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1.  Disparities in the Quality of HIV Care When Using US Department of Health and Human Services Indicators 
Althoff, Keri N. | Rebeiro, Peter | Brooks, John T. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly | Martin, Jeffrey | Hogg, Robert | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Klein, Marina | Gill, M. John | Sterling, Timothy R. | Yehia, Baligh | Silverberg, Michael J. | Crane, Heidi | Justice, Amy C. | Gange, Stephen J. | Moore, Richard | Kitahata, Mari M. | Horberg, Michael A. | Kirk, Gregory D. | Benson, Constance A. | Bosch, Ronald J. | Collier, Ann C. | Boswell, Stephen | Grasso, Chris | Mayer, Kenneth H. | Hogg, Robert S. | Richard Harrigan, P. | Montaner, Julio SG | Cescon, Angela | Samji, Hasina | Brooks, John T. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly A. | Moore, Richard D. | Moore, Richard D. | Carey, John T. | Horberg, Michael A. | Silverberg, Michael J. | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Goedert, James J. | Jacobson, Lisa P. | Klein, Marina B. | Rourke, Sean B. | Burchell, Ann N. | Rachlis, Anita R. | Hunter-Mellado, Robert F. | Mayor, Angel M. | Gill, M.John | Deeks, Steven G. | Martin, Jeffrey N. | Saag, Michael S. | Mugavero, Michael J. | Willig, James | Eron, Joseph J. | Napravnik, Sonia | Kitahata, Mari M. | Crane, Heidi M. | Justice, Amy C. | Dubrow, Robert | Fiellin, David | Sterling, Timothy R. | Haas, David | Bebawy, Sally | Turner, Megan | Gange, Stephen J. | Anastos, Kathryn | Moore, Richard D. | Saag, Michael S. | Gange, Stephen J. | Kitahata, Mari M. | Althoff, Keri N. | McKaig, Rosemary G. | Justice, Amy C. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Moore, Richard D. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Lent, Carol | Kitahata, Mari M. | Van Rompaey, Stephen E. | Crane, Heidi M. | Morton, Liz | McReynolds, Justin | Lober, William B. | Gange, Stephen J. | Althoff, Keri N. | Abraham, Alison G. | Lau, Bryan | Zhang, Jinbing | Jing, Jerry | Golub, Elizabeth | Modur, Shari | Hanna, David B. | Rebeiro, Peter | Wong, Cherise | Mendes, Adell
We estimated US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)–approved human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) indicators. Among patients, 71% were retained in care, 82% were prescribed treatment, and 78% had HIV RNA ≤200 copies/mL; younger adults, women, blacks, and injection drug users had poorer outcomes. Interventions are needed to reduce retention- and treatment-related disparities.
doi:10.1093/cid/ciu044
PMCID: PMC3967825  PMID: 24463281
HIV; quality of care; retention in care; antiretroviral therapy; HIV RNA suppression
2.  Hepatitis C Viremia and the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease in HIV-Infected Individuals 
Lucas, Gregory M. | Jing, Yuezhou | Sulkowski, Mark | Abraham, Alison G. | Estrella, Michelle M. | Atta, Mohamed G. | Fine, Derek M. | Klein, Marina B. | Silverberg, Michael J. | Gill, M. John | Moore, Richard D. | Gebo, Kelly A. | Sterling, Timothy R. | Butt, Adeel A. | Kirk, Gregory D. | Benson, Constance A. | Bosch, Ronald J. | Collier, Ann C. | Boswell, Stephen | Grasso, Chris | Mayer, Ken | Hogg, Robert S. | Harrigan, Richard | Montaner, Julio | Cescon, Angela | Brooks, John T. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly A. | Moore, Richard D. | Carey, John T. | Rodriguez, Benigno | Horberg, Michael A. | Silverberg, Michael J. | Horberg, Michael A. | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Goedert, James J. | Jacobson, Lisa P. | Klein, Marina B. | Rourke, Sean B. | Burchell, Ann | Rachlis, Anita R. | Rico, Puerto | Hunter-Mellado, Robert F. | Mayor, Angel M. | Gill, M. John | Deeks, Steven G. | Martin, Jeffrey N. | Patel, Pragna | Brooks, John T. | Saag, Michael S. | Mugavero, Michael J. | Willig, James | Eron, Joseph J. | Napravnik, Sonia | Kitahata, Mari M. | Crane, Heidi M. | Justice, Amy C. | Dubrow, Robert | Fiellin, David | Sterling, Timothy R. | Haas, David | Bebawy, Sally | Turner, Megan | Gange, Stephen J. | Anastos, Kathryn | Moore, Richard D. | Saag, Michael S. | Gange, Stephen J. | Kitahata, Mari M. | McKaig, Rosemary G. | Justice, Amy C. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Moore, Richard D. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Lent, Carol | Kitahata, Mari M. | Van Rompaey, Stephen E. | Crane, Heidi M. | Webster, Eric | Morton, Liz | Simon, Brenda | Gange, Stephen J. | Althoff, Keri N. | Abraham, Alison G. | Lau, Bryan | Zhang, Jinbing | Jing, Jerry | Golub, Elizabeth | Modur, Shari | Hanna, David B. | Rebeiro, Peter | Wong, Cherise | Mendes, Adell
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(8):1240-1249.
Background. The role of active hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication in chronic kidney disease (CKD) risk has not been clarified.
Methods. We compared CKD incidence in a large cohort of HIV-infected subjects who were HCV seronegative, HCV viremic (detectable HCV RNA), or HCV aviremic (HCV seropositive, undetectable HCV RNA). Stages 3 and 5 CKD were defined according to standard criteria. Progressive CKD was defined as a sustained 25% glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decrease from baseline to a GFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2. We used Cox models to calculate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results. A total of 52 602 HCV seronegative, 9508 HCV viremic, and 913 HCV aviremic subjects were included. Compared with HCV seronegative subjects, HCV viremic subjects were at increased risk for stage 3 CKD (adjusted HR 1.36 [95% CI, 1.26, 1.46]), stage 5 CKD (1.95 [1.64, 2.31]), and progressive CKD (1.31 [1.19, 1.44]), while HCV aviremic subjects were also at increased risk for stage 3 CKD (1.19 [0.98, 1.45]), stage 5 CKD (1.69 [1.07, 2.65]), and progressive CKD (1.31 [1.02, 1.68]).
