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1.  Pathogenesis and Treatment of HIV Lipohypertrophy 
Purpose of Review
This review addresses our current understanding of the pathogenesis of HIV associated lipohypertrophy, and describes an evidence-based approach to treatment.
Recent Findings
Although the pathogenesis of HIV associated lipohypertrophy remains elusive, recent clinical and laboratory investigations in fatty acid metabolism and growth hormone dynamics have furthered our understanding of the condition. These findings have also paved the way for new therapeutic interventions, of which tesamorelin, an analogue of growth hormone-releasing hormone, has gained recognition as a promising treatment strategy against visceral fat accumulation. Recent randomized placebo-controlled trials of tesamorelin demonstrated significant reductions in visceral adipose tissue, improvement in lipid parameters, and no adverse effects on glucose tolerance. Optimal therapeutic dosing and treatment duration, though, are not yet known. Whether treatment with GHRH-analogues will translate into improved long-term metabolic and cardiovascular outcomes also remains to be seen.
Although the pathogenesis of HIV lipohypertrophy remains unclear, several theories and observations have led to the development of treatment strategies to counter fat accumulation and its accompanying metabolic complications. Based on clinical trials, analogues of the GH/GHRH axis appear to be most effective in reducing visceral adipose tissue.
PMCID: PMC3671942  PMID: 21124215
lipohypertrophy; visceral adipose tissue; HIV; lipodystrophy; tesamorelin
2.  Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Polycythemia in HIV-infected Patients 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(2):243-245.
We conducted a case-control study to assess testosterone use as a primary risk factor for polycythemia in 21 HIV-infected men. Any testosterone use within two months of first elevated hemoglobin was associated with polycythemia (matched odds ratio 6.55; 95% CI 1.83-23.4; P=0.004) and intramuscular administration demonstrated a stronger association than topical use. No adverse cardiovascular or thrombotic events were observed. HIV-infected patients taking testosterone should undergo routine hematologic monitoring with adjustment of therapy when appropriate.
PMCID: PMC3670149  PMID: 22008652
3.  Vitamin D insufficiency may impair CD4 recovery among Women’s Interagency HIV Study participants with advanced disease on HAART 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(4):573-578.
Recent studies in HIV-infected men report an association between low vitamin D (25OH-D) and CD4 recovery on HAART. We sought to test this relationship in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
We examined 204 HIV-infected women with advanced disease, who started HAART after enrollment in the WIHS. We measured vitamin D (25OH-D) levels about 6 months prior to HAART initiation. The relationship between CD4 recovery (defined as increases of ≥50, 100, and 200 cells at 6, 12, and 24 months) and exposure variables was examined using logistic regression models at 6, 12 and 24 months post-HAART initiation in unadjusted and adjusted analyses, and using multivariable longitudinal Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE). Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as 25OH-D levels at least 30 ng/ml.
The majority were non-Hispanic black (60%) and had insufficient vitamin D levels (89%). In adjusted analyses, at 24 months after HAART, insufficient vitamin D level (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.05–0.83) was associated with decreased odds of CD4 recovery. The undetectable viral load (OR 11.38, 95% CI 4.31–30.05) was associated with CD4 recovery. The multivariable GEE model found that average immune reconstitution attenuated significantly (P <0.01) over time among those with insufficient vitamin D levels compared with those with sufficient vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with diminished late CD4 recovery after HAART initiation among US women living with advanced HIV. The mechanism of this association on late CD4 recovery may be late vitamin D-associated production of naive CD4 cells during immune reconstitution.
PMCID: PMC3902982  PMID: 23095316
antiretroviral therapy; HIV; immune reconstitution; vitamin D; women
4.  Effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy and its adherence on herpes zoster incidence: a longitudinal cohort study 
Herpes zoster (HZ) is common among HIV-infected individuals, but the impacts of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and HAART adherence on HZ risk have not been well studied.
The effects of HAART and HAART adherence on HZ incidence were evaluated by comparing HIV-infected women on HAART (HAART use group) with the HIV-infected women remaining HAART naïve (HAART naïve group) in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). A 1:1 matching with propensity score for predicting HAART initiation was conducted to balance background covariates at index visit, including HIV disease stage. Kaplan-Meier method was used to compare the risk of HZ development between the matched pairs. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the effects of HAART and HAART adherence on HZ incidence.
