pathways leading to viral reactivation, less is known about the establishment of latent infection. This review focuses on how HIV-1 latency is established at the cellular and molecular levels. We first discuss how latent infection can be established following infection of an activated CD4 T-cell that undergoes a transition to a resting memory state and also how direct infection of a resting CD4 T-cell can lead to latency. Various animal, primary cell, and cell line models also provide insights into this process and are discussed with respect to the routes of infection that result in latency. A number of molecular mechanisms that are active at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels have been associated with HIV-1 latency. Many, but not all of these, help to drive the establishment of latent infection, and we review the evidence in favor of or against each mechanism specifically with regard to the establishment of latency. We also discuss the role of immediate silent integration of viral DNA versus silencing of initially active infections. Finally, we discuss potential approaches aimed at limiting the establishment of latent infection.
Latency; CD4 T-cell; Reservoir; Establishment; Transcriptional interference; Epigenetics; Chromatin
Infertility is a major medical condition that affects many married couples in sub-Saharan African and as such associated with several social meanings. This study therefore explored community's perception of childbearing and childlessness in Northern Ghana using the Upper West Region as a case study.
The study was exploratory and qualitative using in-depth and key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Fifteen marriage unions with infertility (childless), forty-five couples with children, and eight key informants were purposively sampled and interviewed using a semi-structured interview guides. Three focus group discussions were also carried out, one for childless women, one for women with children and one with men with children. The data collected were transcribed, coded, arranged, and analyzed for categories and themes and finally triangulated.
The study revealed that infertility was caused by both social and biological factors. Socially couples could become infertile through supernatural causes such as bewitchment, and disobediences of social norms. Abortion, masturbation and use of contraceptives were also identified as causes of infertility. Most childless couples seek treatment from spiritualist, traditional healers and hospital. These sources of treatment are used simultaneously.
Childbearing is highly valued in the community and Childlessness is highly engendered, and stigmatised in this community with manifold social consequences. In such a community therefore, the concept of reproductive choice must encompass policies that make it possible for couples to aspire to have the number of children they wish.
By using a fragment-assembly strategy and bioisosteric-replacement principle, a series of novel piperazine derivatives were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for their cellular target-effector fusion activities and in vitro antiviral activities against HIV-1. Preliminary structure-activity relationships (SARs) of target compounds were concluded in this study, and five compounds were found to exhibited medium to potent CCR5 fusion activities with IC50 values in low micromolar level. Among evaluated compounds, 23 h was found to be a CCR5 antagonist with an IC50 value of 6.29 µM and an anti-HIV-1 inhibitor with an IC50 value of 0.44 µM.
This study aimed to understand gender and ethnicity differences in HIV-related stigma experienced by 1026 HIV-positive individuals living in Ontario, Canada that were enrolled in the OHTN Cohort Study. Total and subscale HIV-related stigma scores were measured using the revised HIV-related Stigma Scale. Correlates of total stigma scores were assessed in univariate and multivariate linear regression. Women had significantly higher total and subscale stigma scores than men (total, median = 56.0 vs. 48.0, p<0.0001). Among men and women, Black individuals had the highest, Aboriginal and Asian/Latin-American/Unspecified people intermediate, and White individuals the lowest total stigma scores. The gender-ethnicity interaction term was significant in multivariate analysis: Black women and Asian/Latin-American/Unspecified men reported the highest HIV-related stigma scores. Gender and ethnicity differences in HIV-related stigma were identified in our cohort. Findings suggest differing approaches may be required to address HIV-related stigma based on gender and ethnicity; and such strategies should challenge racist and sexist stereotypes.