Conclusions. Compared with HIV-infected subjects who were HCV seronegative, both HCV viremic and HCV aviremic individuals were at increased risk for moderate and advanced CKD.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jit373
PMCID: PMC3778973  PMID: 23904290
HIV; hepatitis C virus; chronic kidney disease; hepatitis C RNA; cohort study; glomerular filtration rate; injection drug use
3.  Trends and Disparities in Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation and Virologic Suppression Among Newly Treatment-Eligible HIV-Infected Individuals in North America, 2001–2009 
Hanna, David B. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly A. | Hessol, Nancy A. | Horberg, Michael A. | Jacobson, Lisa P. | Kirk, Gregory D. | Kitahata, Mari M. | Korthuis, P. Todd | Moore, Richard D. | Napravnik, Sonia | Patel, Pragna | Silverberg, Michael J. | Sterling, Timothy R. | Willig, James H. | Lau, Bryan | Althoff, Keri N. | Crane, Heidi M. | Collier, Ann C. | Samji, Hasina | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Gill, M. John | Klein, Marina B. | Martin, Jeffrey N. | Rodriguez, Benigno | Rourke, Sean B. | Gange, Stephen J. | Benson, A. | Bosch, Ronald J. | Collier, Ann C. | Boswell, Stephen | Grasso, Chris | Mayer, Ken | Hogg, Robert S. | Harrigan, Richard | Montaner, Julio | Cescon, Angela | Brooks, John T. | Buchacz, Kate | Gebo, Kelly A. | Moore, Richard D. | Rodriguez, Benigno | Horberg, Michael A. | Silverberg, Michael J. | Thorne, Jennifer E. | Goedert, James J. | Jacobson, Lisa P. | Klein, Marina B. | Rourke, Sean B. | Burchell, Ann | Rachlis, Anita R. | Hunter-Mellado, Robert F. | Mayor, Angel M. | Gill, M. John | Deeks, Steven G. | Martin, Jeffrey N. | Saag, Michael S. | Mugavero, Michael J. | Willig, James | Eron, Joseph J. | Napravnik, Sonia | Kitahata, Mari M. | Crane, Heidi M. | Justice, Amy C. | Dubrow, Robert | Fiellin, David | Sterling, Timothy R. | Haas, David | Bebawy, Sally | Turner, Megan | Gange, Stephen J. | Anastos, Kathryn | Moore, Richard D. | Saag, Michael S. | Gange, Stephen J. | Kitahata, Mari M. | McKaig, Rosemary G. | Justice, Amy C. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Moore, Richard D. | Freeman, Aimee M. | Lent, Carol | Platt, Aaron | Kitahata, Mari M. | Van Rompaey, Stephen E. | Crane, Heidi M. | Webster, Eric | Morton, Liz | Simon, Brenda | Gange, Stephen J. | Abraham, Alison G. | Lau, Bryan | Althoff, Keri N. | Zhang, Jinbing | Jing, Jerry | Golub, Elizabeth | Modur, Shari | Hanna, David B. | Rebeiro, Peter | Wong, Cherise | Mendes, Adell
In the last decade, timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy and resulting virologic suppression have greatly improved in North America concurrent with the development of better tolerated and more potent regimens, but significant barriers to treatment uptake remain.
Background. Since the mid-1990s, effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens have improved in potency, tolerability, ease of use, and class diversity. We sought to examine trends in treatment initiation and resulting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) virologic suppression in North America between 2001 and 2009, and demographic and geographic disparities in these outcomes.
Methods. We analyzed data on HIV-infected individuals newly clinically eligible for ART (ie, first reported CD4+ count <350 cells/µL or AIDS-defining illness, based on treatment guidelines during the study period) from 17 North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design cohorts. Outcomes included timely ART initiation (within 6 months of eligibility) and virologic suppression (≤500 copies/mL, within 1 year). We examined time trends and considered differences by geographic location, age, sex, transmission risk, race/ethnicity, CD4+ count, and viral load, and documented psychosocial barriers to ART initiation, including non–injection drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and mental illness.
Results. Among 10 692 HIV-infected individuals, the cumulative incidence of 6-month ART initiation increased from 51% in 2001 to 72% in 2009 (Ptrend < .001). The cumulative incidence of 1-year virologic suppression increased from 55% to 81%, and among ART initiators, from 84% to 93% (both Ptrend < .001). A greater number of psychosocial barriers were associated with decreased ART initiation, but not virologic suppression once ART was initiated. We found significant heterogeneity by state or province of residence (P < .001).
Conclusions. In the last decade, timely ART initiation and virologic suppression have greatly improved in North America concurrent with the development of better-tolerated and more potent regimens, but significant barriers to treatment uptake remain, both at the individual level and systemwide.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit003
PMCID: PMC3657490  PMID: 23315317
antiretroviral therapy; healthcare disparities; HIV; time factors; viral load
4.  Prognostic importance of anaemia in HIV-1 infected patients starting antiretroviral therapy: collaborative analysis of prospective cohort studies in industrialized countries 
Antiviral therapy  2008;13(8):959-967.
Background
In HIV-1 infected patients starting highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the prognostic value of haemoglobin when starting HAART, and of changes in haemoglobin levels, are not well defined.
Methods
We combined data from 10 prospective studies of 12,100 previously untreated individuals (25% women). A total of 4,222 patients (35%) were anaemic: 131 patients (1.1%) had severe (<8.0 g/dl), 1120 (9%) had moderate (males: 8.0 to <11.0 g/dl, females 8.0 to <10.0 g/dl) and 2971 (25%) had mild anaemia (males 11.0 to <13.0 g/dl, females 10.0 to <12.0 g/dl). We separately analyzed progression to AIDS or death from baseline and six months using Weibull models, adjusting for CD4 cell count, age, sex, and other variables.
Results
During 48,420 person-years of follow-up 1,448 patients developed at least one AIDS event and 857 patients died. Anaemia at baseline was independently associated with higher mortality: the adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) for mild anaemia was 1.42 (1.17–1.73), for moderate anaemia 2.56 (2.07–3.18) and for severe anaemia 5.26 (3.55–7.81). Corresponding figures for progression to AIDS were 1.60 (1.37–1.86), 2.00 (1.66–2.40) and 2.24 (1.46–3.42). At 6 months the prevalence of anaemia had declined to 26%. Baseline anaemia continued to predict mortality (and to a lesser extent progression to AIDS) in patients with normal haemoglobin or mild anaemia at 6 months.
Conclusions
Anaemia at the start of HAART is an important prognostic factor for short and long term prognosis, including in patients whose haemoglobin levels improve or normalize during the first 6 months of HAART.