Through propensity score matching, 389 pairs of participants were identified and they contributed 3,909 person years after matching. The background covariates were similar between the matched pairs at the index visit. The participants had a mean age around 39 years old, and about 61% of them were Black and 22% were Latina. No significant difference in HZ risk was observed between the HAART use group and the HAART naïve group during the first year of follow-up in any analyses. In the univariate analysis, the HAART use group had marginally lower HZ risk (Hazard Ratio (HR): 0.72; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.48-1.1) over the entire follow-up period. However, women with a HAART adherence level of ≥95% had significantly lower HZ risk (HR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.31, 0.94) compared to the HAART naïve women. The association remained significant after adjusting for quality of life score and acyclovir use, but it attenuated and was no longer statistically significant after adjusting for an intermediate variable, either CD4+ T cell counts or HIV viral load.
Among adult women, we observed a significant preventive effect of long-term HAART use on HZ incidence when a HAART adherence level of ≥95% was attained, and this effect was mediated through reduction of HIV viral load and improvement of CD4+ T cell counts.
PMCID: PMC3904465  PMID: 24373482
HAART; Adherence; Herpes zoster; Incidence; Propensity score
5.  Lower Liver-Related Death in African American Women With HIV/HCV Co-Infection Compared to Caucasian and Hispanic Women 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2012;56(5):1699-1705.
Among individuals with and without concurrent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), racial/ethnic differences in the natural history of hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been described. African-Americans have lower spontaneous HCV clearance than Caucasians, yet slower rates of liver fibrosis once chronically infected. It is not clear how these differences in the natural history of hepatitis C affect mortality, in either HIV positive or negative individuals. We conducted a cohort study of HIV/HCV co-infected women followed in the multicenter, NIH-funded Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) to determine the association of self-reported race/ethnicity with all-cause and liver-related mortality. Survival analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazards models. The eligible cohort (n=794) included 140 Caucasians, 159 Hispanics, and 495 African Americans. There were 438 deaths and 49 liver-related deaths during a median follow-up of 8.9 years and maximum follow-up of 16 years. African American co-infected women had significantly lower liver-related mortality compared to Caucasian (HR 0.41 95% CI 0.19–0.88, p=0.022) and Hispanic co-infected women (HR 0.38 95% CI 0.19–0.76, p=0.006). All-cause mortality was similar between racial/ethnic groups (HRs for all comparisons 0.82–1.03, logrank p=0.8).
African American co-infected women were much less likely to die from liver disease as compared to Caucasians and Hispanics, independent of other causes of death. Future studies are needed to investigate the reasons for this marked racial/ethnic discrepancy in liver-related mortality.
PMCID: PMC3440547  PMID: 22618868
race; ethnicity; viral hepatitis; mortality; gender
6.  Immunological and Viral Features in Patients with Overactive Bladder Associated with Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 Infection 
Journal of medical virology  2012;84(11):1809-1817.
The majority of patients infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus-type 1 (HTLV-1) are considered carriers, but a high frequency of urinary symptoms of overactive bladder, common in HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) have been documented in these patients. The aim of this study was to determine if immunological and viral factors that are seen in HAM/TSP are also observed in these patients. Participants were classified as HTLV-1 carriers (n=45), HTLV-1 patients suffering from overactive bladder (n=45) and HAM/TSP (n=45). Cells from HTLV-1 overactive bladder patients produced spontaneously more proinflammatory cytokines than carriers. TNF-α and IL-17 levels were similar in HAM/TSP and HTLV-1 overactive bladder patients. High proviral load was found in patients with overactive bladder and HAM/TSP and correlated with proinflammatory cytokines. In contrast with findings in patients with HAM/TSP, serum levels of Th1 chemokines were similar in HTLV-1 overactive bladder and carriers. Exogenous addition of regulatory cytokines decreased spontaneous IFN-γ production in cell cultures from HTLV-1 overactive bladder patients. The results show that HTLV-1 overactive bladder and HAM/TSP patients have in common some immunological features as well as similar proviral load profile. The data show that HTLV-1 overactive bladder patients are still able to down regulate their inflammatory immune response. In addition, these patients express levels of chemokines similar to carriers, which may explain why they have yet to develop the same degree of spinal cord damage as seen in patients with HAM/TSP. These patients present symptoms of overactive bladder, which may be an early sign of HAM/TSP.
PMCID: PMC3457650  PMID: 22997085
HTLV-1; immune response; cytokines; chemokines; proviral load
7.  Association of HIV infection with Incident Diabetes Mellitus: Impact of using Hemoglobin A1C as a Criterion for Diabetes 
Data regarding the association between HIV and DM are conflicting, with little known regarding the impact of including hemoglobin A1C (A1C) as a criterion for DM.