PMCID: PMC4507810  PMID: 19195321
HIV/AIDS; highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART); anaemia; prognosis; mortality
5.  Cohort Profile: Antiretroviral Therapy Cohort Collaboration (ART-CC) 
The advent of effective combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 1996 resulted in fewer patients experiencing clinical events, so that some prognostic analyses of individual cohort studies of human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals had low statistical power. Because of this, the Antiretroviral Therapy Cohort Collaboration (ART-CC) of HIV cohort studies in Europe and North America was established in 2000, with the aim of studying the prognosis for clinical events in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the mortality of adult patients treated for HIV-1 infection. In 2002, the ART-CC collected data on more than 12,000 patients in 13 cohorts who had begun combination ART between 1995 and 2001. Subsequent updates took place in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. The ART-CC data base now includes data on more than 70 000 patients participating in 19 cohorts who began treatment before the end of 2009. Data are collected on patient demographics (e.g. sex, age, assumed transmission group, race/ethnicity, geographical origin), HIV biomarkers (e.g. CD4 cell count, plasma viral load of HIV-1), ART regimen, dates and types of AIDS events, and dates and causes of death. In recent years, additional data on co-infections such as hepatitis C; risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and drug use; non-HIV biomarkers such as haemoglobin and liver enzymes; and adherence to ART have been collected whenever available. The data remain the property of the contributing cohorts, whose representatives manage the ART-CC via the steering committee of the Collaboration. External collaboration is welcomed. Details of contacts are given on the ART-CC website (www.art-cohort-collaboration.org).
doi:10.1093/ije/dyt010
PMCID: PMC4052127  PMID: 23599235
HIV; AIDS; cohort study; antiretroviral therapy; prognosis
6.  HIV Viremia and Incidence of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Patients Successfully Treated With Antiretroviral Therapy 
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma incidence is high in HIV-infected patients successfully treated with antiretroviral therapy. HIV replication, even at low levels, may be an important modifiable risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Background. The incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients remains high despite treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Methods. We evaluated NHL incidence in HIV-infected patients followed in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems who started combination ART and achieved suppression of HIV. We estimated the hazard ratio for NHL by time-varying HIV viremia categories, accounting for time-varying CD4 cell count using marginal structural models.
Results. We observed 37 incident NHL diagnoses during 21 607 person-years of follow-up in 6036 patients (incidence rate, 171 per 100 000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 124–236). NHL incidence was high even among patients with nadir CD4 cell count >200 cells/µL (140 per 100 000 person-years [95% CI, 80–247]). Compared with ≤50 copies/mL, hazard ratios (HRs) for NHL were higher among those with HIV viremia of 51–500 copies/mL (HR current = 1.66 [95% CI, .70–3.94]; HR 3-month lagged = 2.10 [95% CI, .84–5.22]; and HR 6-month lagged = 1.46 [95% CI, .60–3.60]) and >500 copies/mL (HR current = 2.39 [95% CI, .92–6.21]; HR 3-month lagged = 3.56 [95% CI, 1.21–10.49]; and HR 6-month lagged = 2.50 [95% CI, .91–6.84]). Current HIV RNA as a continuous variable was also associated with NHL (HR = 1.42 per log10 copies/mL [95% CI, 1.05–1.92]).
Conclusions. Our findings demonstrate a high incidence of NHL among HIV-infected patients on ART and suggest a role of HIV viremia in the pathogenesis of NHL. Earlier initiation of potent ART and maximal continuous suppression of HIV viremia may further reduce NHL risk.
doi:10.1093/cid/ciu076
PMCID: PMC4017888  PMID: 24523217
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; HIV; antiretroviral therapy; incidence; viremia
7.  Factors Associated with Delayed Hepatitis B Viral Suppression on Tenofovir Among HBV-HIV Coinfected Patients in the CNICS Cohort 
Background
Despite widespread use in HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, the effectiveness of tenofovir (TDF) has not been studied extensively outside of small HBV-HIV coinfected cohorts. We examined the effect of prior lamivudine treatment (3TC) and other factors on HBV DNA suppression with TDF in a multi-site clinical cohort of coinfected patients.
Methods
We studied all patients enrolled in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems cohort from 1996-2011 who had chronic HBV and HIV infection, initiated a TDF-based regimen continued for ≥3 months and had on-treatment HBV measurements. We used Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox-Proportional hazards to estimate time to suppression (HBV DNA level <200 IU/ml or <1000 copies/ml) by selected covariates.
Results
Among 397 coinfected patients on TDF, 91% were also on emtricitabine or 3TC concurrently, 92% of those tested were HBeAg-positive, 196 (49%) had prior 3TC exposure; 192 (48%) achieved HBV DNA suppression over a median of 28 months (IQR 13-71). Median time to HBV DNA suppression was 17 months for those who were 3TC-naïve and 50 months for those who were 3TC-exposed. After controlling for other factors, prior 3TC exposure, baseline HBV DNA level >10,000 IU/ml, and lower nadir CD4 count were independently associated with decreased likelihood of HBV DNA suppression on TDF.
Conclusion
These results emphasize the role of prior 3TC exposure and immune response on delayed HBV suppression on TDF.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000126
PMCID: PMC3981874  PMID: 24500175
hepatitis B virus; tenofovir; lamivudine; HIV
8.  Relationship of immunologic response to antiretroviral therapy with non-AIDS-defining cancer incidence 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(7):979-987.
Objective
To estimate the association between immunologic response to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and non-AIDS-defining cancer (NADC) incidence in HIV-infected patients.
Design
Prospective cohort including patients with ≥1 CD4 count and HIV-1 RNA measure after ART initiation between 1996 and 2011 in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems, a collaboration of 8 HIV clinics at major academic medical centers in the United States.
Methods
Measures of immunologic response were six-month CD4 post-ART, latest CD4, and CD4 count-years, a cumulative measure of CD4 lymphopenia. Cox regression with inverse probability-of-exposure weights was used to calculate adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of virus-related and virus-unrelated NADC incidence.
Results
Among 9389 patients at ART initiation, median CD4 count was 200 cells/mm3 (IQR=60–332), and median HIV-1 RNA was 4.8 log10copies/ml (IQR=4.3–5.4). Median follow-up was 3.3 years (IQR=1.5–6.5). After six months of ART, median CD4 count was 304 cells/mm3 (IQR=163–469). 164 NADCs were diagnosed during study follow-up; 65 (40%) considered virus-related. Virus-related NADCs were inversely associated with six-month CD4 (HR per 100 cells/mm3 increase=0.71), latest CD4 (HR per 100 cells/mm3 increase=0.70), and CD4 count-years (HR per 200 cell-years/mm3 increase=0.91) independent of CD4 at ART initiation, age, and HIV-1 RNA response. No associations were found with virus-unrelated NADCs.
Conclusions
Poor CD4 response was strongly associated with virus-related NADC incidence, suggesting an important role for T-cell-mediated immunity in pathogenesis. Lower CD4 proximal to cancer diagnosis may be a result of subclinical cancer. Intensified cancer screening should be considered for patients on ART with low CD4 counts.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0000000000000167
PMCID: PMC4040952  PMID: 24681415
Antiretroviral therapy; Cancers; HIV infections; Immune reconstitution; CD4; Tumor virus infections
9.  Qualitative Investigation of a Brief Chronic Pain Screening Tool in HIV-Infected Patients 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2014;28(4):176-182.