Pooled logistic regression was used to quantify the association between HIV and DM in 1501 HIV-infected and 550 HIV-uninfected participants from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Incident DM was defined using three DM definitions: (I) fasting glucose (FG) ≥126mg/dl, anti-DM medication, or reporting DM diagnosis (with confirmation by FG≥126mg/dl or anti-DM medication); (II) confirmation with a second FG≥126mg/dl; and (III) addition of A1C≥6.5% confirmed by FG≥126mg/dl or anti-DM medication.
DM incidence per 100 person-years was 2.44, 1.55, and 1.70 for HIV-infected women; 1.89, 0.85, and 1.13 for HIV-uninfected women, using definition I, II, and III, respectively. After adjustment for traditional DM risk factors, HIV infection was associated with 1.23, 1.90, and 1.38-fold higher risk of incident DM, respectively; the association reached statistical significance only when confirmation with a second FG≥126mg/dl was required. Older age, obesity, and a family history of DM were each consistently and strongly associated with increased DM risk.
HIV infection is consistently associated with greater risk of DM. Inclusion of an elevated A1C to define DM increases the accuracy of the diagnosis and only slightly attenuates the magnitude of the association otherwise observed between HIV and DM. By contrast, a DM diagnosis made without any confirmatory criteria for FG ≥126mg/dl overestimates the incidence, while also underestimating the effects of HIV on DM risk, and should be avoided.
PMCID: PMC3480977  PMID: 22878421
Diabetes mellitus; HIV; Women; Hemoglobin A1C
8.  Assessing mortality in women with hepatitis C virus and HIV using indirect markers of fibrosis 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(5):599-607.
Co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected individuals. However, predictors of mortality are poorly defined and most studies have focused predominantly on co-infection in men. We evaluated whether two indirect markers of hepatic fibrosis, aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and FIB-4 scores, were predictive of mortality in a well defined longitudinal cohort of HCV/HIV-co-infected women on HAART.
HCV/HIV-co-infected women on antiretroviral therapy enrolled in Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a National Institutes of Health-funded prospective, multicenter, cohort study of women with and at risk for HIV infection were included. Using Cox regression analysis, associations between APRI and FIB-4 with all-cause mortality were assessed.
Four hundred and fifty HCV/HIV-co-infected women, of whom 191 women died, had a median follow-up of 6.6 years and 5739 WIHS visits. Compared with women with low APRI or FIB-4 levels, severe fibrosis was significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality {APRI: hazard ratio 2.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.87, 4.12]; FIB-4: hazard ratio 2.58 (95% CI 1.68, 3.95)}. Crude death rates per 1000 patient-years increased with increasing liver fibrosis: 34.8 for mild, 51.3 for moderate and 167.9 for severe fibrosis as measured by FIB-4. Importantly, both APRI and FIB-4 increased during the 5 years prior to death for all women: the slope of increase was greater for women dying a liver-related death compared with nonliver-related death.
Both APRI and FIB-4 are independently associated with all-cause mortality in HCV/HIV-co-infected women and may have clinical prognostic utility among women with HIV and HCV.
PMCID: PMC3698040  PMID: 22156972
fibrosis markers; hepatitis C virus; HIV; longitudinal study; mortality
9.  Effects of a Reduced Dose of Stavudine on the Incidence and Severity of Peripheral Neuropathy in HIV-Infected Adults in South Africa 
Antiviral therapy  2012;17(4):737-743.
Although recent WHO guidelines recommend withdrawing stavudine (d4T) from first-line ART therapy, it remains commonly used in resource-constrained settings. In 2006, WHO recommended decreasing the dose of d4T from 40mg to 30mg to mitigate toxicities. We compared the incidence and severity of peripheral neuropathy (PN) by d4T dose in a retrospective cohort study.
Patients’ charts from an ART-naïve population at a rural clinic in KZN, South Africa were retrospectively reviewed for signs and symptoms of incident PN and were graded for severity using the DAIDs scale. Patients enrolled prior to the WHO guideline change were enrolled if they were on d4T 40mg for at least 6 months. After the guideline change all patients were initiated on d4T 30mg.