Abstract
Chronic pain in HIV-infected patients is prevalent but understudied. A limitation of HIV/chronic pain research to date is the lack of a widely used chronic pain screening tool. A Brief Chronic Pain Screening tool (BCPS) has been described, but has not yet been tested in a clinical population. This study sought to evaluate how the BCPS is experienced by HIV-infected individuals, and adapt its questions if necessary. We conducted cognitive interviews using cognitive inquiry in participants from the UAB 1917 HIV Clinic Cohort. Data were analyzed using a process of inductive, iterative coding by three investigators. Results: Of 30 participants, most were male, African American, and less than 50 years old. Participants reported that the questions were understandable; however, feedback suggested concerns regarding lack of specificity in regard to the intensity and consistency of pain. An introductory statement aimed at improving clarity resulted in more divergent responses. This research team concluded that the version of the BCPS used in the first 30 interviews was optimum. Its inclusive language allows the respondent to decide what pain merits reporting. This study is the first investigation of the BCPS in a clinical population, and should lead to further quantitative validation studies of this tool.
doi:10.1089/apc.2014.0006
PMCID: PMC3985507  PMID: 24621145
10.  Mortality after cancer diagnosis in HIV-infected individuals treated with antiretroviral therapy 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(5):691-700.
Objectives
To evaluate survival and predictors of mortality after cancer diagnosis among HIV-infected persons receiving combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).
Design
Multisite cohort study.
Methods
We examined all-cause mortality among HIV-infected patients treated with cART in routine care at eight US sites and diagnosed with cancer between 1996 and 2009, and predictors of mortality using Cox proportional hazards regression models. Non-AIDS-defining cancers (NADCs) were classified as related and unrelated to viral coinfections.
Results
Out of 20 677 persons in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems cohort, 650 cART-treated individuals developed invasive cancer. Of these, 305 died during 1480 person-years of follow-up; crude mortality rate was 20.6 per 100 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI) 18.4, 23.1] and overall 2-year survival was 58% (95% CI 54, 62). Highest mortality was seen in primary central nervous system non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, liver, and lung cancer with rates of 90.6, 84.3, and 68.1 per 100 person-years, respectively. Adjusted hazard of death was higher among those who were older and had stage IV cancer. Adjusted hazard of death was lower among those with higher CD4 cell counts at cancer diagnosis, who achieved HIV-RNA suppression (≤400 copies/ml) on cART, received any cancer treatment, and had AIDS-defining cancer or infection-related NADCs compared to infection-unrelated NADCs.
Conclusion
Independent predictors of mortality after cancer diagnosis among HIV-infected persons include poor immune status, failure to suppress HIV-RNA on cART, cancer stage, and lack of cancer treatment. Modification of these factors with improved strategies for the prevention and treatment of HIV and HIV-associated malignancies are needed.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283437f77
PMCID: PMC4379707  PMID: 21160411
antiretroviral therapy; cancer; HIV; mortality; survival
11.  Low-Frequency Nevirapine (NVP)–Resistant HIV-1 Variants Are Not Associated With Failure of Antiretroviral Therapy in Women Without Prior Exposure to Single-Dose NVP 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2014;209(5):703-710.
Background. Low-frequency nevirapine (NVP)–resistant variants have been associated with virologic failure (VF) of initial NVP-based combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in women with prior exposure to single-dose NVP (sdNVP). We investigated whether a similar association exists in women without prior sdNVP exposure.
Methods. Pre-cART plasma was analyzed by allele-specific polymerase chain reaction to quantify NVP-resistant mutants in human immunodeficiency virus–infected African women without prior sdNVP who were starting first-line NVP-based cART in the OCTANE/A5208 trial 2. Associations between NVP-resistant mutants and VF or death were determined and compared with published results from women participating in the OCTANE/A5208 trial 1 who had taken sdNVP and initiated NVP-based cART.
Results. Pre-cART NVP-resistant variants were detected in 18% (39/219) of women without prior sdNVP exposure, compared to 45% (51/114) with prior sdNVP exposure (P < .001). Among women without prior sdNVP exposure, 8 of 39 (21%) with NVP-resistant variants experienced VF or death vs 31 of 180 (17%) without such variants (P = .65); this compares with 21 of 51 (41%) vs 9 of 63 (14%) among women with prior exposure (P = .001).
Conclusions. The risk of VF on NVP-based cART from NVP-resistant variants differs between sdNVP-exposed and -unexposed women. This difference may be driven by drug-resistance mutations emerging after sdNVP exposure that are linked on the same viral genome.
Clinical Trials Registration NCT00089505.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jit635
PMCID: PMC3923545  PMID: 24443547
minor drug-resistant variants; single-dose nevirapine; antiretroviral therapy failure
12.  Low back pain and associated imaging findings among HIV-infected patients referred to an HIV/palliative care clinic 
Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)  2013;15(3):418-424.
Background
Low back pain is a common cause of chronic pain in HIV-infected patients. The American College of Physicians and American Pain Society guidelines for diagnostic imaging in low back pain are difficult to apply to patients with chronic illnesses like HIV who may have risk factors for cancer or compression fractures, but whether imaging all such patients for low back pain improves outcomes is unknown.
Objective
Our objective was to describe patients referred to a chronic pain-focused HIV/Palliative care clinic with back pain, and their associated lumbar spine imaging findings.
Methods
We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients at a palliative care clinic that sees patients with HIV, most of whom have chronic pain. Charts with a diagnosis of low back pain were cross-referenced with an imaging database, and any MRIs of the lumbar spine with or without contrast were identified.
Results
Seventy-six patients of 137 patients referred to the HIV/palliative care clinic were found to have back pain. These patients were mainly young (median age 45, IQR 40–51) with well-controlled HIV. Twenty-two (29%) of these patients had an MRI of the lumbar spine, and 11 (50%) of these warranted follow-up, most of whom had degenerative disc disease, including four with findings concerning for malignancy.