A total of 475 patients were analyzed; 235 in the 40mg cohort (152.7 person-years [py]) and 240 in the 30mg cohort (244.7py). Incidence of peripheral neuropathy was 90.4/100 py (95% CI:75.9–106.8) in the 40mg cohort versus 40.5/100py (95% CI:32.9–49.3) in the 30mg group (incidence rate ratio [IRR]=0.45, p <0.0001). There was no difference in proportion of severe peripheral neuropathy cases (grade 3/4) between the cohorts; 8.3% in the 40mg group and 8.9% in the 30mg group (p=1.0). In a multivariate analysis risk of peripheral neuropathy was associated with increasing age (HR=1.65 95% CI:1.24–2.19), 40 mg dose (HR=2.1, 95% CI:1.61–2.74) and concurrent tuberculosis therapy (HR= 1.41 95% CI:1.06–1.87).
Incidence of peripheral neuropathy in the 40mg cohort was extremely high and though lower in the 30mg cohort, the rate was nonetheless unacceptably high.
PMCID: PMC3662496  PMID: 22414588
10.  Fractures after antiretroviral initiation 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(17):2175-2184.
Bone mineral density declines by 2–6% within 1–2 years after initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART); however, it is uncertain whether this results in an immediate or cumulative increase in fracture rates.
We evaluated the incidence and predictors of fracture in 4640 HIV-positive participants from 26 randomized ART studies followed in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Longitudinal-Linked Randomized Trial study for a median of 5 years. Fragility and nonfragility fractures were recorded prospectively at semiannual visits. Incidence was calculated as fractures/total person-years. Cox proportional hazards models evaluated effects of traditional fracture risks, HIV disease characteristics, and ART exposure on fracture incidence.
Median (interquartile range) age was 39 (33, 45) years; 83% were men, 48% white, and median nadir CD4 cell count was 187 (65, 308) cells/μl. Overall, 116 fractures were reported in 106 participants with median time-to-first fracture of 2.3 years. Fracture incidence was 0.40 of 100 person-years among all participants and 0.38 of 100 person-years among 3398 participants who were ART naive at enrollment into ACTG parent studies. Among ART-naive participants, fracture rates were higher within the first 2 years after ART initiation (0.53/100 person-years) than subsequent years (0.30/100 person-years). In a multivariate analysis of ART-naive participants, increased hazard of fracture was associated with current smoking and glucocorticoid use but not with exposure to specific antiretrovirals.
Fracture rates were higher within the first 2 years after ART initiation, relative to subsequent years. However, continuation of ART was not associated with increasing fracture rates in these relatively young HIV-positive individuals.
PMCID: PMC3652631  PMID: 22951635
antiretroviral initiation; bone loss; fracture; fracture incidence; HIV
11.  Neurological symptoms and signs in HTLV-1 patients with overactive bladder syndrome 
Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria  2012;70(4):252-256.
Compare neurological symptoms and signs in Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) asymptomatic carriers and HTLV-1 patients with overactive bladder (OB) syndrome.
We studied 102 HTLV-1 positive individuals without HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) divided into two groups according to the presence or absence of OB syndrome. Clinical interview, neurological exam and proviral load was performed in all patients.
Results and conclusions
Individuals with OB were more commonly female (84.3% vs. 60.8% of asymptomatics, P=0.01). The prevalence of neurological complaints was higher in OB group, especially hand or foot numbness and arm or leg weakness. There was no difference between the groups in neurological strength and reflexes. Weakness complaint remained strongly associated with OB in multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusting for sex and age [adjusted odds ratio and 95% CI 3.59(1.45–8.88) in arms and 6.68(2.63–16.93) in legs]. Proviral load was also different between the two groups with higher level on OB individuals.
PMCID: PMC3627489  PMID: 22510736
spinal cord diseases; urinary bladder; neurogenic; neurologic manifestations; paraparesis; tropical spastic; myelitis
12.  The Relationship Between Race and HIV-Distal Sensory Polyneuropathy in a Large Cohort of US Women 
Journal of the Neurological Sciences  2011;315(1-2):129-132.
HIV-distal sensory polyneuropathy (HIV-DSPN) is a common complication of HIV infection, yet race as a potential risk factor is not known.
Between April and October 2009, as part of the NIH Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), 1414 women, 973 of whom were HIV-infected, were clinically evaluated for peripheral neuropathy. Utilizing available clinical, laboratory, and sociodemographic variables, we conducted a cross-sectional analysis of factors associated with HIV-DSPN. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine factors independently associated with HIV-DSPN.