Discussion
This is the first study to explore the role of spinal imaging in HIV-infected patients. In our study, four patients had findings concerning for malignancy. These findings suggest that spinal imaging should be performed in the work up of HIV-infected patients with moderate to severe back pain.
doi:10.1111/pme.12239
PMCID: PMC3949151  PMID: 24033875
HIV; low back pain; radiology; chronic pain
13.  Outcomes by Sex Following Treatment Initiation With Atazanavir Plus Ritonavir or Efavirenz With Abacavir/Lamivudine or Tenofovir/Emtricitabine 
Smith, Kimberly Y. | Tierney, Camlin | Mollan, Katie | Venuto, Charles S. | Budhathoki, Chakra | Ma, Qing | Morse, Gene D. | Sax, Paul | Katzenstein, David | Godfrey, Catherine | Fischl, Margaret | Daar, Eric S. | Collier, Ann C. | Bolivar, Hector H. | Navarro, Sandra | Koletar, Susan L. | Gochnour, Diane | Seefried, Edward | Hoffman, Julie | Feinberg, Judith | Saemann, Michelle | Patterson, Kristine | Pittard, Donna | Currin, David | Upton, Kerry | Saag, Michael | Ray, Graham | Johnson, Steven | Santos, Bartolo | Funk, Connie A. | Morgan, Michael | Jackson, Brenda | Tebas, Pablo | Thomas, Aleshia | Kim, Ge-Youl | Klebert, Michael K. | Santana, Jorge L. | Marrero, Santiago | Norris, Jane | Valle, Sandra | Cox, Gary Matthew | Silberman, Martha | Shaik, Sadia | Lopez, Ruben | Vasquez, Margie | Daskalakis, Demetre | Megill, Christina | Shore, Jessica | Taiwo, Babafemi | Goldman, Mitchell | Boston, Molly | Lennox, Jeffrey | del Rio, Carlos | Lane, Timothy W. | Epperson, Kim | Luetkemeyer, Annie | Payne, Mary | Gripshover, Barbara | Antosh, Dawn | Reid, Jane | Adams, Mary | Storey, Sheryl S. | Dunaway, Shelia B. | Gallant, Joel | Wiggins, Ilene | Smith, Kimberly Y. | Swiatek, Joan A. | Timpone, Joseph | Kumar, Princy | Moe, Ardis | Palmer, Maria | Gothing, Jon | Delaney, Joanne | Whitely, Kim | Anderson, Ann Marie | Hammer, Scott M. | Yin, Michael T. | Jain, Mamta | Petersen, Tianna | Corales, Roberto | Hurley, Christine | Henry, Keith | Bordenave, Bette | Youmans, Amanda | Albrecht, Mary | Pollard, Richard B. | Olusanya, Abimbola | Skolnik, Paul R. | Adams, Betsy | Tashima, Karen T. | Patterson, Helen | Ukwu, Michelle | Rogers, Lauren | Balfour, Henry H. | Fox, Kathy A. | Swindells, Susan | Van Meter, Frances | Robbins, Gregory | Burgett-Yandow, Nicole | Davis, Charles E. | Boyce, Colleen | O'Brien, William A. | Casey, Gerianne | Morse, Gene D. | Hsaio, Chiu-Bin | Meier, Jeffrey L. | Stapleton, Jack T. | Mildvan, Donna | Revuelta, Manuel | Currin, David | El Sadr, Wafaa | Loquere, Avelino | El-Daher, Nyef | Johnson, Tina | Gross, Robert | Maffei, Kathyrn | Hughes, Valery | Sturge, Glenn | McMahon, Deborah | Rutecki, Barbara | Wulfsohn, Michael | Cheng, Andrew | Dix, Lynn | Liao, Qiming
This clinical trial identifies a significantly earlier time to virologic failure in women randomized to atazanavir/ritonavir compared to women randomized to efavirenz.
Background. We aimed to evaluate treatment responses to atazanavir plus ritonavir (ATV/r) or efavirenz (EFV) in initial antiretroviral regimens among women and men, and determine if treatment outcomes differ by sex.
Methods. We performed a randomized trial of open-label ATV/r or EFV combined with abacavir/lamivudine (ABC/3TC) or tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) in 1857 human immunodeficiency virus type 1–infected, treatment-naive persons enrolled between September 2005 and November 2007 at 59 sites in the United States and Puerto Rico. Associations of sex with 3 primary study endpoints of time to virologic failure, safety, and tolerability events were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards models. Model-based population pharmacokinetic analysis was performed using nonlinear mixed effects modeling (NONMEM version VII).
Results. Of 1857 participants, 322 were women. Women assigned to ATV/r had a higher risk of virologic failure with either nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor backbone than women assigned to EFV, or men assigned to ATV/r. The effects of ATV/r and EFV upon safety and tolerability risk did not differ significantly by sex. With ABC/3TC, women had a significantly higher (32%) safety risk compared to men; with TDF/FTC, the safety risk was 20% larger for women compared to men, but not statistically significant. Women had slower ATV clearance and higher predose levels of ATV compared to men. Self-reported adherence did not differ significantly by sex.
Conclusions. This is the first randomized clinical trial to identify a significantly earlier time to virologic failure in women randomized to ATV/r compared to women randomized to EFV. This finding has important clinical implications given that boosted protease inhibitors are often favored over EFV in women of childbearing potential.
Clinical Trials Registration NCT00118898.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit747
PMCID: PMC3905755  PMID: 24253247
sex; atazanavir; efavirenz; abacavir; tenofovir
14.  Pain is Independently Associated with Impaired Physical Function in HIV-infected Patients 
Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)  2013;14(12):10.1111/pme.12255.
Introduction
HIV-infected patients in the current treatment era can achieve normal life expectancies, but experience a high degree of medical and psychiatric comorbidity. Impaired physical function and pain, often in the context of mood disorders and substance abuse, are common in HIV-infected patients. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship of pain, a modifiable condition, to functional impairment in HIV-infected patients, independent of mood disorders and substance abuse.
Methods
Participants in a prospective cohort of HIV-infected patients at the University of Alabama at Birmingham were included. Patient-reported outcome measures were used to cross-sectionally assess pain and physical function (EuroQOL), mood disorders (PHQ), and substance abuse (ASSIST). Univariate and multivariable models were built with pain as the principal independent variable of interest and 3 domains of physical function (mobility, self-care, and usual activities) as outcomes. Covariates included mood, substance abuse, age, race, sex, insurance status, HIV transmission risk factor, and CD4+ T-cell count.
Results
Among 1903 participants, 693 (37%) reported pain; 509 (27%) had a mood disorder; and 157 (8.4%) reported current substance abuse. In multivariable models, pain was independently associated with increased odds of impairment in all three domains of physical function investigated – mobility (aOR 10.5, 95% CI 7.6–14.6), self-care (aOR 4.1, 95% CI 2.2–7.4), and usual activities (aOR 5.4, 95% CI 4.0–7.4).
Discussion
Pain was associated with substantially increased odds of impairment in physical function. Pain should be an important consideration in HIV primary care. Interventions to address pain and impaired physical function should be investigated.
doi:10.1111/pme.12255
PMCID: PMC3886835  PMID: 24119077
HIV; pain; physical function; mental health; substance abuse
15.  ‘Two Pains Together’: Patient Perspectives on Psychological Aspects of Chronic Pain while Living with HIV 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111765.
Objective
Chronic pain is common in HIV-infected individuals. Understanding HIV-infected patients’ chronic pain experience not just from a biological, but also from a psychological perspective, is a critical first step toward improving care for this population. Our objective was to explore HIV-infected patients’ perspectives on psychological aspects of chronic pain using in-depth qualitative interviews.
Methods
Investigators engaged in an iterative process of independent and group coding until theme saturation was reached.