36% of HIV-infected women met our definition of HIV-DSPN. 41.3% of African Americans, 34.8% of Whites and 24.7% of Hispanics had DSPN. Age, Hepatitis C-co-infection, and diabetes were each significantly associated with HIV-DSPN. After controlling for age, diabetes, Hepatitis C co-infection, alcohol use, current dideoxy-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor use, current CD4 count, and plasma HIV viral load, HIV-DSPN was significantly associated with ethnicity; the odds ratio was 1.67 (p=0.001) in African-Americans compared to other racial groups.
The prevalence of HIV-DSPN in women was lower than reported in prior studies. The likelihood of HIV-DSPN was higher in African-Americans compared to other racial groups. HIV-DSPN was more common in those co-infected with Hepatitis C, older individuals, and diabetics. Further prospective studies are needed to explore the relationship between gender, race, and HIV-DSPN, and the mechanistic basis for racial differences.
PMCID: PMC3299869  PMID: 22123155
HIV-associated sensory polyneuropathy; African-Americans; race; women; gender; diabetes; Hepatitis C
13.  Epidemiological and Clinical Changes in American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis in an Area of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis Transmission Over a 20-Year Period 
The Health Post of Corte de Pedra is located in a region endemic for American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) in the Brazilian state of Bahia, and it treats 500–1,300 patients annually. To describe temporal changes in the epidemiology of ATL, we reviewed a random sample of 10% of patient charts (N = 1,209) from 1988 to 2008. There was a twofold increase in the number of cases over the 20-year period, with fluctuations in 10-year cycles. Patients were most frequently male, between the ages of 10 and 30 years, and engaged in agricultural labor; 4.3% of patients had mucosal disease, and 2.4% of patients had disseminated disease. Over the study period, the number of disseminated cases increased threefold, the proportion of cases in younger patients and agricultural workers decreased, and the proportion of patients residing in coastal areas increased. ATL is on the rise in Bahia, with a 10-year periodicity and evolving changes in epidemiology and manifestations of disease.
PMCID: PMC3284357  PMID: 22403312
14.  Factors Associated with Resistance to Schistosoma mansoni Infection in an Endemic Area of Bahia, Brazil 
Detailed knowledge of factors associated with resistance to Schistosoma mansoni infection in endemic areas might facilitate more effective schistosomiasis control. We conducted a cross-sectional study of persons resistant to schistosomiasis and found no association between socioeconomic status and resistance to infection. Mononuclear cells of resistant subjects produced higher levels of interleukin-5 (IL-5), IL-13 and interferon-γ upon stimulation with soluble egg antigen (SEA) compared with infected persons. When stimulated with Sm21.6 or Sm22.6, levels of IL-10 were higher in cell culture of resistant persons. Levels of IgE against soluble adult worm antigen (SWAP) and against interleukin-4–inducing principle from S. mansoni eggs (IPSE) and levels of IgG4 against SWAP, SEA, and Sm22.6 were lower in the resistant group compared with the susceptible group. Our data suggest that socioeconomic status could not fully explain resistance to S. mansoni infection observed in the studied area. However, a mixture of Th1 and Th2 immune responses and low levels of specific IgG4 against parasite antigens could be mediating resistance to infection.
PMCID: PMC3269284  PMID: 22302866
15.  IFN-γ Production to Leishmania Antigen Supplements the Leishmania Skin Test in Identifying Exposure to L. braziliensis Infection 
Cutaneous leishmaniasis due to L. braziliensis (CL) is characterized by a positive delayed type hypersensitivity test (DTH) leishmania skin test (LST) and high IFN-γ production to soluble leishmania antigen (SLA). The LST is used for diagnosis of CL and for identification of individuals exposed to leishmania infection but without disease. The main aim of the present study was to identify markers of exposure to L. braziliensis infection.
Methodolgy/Principal Findings
This cohort study enrolled 308 household contacts (HC) of 76 CL index cases. HC had no active or past history of leishmaniasis. For the present cross-sectional study cytokines and chemokines were determined in supernatants of whole blood culture stimulated with SLA. Of the 308 HC, 36 (11.7%) had a positive LST but in these IFN-γ was only detected in 22 (61.1%). Moreover of the 40 HC with evidence of IFN-γ production only 22 (55%) had a positive LST. A total of 54 (17.5%) of 308 HC had specific immune response to SLA. Only a moderate agreement (Kappa = 0.52; 95% CI: 0.36–0.66) was found between LST and IFN-γ production. Moreover while enhancement of CXCL10 in cultures stimulated with SLA was observed in HC with DTH+ and IFN-γ+ and in patients with IFN-γ+ and DTH−, no enhancement of this chemokine was observed in supernatants of cells of HC with DTH+ and IFN-γ−.
This study shows that in addition of LST, the evaluation of antigen specific IFN-γ production should be performed to determine evidence of exposure to leishmania infection. Moreover it suggests that in some HC production of IFN-γ and CXCL10 are performed by cells not involved with DTH reaction.
Author Summary
Both control of L. braziliensis infection and development of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) are dependent on the host immunological response. Due to the difficulty of finding parasites in leishmanial lesions, a delayed type hypersensitivity reaction - leishmania skin test (LST), is widely used to diagnose CL. In areas of L. braziliensis transmission a positive LST is also documented in up to 18% of individuals without disease, who are considered to be putatively resistant to leishmania infection. However the mechanisms involved in the control of parasite grow is not known. The aim of this study is to identify tests that could determine in house contact of CL (HC) without past or current evidence of leishmaniasis exposure to leishmania infection. We found that of the 308 HC, 36 (11.7%) had a positive LST but in these IFN-γ was only detected in 22 (61.1%). Moreover of the 40 HC with evidence of IFN-γ production only 22 (55%) had a positive LST. Therefore at least the two tests, the LST and IFN-γ production, should be used to determine exposure to L. braziliensis. Identification of subjects exposed to leishmania infection that may or may not develop CL is highly relevant to understand pathogenesis of L. braziliensis infection.
PMCID: PMC3527349  PMID: 23285304
16.  Seroincidence of 2009 H1N1 infection in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women prior to vaccine availability 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(9):1229-1232.
The 2009 H1N1 pandemic was a unique opportunity to investigate differences in influenza infection using serology by HIV status. Using serial serum specimens collected from 1 April to 30 September 2009 and the prior 2 years from Women’s Interagency HIV study participants, there was no difference in serologic evidence of 2009 H1N1 infection among HIV-infected women with a CD4 cell count at least 350 cells/µl compared with HIV-uninfected women. Owing to evidence showing a greater risk of influenza-related complications, HIV-infected individuals should continue to be a priority group for vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3442364  PMID: 21505313
17.  Vitamin D deficiency in HIV-infected and un-infected women in the US 
Vitamin D deficiency is of increasing concern in HIV-infected persons, because of its reported association with a number of negative health outcomes that are common in HIV. We undertook this study to determine the prevalence and predictors of vitamin D deficiency among a nationally representative cohort of middle-aged, ethnically diverse HIV-infected and uninfected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV study (WIHS).
Vitamin D testing was performed by Quest Diagnostics on frozen sera using the liquid chromatography/mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) method. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25 (OH) D ≤20 ng/ml. Comparisons of continuous and categorical characteristics among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women were made by Wilcoxon tests and Pearson chi-squared tests, respectively.
1778 women (1268 HIV+) were studied. 63% had vitamin D deficiency (60% HIV +vs. 72% HIV−; p<0.001). Multivariable predictors of Vitamin D Deficiency were being African American (AOR 3.02), Hispanic (AOR 1.40), Body mass index (AOR 1.43), Age (AOR 0.84), HIV+ (AOR 0.76), Glomerular filtration rate <90/ml/min (AOR 0.94) and WIHS site; Los Angeles (AOR 0.66), Chicago (AOR 0.63). In the HIV+ women multivariate predictors were; undetectable HIVRNA (AOR 0.69), CD4 50–200 cells/mm3 (AOR 1.60), CD4 <50 cells/mm3 (AOR 1.94) and recent Protease Inhibitor use (AOR 0.67).
In this study of over 1700 women in the US, most women with or without HIV infection had low vitamin D levels and African American women had the highest rates of Vitamin D deficiency. An understanding of the role that vitamin D deficiency plays in non-AIDS related morbidities is planned for investigation in WIHS.
PMCID: PMC3431159  PMID: 21471818
Vitamin D; Vitamin D Deficiency; HIV infected; HIV uninfected
18.  Management of the metabolic effects of HIV and HIV drugs 
Nature Reviews. Endocrinology  2011;8(1):11-21.