Results
Of the 25 patients with chronic pain interviewed, 20 were male, 15 were younger than age 50, and 15 were African-American. Key themes that emerged included the close relationship between mood and pain; mood and pain in the context of living with HIV; use of alcohol/drugs to self-medicate for pain; and the challenge of receiving prescription pain medications while dealing with substance use disorders.
Conclusions
The results suggest that psychological approaches to chronic pain treatment may be well received by HIV-infected patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111765
PMCID: PMC4218809  PMID: 25365306
16.  Comparative effectiveness of fish oil versus fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and atorvastatin on lowering triglyceride levels among HIV-infected patients in routine clinical care 
Objective
The goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of fish oil, fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and atorvastatin on reducing triglyceride (TG) levels among a large cohort of HIV-infected patients in clinical care.
Design
Retrospective observational cohort study
Methods
The primary endpoint was absolute change in TG levels measured using the last TG value pre-treatment and the first TG value post-treatment. A pre-post quasi-experimental design was used to estimate the change in TG due to initiating fish oil. Linear regression models examined the comparative effectiveness of treatment with fish oil versus gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, or atorvastatin for TG reduction. Models were adjusted for baseline differences in age, sex, race, CD4+ cell count, diabetes, body mass index, protease inhibitor use, and time between TG measures.
Results
A total of 493 patients (mean age 46 years; 95% male) were included (46 receiving gemfibrozil, 80 fenofibrate, 291 atorvastatin, 76 fish oil) with a mean baseline TG of 347 mg/dL. New use of fish oil decreased TG (ΔTG -45 mg/dL 95% Confidence interval (CI):-80 to -11) in the pre-post study. Compared with fish oil (reference), fibrates were more effective (ΔTG -66; 95% CI:-120 to -12) in reducing TG levels, whereas atorvastatin was not (ΔTG -39; 95% CI:-86 to 9).
Conclusion
In HIV-infected patients in routine clinical care, fish oil is less effective than fibrates (but not atorvastatin) at lowering triglyceride values. Fish oil may still represent an attractive alternative for patients with moderately elevated triglycerides particularly among patients who may not want or tolerate fibrates.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a60e82
PMCID: PMC4112457  PMID: 23892238
fish oil; triglycerides; dyslipidemia; fibrates; HIV
17.  Physical Activity and Health Outcomes among HIV-infected Men who have Sex with Men: A Longitudinal Mediational Analysis 
Background
Low physical activity is associated with depression, which may in turn, negatively impact antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among HIV-infected individuals; however, prior studies have not investigated the relationships between physical inactivity and ART non-adherence.
Purpose
To examine the association of physical inactivity, depression, ART non-adherence, and viral load in HIV-infected men who have sex with men.
Methods
The sample (N = 860) was from a large, multicenter cohort of HIV-infected patients engaged in clinical care.
Results
Across time, depression mediated the relationship between physical inactivity and ART non-adherence, γ = .075, and the relationship between physical inactivity and viral load, γ = .05. ART non-adherence mediated the relationship between depression and viral load, γ = .002, and the relationship between physical inactivity and viral load, γ = .009.
Conclusions
Low levels of physical activity predicted increased depression and poor ART adherence over time, which subsequently predicted higher viral load.
doi:10.1007/s12160-013-9489-3
PMCID: PMC3714319  PMID: 23483379
HIV/AIDS; physical activity; depression; adherence; viral load
18.  A Pilot Study of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) in Non-Treatment Seeking Smokers with HIV 
Addictive behaviors  2013;38(10):2541-2546.
Introduction
PLHIV have higher rates of smoking and lower motivation to quit smoking; thus to impact smoking rates, cessation interventions need to be acceptable to a wider range of PLHIV smokers as well as feasible to implement in a busy clinical setting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and effects of a Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) model in an HIV/AIDS clinic among a sample of PLHIV.
Methods
PLHIV smokers (N = 40) were randomized at baseline, irrespective of their self-reported discrete smoking cessation motivation status, to receive either 8-weeks of combination nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in conjunction with brief counseling (SBIRT framework) (n = 23) or usual care (n = 17). Smoking outcome measures included cigarettes smoked per day, nicotine dependence, smoking urge, and smoking withdrawal symptoms.
Results
The SBIRT intervention appeared to be acceptable and feasible, and produced medium to large reductions in cigarettes smoked per day, physical nicotine dependence, smoking urge, and smoking withdrawal symptoms, even for smokers not ready to quit within 6 months.
Conclusions
Findings provide preliminary support for the integration of an SBIRT model in an HIV/AIDS clinic setting to screen and provide active treatment to all smokers, regardless of readiness to quit smoking. Given the high prevalence and incredible health burden of continued smoking in this population, identifying brief and effective interventions that are easily translated into clinical practice represents an enormous challenge that if met, will yield significant improvements to overall patient outcomes.
doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.05.003
PMCID: PMC3725186  PMID: 23787030
19.  Mortality in Patients with HIV-1 Infection Starting Antiretroviral Therapy in South Africa, Europe, or North America: A Collaborative Analysis of Prospective Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(9):e1001718.
Analyzing survival in HIV treatment cohorts, Andrew Boulle and colleagues find mortality rates in South Africa comparable to or better than those in North America by 4 years after starting antiretroviral therapy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
High early mortality in patients with HIV-1 starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to Europe and North America, is well documented. Longer-term comparisons between settings have been limited by poor ascertainment of mortality in high burden African settings. This study aimed to compare mortality up to four years on ART between South Africa, Europe, and North America.
Methods and Findings
Data from four South African cohorts in which patients lost to follow-up (LTF) could be linked to the national population register to determine vital status were combined with data from Europe and North America. Cumulative mortality, crude and adjusted (for characteristics at ART initiation) mortality rate ratios (relative to South Africa), and predicted mortality rates were described by region at 0–3, 3–6, 6–12, 12–24, and 24–48 months on ART for the period 2001–2010. Of the adults included (30,467 [South Africa], 29,727 [Europe], and 7,160 [North America]), 20,306 (67%), 9,961 (34%), and 824 (12%) were women. Patients began treatment with markedly more advanced disease in South Africa (median CD4 count 102, 213, and 172 cells/µl in South Africa, Europe, and North America, respectively). High early mortality after starting ART in South Africa occurred mainly in patients starting ART with CD4 count <50 cells/µl. Cumulative mortality at 4 years was 16.6%, 4.7%, and 15.3% in South Africa, Europe, and North America, respectively. Mortality was initially much lower in Europe and North America than South Africa, but the differences were reduced or reversed (North America) at longer durations on ART (adjusted rate ratios 0.46, 95% CI 0.37–0.58, and 1.62, 95% CI 1.27–2.05 between 24 and 48 months on ART comparing Europe and North America to South Africa). While bias due to under-ascertainment of mortality was minimised through death registry linkage, residual bias could still be present due to differing approaches to and frequency of linkage.
Conclusions
After accounting for under-ascertainment of mortality, with increasing duration on ART, the mortality rate on HIV treatment in South Africa declines to levels comparable to or below those described in participating North American cohorts, while substantially narrowing the differential with the European cohorts.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
AIDS has killed about 36 million people since the first recorded case of the disease in 1981, and a similar number of people (including 25 million living in sub-Saharan Africa) are currently infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV destroys immune system cells (including CD4 cells, a type of lymphocyte), leaving infected individuals susceptible to other serious infections. Early in the AIDS epidemic, HIV-positive people usually died within 10 years of becoming infected. In 1996, effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) became available and, for people living in high-income countries, HIV infection became a chronic condition. But ART was expensive, so HIV/AIDS remained largely untreated and fatal in resource-limited countries. Then, in 2003, the international community began to work towards achieving universal access to ART. By the end of 2012, nearly two-thirds of HIV-positive people (nearly 10 million individuals) living in low- and middle-income countries who were eligible for treatment because their CD4 cell count had fallen below 350/mm3 blood or because they had developed an AIDS-defining condition were receiving treatment.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is known that a larger proportion of HIV-positive patients starting ART die during the first year of treatment in sub-Saharan Africa than in Europe and North America. This difference arises in part because patients in resource-limited settings tend to have lower CD4 counts when they start treatment than patients in wealthy countries. However, the lack of reliable data on mortality (death) in resource-limited settings has made it hard to compare longer-term outcomes in different settings. Information on the long-term outcomes of HIV-positive patients receiving ART in resource-limited countries is needed to guide the development of appropriate health systems and treatment regimens in these settings. In this collaborative analysis of prospective cohort studies, the researchers compare mortality up to 4 years on ART in South Africa, Europe, and North America. A prospective cohort study follows a group of individuals over time to see whether differences in specific characteristics at the start of the study affect subsequent outcomes. A collaborative analysis combines individual patient data from several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers combined data from four South Africa cohorts of HIV-positive patients starting ART included in the International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS South African (IeDEA-SA) collaboration with data from six North American cohorts and nine European cohorts included in the ART Cohort Collaboration (ART-CC). The South African cohorts were chosen because unusually for studies undertaken in countries in sub-Saharan Africa the vital status of patients (whether they had died) who had been lost to follow-up in these cohorts could be obtained from the national population register. Patients in South Africa began treatment with more advanced disease (indicated by a lower average CD4 count) than patients in Europe or North America. Notably, high early mortality after starting ART in South Africa occurred mainly in patients starting ART with a CD4 count below 50 cells/mm3. The cumulative mortality after 4 years of ART was 16.6%, 4.7%, and 15.3% in South Africa, Europe, and North America, respectively. After adjusting for patient characteristics at ART initiation, the mortality rate among patients beginning ART was initially lower in Europe and North American than in South Africa. However, although the adjusted mortality rate in Europe remained lower than the rate in South Africa, the rate in North America was higher than that in South Africa between 24 and 48 months on ART.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although the linkage to national vital registration systems (databases of births and deaths) undertaken in this collaborative analysis is likely to have greatly reduced bias due to under-ascertainment of mortality, the accuracy of these findings may still be limited by differences in how this linkage was undertaken in different settings. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that mortality among HIV-infected patients receiving ART in South Africa, although initially higher than in Europe and North America, rapidly declines with increasing duration on ART and, after 4 years of treatment, approaches the rate seen in high-income settings. Intriguingly, these findings also highlight the relatively higher late mortality in North America compared to either Europe or South Africa, a result that needs to be investigated to explore the extent to which differences in mortality ascertainment, patient characteristics and comorbidities, or health systems and treatment regimens contribute to variations in outcomes among HIV-positive patients in various settings.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001718.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Agnes Binagwaho and colleagues
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS, and summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on universal access to ART, on HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and on HIV and AIDS in South Africa (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS (in several languages); its 2013 Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infections: recommendations for a public health approach are available
The 2013 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report provides up-to-date information about the AIDS epidemic and efforts to halt it
Information about the International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS South African (IeDEA-SA) collaboration and about the ART Cohort Collaboration is available
Personal stories about living with HIV/AIDS are available through Avert, Nam/aidsmap, and Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001718
PMCID: PMC4159124  PMID: 25203931
20.  Incidence and Timing of Cancer in HIV-Infected Individuals Following Initiation of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy 
Kaposi sarcoma and lymphoma rates were highest immediately after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, particularly among patients with low CD4 cell counts, whereas other cancers increased with time on ART. Calendar year of ART initiation was not associated with subsequent cancer incidence.
Background
Cancer is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but patterns of cancer incidence after combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation remain poorly characterized.
Methods
We evaluated the incidence and timing of cancer diagnoses among patients initiating ART between 1996 and 2011 in a collaboration of 8 US clinical HIV cohorts. Poisson regression was used to estimate incidence rates. Cox regression was used to identify demographic and clinical characteristics associated with cancer incidence after ART initiation.
Results
At initiation of first combination ART among 11 485 patients, median year was 2004 (interquartile range [IQR], 2000–2007) and median CD4 count was 202 cells/mm3 (IQR, 61–338). Incidence rates for Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and lymphomas were highest in the first 6 months after ART initiation (P < .001) and plateaued thereafter, while incidence rates for all other cancers combined increased from 416 to 615 cases per 100 000 person-years from 1 to 10 years after ART initiation (average 7% increase per year; 95% confidence interval, 2%–13%). Lower CD4 count at ART initiation was associated with greater risk of KS, lymphoma, and human papillomavirus–related cancer. Calendar year of ART initiation was not associated with cancer incidence.
Conclusions
KS and lymphoma rates were highest immediately following ART initiation, particularly among patients with low CD4 cell counts, whereas other cancers increased with time on ART, likely reflecting increased cancer risk with aging. Our results underscore recommendations for earlier HIV diagnosis followed by prompt ART initiation along with ongoing aggressive cancer screening and prevention efforts throughout the course of HIV care.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit369
PMCID: PMC3739467  PMID: 23735330
HIV-associated malignancies; AIDS-defining cancer; non-AIDS-defining cancer; combination antiretroviral therapy
21.  Characteristics of an Ambulatory Palliative Care Clinic for HIV-Infected Patients 
Journal of Palliative Medicine  2013;16(8):934-937.
Abstract
Background
Many HIV-infected patients in the current treatment era have substantial symptom burden, but few HIV palliative care clinics have been described. Our objective was to describe the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) HIV palliative care clinic (HPCC) and compare it to the overall HIV clinic.
Methods
We conducted a chart review of patients referred to the HPCC between April 2008 and June 2011. We evaluated the reason for referral and other issues addressed during palliative care visits. Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) data was used to assess depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (PHQ-A), and substance abuse (ASSIST).