Morphologic and metabolic abnormalities, including subcutaneous adipose tissue wasting, central adipose tissue accumulation, dyslipidemia and disorders of glucose metabolism are common among HIV-infected patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease in this population. The pathogenesis of these disorders is due to complicated interactions between effects of chronic HIV infection, HAART medications, and patient factors, including genetic susceptibility. HAART has transformed HIV into a chronic condition for many patients and as a result the majority of HIV-infected patients in many areas of the developed world are ≥50 years. Since metabolic and cardiovascular diseases increase with aging, knowledge of the optimal management of these conditions is essential for practitioners caring for HIV-infected patients, including endocrine subspecialists. This Review highlights the clinical management of these disorders, focusing on the most recent evidence regarding the efficacy of treatment strategies, newly available medications and potential interactions between HAART medications and medications used to treat metabolic disorders.
PMCID: PMC3371609  PMID: 21931374
19.  Clinical Manifestations in Individuals with Recent Diagnosis of HTLV Type I Infection 
Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is known to cause HTLV-associated myelopathy (HAM)/tropical spastic paraparesis and adult T cell leukemia. A growing body of evidence links HTLV-1 infection with an increasing spectrum of disease, including uveitis, periodontal disease, arthropathy, sicca syndrome, and neurologic deficits.
Despite recent findings, the natural history of HTLV-1 infection remains poorly defined. This study was designed to better characterize initial clinical and neurological findings in individuals diagnosed with HTLV-1 infection.
Study Design
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 71 individuals recently diagnosed with HTLV-1 and 71 uninfected age- and sex-matched blood donors in Salvador, Brazil. Subjects were administered a standardized questionnaire and underwent physical exam.
HTLV-1 infected subjects were significantly more likely than controls to report complaints of hand and foot numbness (OR=5.3; 95% CI: 1.8-15.3; p=0.002 and OR=4.0; 95% CI: 1.3-12; p=0.013 respectively), difficulty running (OR=4.0; 95% CI: 1.1-14.2, p=0.032), nocturia (OR=5.0, 95% CI: 1.1-22.8, p=0.038), arthralgia (OR 3.3, 95% CI: 1.4-7.7, p=0.006), and photophobia (OR 3.3, 95% CI: 1.4-7.7, p=0.006).
Neurologic, ocular and rheumatologic complaints may be the first manifestations of HTLV-1 infection. Therefore, all patients presenting with initial diagnosis should be rigorously screened for these symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3074002  PMID: 21388871
HTLV-1; neurologic manifestations; clinical manifestations; neuropathy; natural history
20.  Change in High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Levels Following Initiation of Efavirenz-Based Antiretroviral Regimens in HIV-Infected Individuals 
Elevations in C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, increased HIV disease progression, and death in HIV-infected patients. Use of abacavir has been reported to increase CVD risk. We assessed the effect of virologically suppressive efavirenz (EFV)-based antiretroviral therapy on high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) levels over a 96-week period with particular attention to the effect of gender and abacavir use. Banked sera from entry and week 96 visits of AIDS Clinical Trials Group A5095 participants were assayed for hsCRP, then analyzed by gender, abacavir randomization, and for correlation with changes in fasting metabolic parameters. Analyses of hsCRP were conducted in two phases and involved a total of 145 men and 51 women. hsCRP did not differ by gender at baseline but higher levels were seen at week 96 in women (median 6 mg/liter; Q1, Q3, 1.8, 13.8) compared to men (median 1.6 mg/liter; Q1, Q3, 0.9, 4.2, p < 0.001), with an estimated shift in hsCRP by gender of 2.5 mg/liter (95% CI 1.0, 5.1). There was no difference in hsCRP levels by abacavir use. Changes in hsCRP did not correlate with changes in insulin resistance or with changes in fasting lipids. Durably virologically suppressive therapy with EFV-based regimens did not decrease hsCRP levels over a 96-week period. hsCRP levels increased significantly only in women. Randomization to abacavir had no effect on changes in hsCRP levels. Changes in hsCRP levels did not correlate with changes in fasting metabolic parameters.
PMCID: PMC3083724  PMID: 20863238
21.  Antihelminthic Therapy and Antimony in Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Patients Co-Infected with Helminths and Leishmania braziliensis 
Helminth infections influence the clinical response to certain diseases and are associated with delayed healing time of patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) caused by Leishmania braziliensis. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to examine the role of early versus deferred treatment of intestinal helminth infection on the clinical course of patients with CL treated with pentavalent antimony. ( number NCT00469495). A total of 90 patients were enrolled, 51.1% (N = 23) of control patients had persistent lesions at Day 90, compared with 62.2% (N = 28) in the treatment group (difference 11.1%, 95% confidence interval = −9.1–30.0%). There was no statistically significant difference in overall time to cure between groups, although there was a tendency for shorter cure times in the control group. This study shows that early introduction of antihelminthic therapy does not improve clinical outcome in patients co-infected with helminths and L. braziliensis.