Results
Among 124 patients, mean age was 44 (range 27–64), and median CD4 count was 352 cells/mm3 (IQR 209–639). Depression (43, 35%), anxiety (40, 32%), and current 8 (7%) or prior 68 (56%) substance abuse occurred at higher rates than in the overall HIV clinic (p<0.05). Pain was the most common reason for referral (118, 95%); most was chronic (113, 90%) and included back pain (26, 21%) and neuropathic pain (15, 12%). Other problems commonly addressed by the palliative team included nonpain symptoms such as depression (39, 48%) and anxiety (17, 21%), insomnia (25, 30%), and constipation (26, 32%).
Conclusions
This is the first description of a palliative care clinic embedded within an HIV primary care clinic in a developed country that sees patients at all stages of illness. Chronic pain and nonpain symptom management in patients with psychiatric and substance abuse comorbidities are important components of ambulatory palliative care for HIV-infected patients.
doi:10.1089/jpm.2012.0451
PMCID: PMC3727562  PMID: 23477304
22.  Short Communication: Lack of Occult HIV Infection Among Non-AIDS-Defining Cancer Patients in Three Academic Oncology Clinics in the United States 
Abstract
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) testing recommendations suggest universal opt-out testing in all health care settings, including cancer clinics. The incidence of non-AIDS-defining cancers (NADCs) is on the rise among HIV patients. However, to date, no data exist on the prevalence of HIV infection among NADC patients in the United States. Knowledge of HIV infection may affect clinical management, prognosis, and overall patient survival and decrease new infections in the population. The purpose of this study was to determine the point seroprevalence of HIV infection in cancer patients being seen in medical oncology clinics. A total of 634 individuals (mean age=53.2 years) participated and were tested for HIV. None of the participants tested positive for HIV in any of the three clinics. Using a futility analysis, the upper end of the 95% confidence interval for prevalence of undiagnosed HIV in cancer patients was less than 0.3%. Most participants were female (59.2%) and non-Hispanic (96.6%). The majority of study participants were white (76.5%) or African-American (17.7%). Breast cancer (19.7%), colon cancer (10.3%), and melanoma (9.7%) were the most commonly reported non-AIDS-defining cancers. While our study suggested that there was no occurrence of undiagnosed HIV among NADC patients, it is important to note that our population was largely white, females with insurance and with a different distribution of cancer than the most prevalent NADC among HIV patients. Furthermore, one-third of the patients did not consent to participate and further studies are needed to assess reasons for their unwillingness along with other populations, specifically minorities and individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES).
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0344
PMCID: PMC3653389  PMID: 23351216
23.  Impact of Risk Factors for Specific Causes of Death in the First and Subsequent Years of Antiretroviral Therapy Among HIV-Infected Patients 
Among HIV-infected patients who initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART), patterns of cause-specific death varied by ART duration and were strongly related to age, sex, and transmission risk group. Deaths from non-AIDS malignancies were much more frequent than those from cardiovascular disease.
Background. Patterns of cause-specific mortality in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are changing dramatically in the era of antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Methods. Sixteen cohorts from Europe and North America contributed data on adult patients followed from the start of ART. Procedures for coding causes of death were standardized. Estimated hazard ratios (HRs) were adjusted for transmission risk group, sex, age, year of ART initiation, baseline CD4 count, viral load, and AIDS status, before and after the first year of ART.
Results. A total of 4237 of 65 121 (6.5%) patients died (median, 4.5 years follow-up). Rates of AIDS death decreased substantially with time since starting ART, but mortality from non-AIDS malignancy increased (rate ratio, 1.04 per year; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–1.1). Higher mortality in men than women during the first year of ART was mostly due to non-AIDS malignancy and liver-related deaths. Associations with age were strongest for cardiovascular disease, heart/vascular, and malignancy deaths. Patients with presumed transmission through injection drug use had higher rates of all causes of death, particularly for liver-related causes (HRs compared with men who have sex with men: 18.1 [95% CI, 6.2–52.7] during the first year of ART and 9.1 [95% CI, 5.8–14.2] thereafter). There was a persistent role of CD4 count at baseline and at 12 months in predicting AIDS, non-AIDS infection, and non-AIDS malignancy deaths. Lack of viral suppression on ART was associated with AIDS, non-AIDS infection, and other causes of death.
Conclusions. Better understanding of patterns of and risk factors for cause-specific mortality in the ART era can aid in development of appropriate care for HIV-infected individuals and inform guidelines for risk factor management.
doi:10.1093/cid/ciu261
PMCID: PMC4073781  PMID: 24771333
HIV; cause-specific mortality; antiretroviral therapy
24.  Effect of Persistency of First-Line HIV Antiretroviral Therapy on Clinical Outcomes 
Abstract
Persistency is the time from initiation to discontinuation of therapy. Previous research has described factors that affect the persistency of initial antiretroviral therapy (ART); however, the impact of persistency on clinical outcomes is unknown. A retrospective study was conducted of treatment-naive HIV patients initiating ART between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2010 at an academic medical center. Descriptive statistics and Cox proportional hazards regression models with persistency as a time‐varying covariate were fit for (1) immunologic failure (subsequent CD4 lower than initial CD4); (2) development of an opportunistic infection (OI) or malignancy; and (3) mortality. Analyses were repeated with an interaction term of persistency (per 180 days) and time (before and after 1 year of ART). Among 879 patients who started ART, the mean age was 38 years (±10) and most patients were racial/ethnic minority (59%), males (80%), and with baseline CD4 <200 cells/mm3 (52%). There were 100 deaths, 94 OIs/malignancy, and 183 immunologic failures; the mean persistency=723 days. In multivariable modeling, increased persistency decreased the overall and long-term hazard for immunologic failure (0.84 per 180 additional days; 0.70–1.00; 0.045). Increased persistency exhibited a potential trend toward decreased hazard for the occurrence of OI/malignancy (0.91; 0.80–1.03; 0.124) overall and after 1 year. Persistency exhibited a trend toward less risk of mortality in the first year of ART (0.42; 0.17–1.06; 0.067). In this study of the relationship between initial ART persistency and clinical outcomes, increased persistency was associated with a decreased hazard for the development of immunologic failure, a trend toward a decreased hazard for OI/malignancy, and a trend toward a decreased risk of first year mortality. Given these findings, the relationship between persistency and clinical outcomes merits further study.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0241
PMCID: PMC3607971  PMID: 23151191
25.  Invasive cervical cancer risk among HIV-infected women: A North American multi-cohort collaboration prospective study 
Objective
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
This study found elevated incidence of ICC in HIV-infected compared to -uninfected women, and these rates increased with immunosuppression.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31828177d7
PMCID: PMC3633634  PMID: 23254153
Human papilloma virus; HIV-infection; Invasive Cervical Cancer; Immunosuppression

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