PMCID: PMC3062447  PMID: 21460008
22.  Helminthic infection and the risk of neurologic disease progression in HTLV-1 
Journal of Clinical Virology  2012;53(3):251-255.
Infection with the human T-cell lymphotropic virus, type 1 (HTLV-1) has been associated with an increased Th1 response. Interestingly, a higher prevalence of helminthic coinfection has been observed among infected individuals, and subsequent modulation of the immune response typically associated with helminths may influence clinical outcomes among HTLV-1 coinfected individuals.
This study was conducted to elucidate the association between helminthic coinfection and the development of clinically characterized neurologic disease that occurs in HTLV-1 infection.
Study design
In a cohort analysis, incidence of HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) was recorded. Incidence of clinical outcomes and disease-free survival of several neurologic outcomes associated with HTLV-1 were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method with log-rank tests. The relationships between helminthic infection and risk of HTLV-1 neurologic outcomes were assessed by Cox proportional hazard modeling.
Seventy-four coinfected and 79 non-coinfected patients were followed, with 92 helminthic infections observed in the coinfected group. One patient per group developed HAM/TSP and the risk of progression to neurologic disease outcomes did not differ among those with and without helminthic coinfection (p > 0.45). A significant difference was noted in the prevalence of neurologic disease outcomes among all patients at the conclusion of the study (p < 0.01).
These data suggest that treated helminthic infection does not affect risk of development of neurologic disease in HTLV-1 infection, and reinforce that treatment of helminths does not adversely affect patients with HTLV-1. Importantly, among all patients, an overall progression of neurologic disease was observed.
PMCID: PMC3279602  PMID: 22237002
HTLV-1; HAM/TSP; Neurologic disease; Helminths; Survival analysis
23.  Glycemic Control in HIV-Infected Patients with Diabetes Mellitus and Rates of Meeting American Diabetes Association Management Guidelines 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2011;25(1):5-12.
Limited data exist on the prevalence of inadequate glycemic control and rates of meeting American Diabetic Association (ADA) management guidelines in HIV-infected adults with diabetes mellitus. We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study of 142 HIV-infected adults with type 2 diabetes at an urban academic HIV clinic during 2008. We estimated the prevalence of and assessed associations with inadequate glycemic control, defined as hemoglobin A1c ≥7.5% for ≥50% of quarters over the year, and determined rates of meeting ADA clinical goals. Ninety-two percent of patients received antiretroviral therapy. The prevalence of inadequate glycemic control was 33% (95% confidence interval [CI] 25%–42%). Compared to patients with adequate control, those with inadequate control had fewer years since HIV diagnosis (12.7 versus 15.1, p = 0.01), increased use of insulin (60% versus 20%, p < 0.001) or any diabetic medication (98% versus 85%, p = 0.02), and higher triglyceride levels (238 versus 168 mg/dL, p = 0.008). Rates of achieving ADA goals were 42% for blood pressure, 66% for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), 33% for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and 31% for triglycerides. Thirty-six percent of patients who did not meet the LDL-C goal received statin therapy. Forty-seven percent of patients were screened for retinopathy and 19% of patients without preexisting renal disease were screened for nephropathy. In conclusion, the prevalence of inadequate glycemic control in HIV-infected patients with diabetes is similar to published data from the general population. Suboptimal rates of meeting ADA blood pressure and lipid goals and adherence to screening guidelines demonstrate need for further clinician and patient education.
PMCID: PMC3030908  PMID: 21214374
25.  A Pilot Study to Determine the Impact on Dyslipidemia of Adding Tenofovir to Stable Background Antiretroviral Therapy: ACTG 5206 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(11):1781-1784.
Several studies have reported improvements in lipids after antiretroviral therapy (ART) switches to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)-containing regimens. We assessed lipid-lowering effects of TDF by adding it to a stable ART regimen in this double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. We demonstrated that non-HDL-C, LDL-C and TC improved significantly over TDF vs. placebo treatment in HIV-infected individuals with dyslipidemia. Adding TDF to stable, virologically-suppressive ART regimens improved lipid parameters, supporting a lipid-lowering effect of TDF.
PMCID: PMC2913151  PMID: 20495438
Dyslipidemia; Tenofovir; Complications of Antiretroviral therapy

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