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1.  Pooled HIV-1 RNA Viral Load Testing for Detection of Antiretroviral Treatment Failure in Kenyan children 
Background
Pooled viral load (VL) testing with two different testing strategies was evaluated as a potential cost-saving method to monitor antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV-infected children receiving ART in a resource-limited setting.
Methods
Archived samples collected from 250 HIV-1 infected children on first-line ART at various time-points post-ART initiation were evaluated for pooled VL testing using a minipool+algorithm strategy. Additionally, samples collected in real-time from 125 children on ART were assessed for virologic failure using a minipool strategy for pooled viral load testing. Virologic failure was determined as HIV-1 RNA viral loads >1500 copies/ml.
Results
Minipool+algorithm strategy for pooled VL testing of archived samples had estimated viral failure of 13.6%, with a relative efficiency (RE) of 23.6% (95% CI; 18.5, 29.4), and negative predictive value (NPV) of 88%. This testing strategy would have resulted in 24% fewer assays needed, for a cost savings of $1,180 per 100 samples. The minipool strategy for pooled viral load testing of samples obtained in real-time yielded an estimated 23.2% of samples with viral failure and a RE of 8.0 % (95% CI; 3.9, 14.2); however had a minipool+algorithm pooling strategy been used the RE would increase to 20%.
Conclusions
The minipool+algorithm strategy for pooled VL testing to detect virologic failure in HIV-1 infected children on ART was determined to be relatively efficient in detecting virologic failure, had high NPV, with substantial cost savings. Pooling strategies may be important components of cost-effect strategies to reduce rates of viral failure and resistance, thus improving clinical outcomes.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318292f9cd
PMCID: PMC3767042  PMID: 23542638
2.  HIV-1 Disease Progression in Breast-Feeding and Formula-Feeding Mothers: A Prospective 2-Year Comparison of T Cell Subsets, HIV-1 RNA Levels, and Mortality 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2006;195(2):220-229.
Background
There is conflicting evidence regarding the effects of breast-feeding on maternal mortality from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, and little is known about the effects of breast-feeding on markers of HIV-1 disease progression.
Methods
HIV-1–seropositive women were enrolled during pregnancy and received short-course zidovudine. HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4 cell counts were determined at baseline and at months 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 postpartum and were compared between breast-feeding and formula-feeding mothers.
Results
Of 296 women, 98 formula fed and 198 breast-fed. At baseline, formula-feeding women had a higher education level and prevalence of HIV-1–related illness than did breast-feeding women; however, the groups did not differ with respect to CD4 cell counts and HIV-1 RNA levels. Between months 1 and 24 postpartum, CD4 cell counts decreased 3.9 cells/µL/month (P< .001), HIV-1 RNA levels increased 0.005 log10 copies/mL/month (P = .03), and body mass index (BMI) decreased 0.03 kg/m2/month (P< .001). The rate of CD4 cell count decline was higher in breast-feeding mothers (7.2 cells/µL/month) than in mothers who never breast-fed (4.0 cells/µL/month) (P = .01). BMI decreased more rapidly in breast-feeding women (P = .04), whereas HIV-1 RNA levels and mortality did not differ significantly between breast-feeding and formula-feeding women.
Conclusions
Breast-feeding was associated with significant decreases in CD4 cell counts and BMI. HIV-1 RNA levels and mortality were not increased, suggesting a limited adverse impact of breast-feeding in mothers receiving extended care for HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1086/510245
PMCID: PMC3394541  PMID: 17191167
3.  Early Response to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV-1–Infected Kenyan Children 
Objectives
To describe the early response to World Health Organization (WHO)–recommended nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)–based first-line highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in HIV-1–infected Kenyan children unexposed to nevirapine.
Design
Observational prospective cohort.
Methods
HIV-1 RNA level, CD4 lymphocyte count, weight for age z score, and height for age z score were measured before the initiation of HAART and every 3 to 6 months thereafter. Children received no nutritional supplements.
Results
Sixty-seven HIV-1–infected children were followed for a median of 9 months between August 2004 and November 2005. Forty-seven (70%) used zidovudine, lamivudine (3TC), and an NNRTI (nevirapine or efavirenz), whereas 25% used stavudine (d4T), 3TC, and an NNRTI. Nevirapine was used as the NNRTI by 46 (69%) children, and individual antiretroviral drug formulations were used by 63 (94%), with only 4 (6%) using a fixed-dose combination of d4T, 3TC, and nevirapine (Triomune; Cipla, Mumbai, India). In 52 children, the median height for age z score and weight for age z score rose from −2.54 to −2.17 (P < 0.001) and from −2.30 to −1.67 (P = 0.001), respectively, after 6 months of HAART. Hospitalization rates were significantly reduced after 6 months of HAART (17% vs. 58%; P < 0.001). The median absolute CD4 count increased from 326 to 536 cells/μL (P < 0.001), the median CD4 lymphocyte percentage rose from 5.8% before treatment to 15.4% (P < 0.001), and the median viral load fell from 5.9 to 2.2 log10 copies/mL after 6 months of HAART (P < 0.001). Among 43 infants, 47% and 67% achieved viral suppression to less than 100 copies/mL and 400 copies/mL, respectively, after 6 months of HAART.
Conclusion
Good early clinical and virologic response to NNRTI-based HAARTwas observed in HIV-1–infected Kenyan children with advanced HIV-1 disease.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318042d613
PMCID: PMC3380073  PMID: 17356470
antiretroviral; children; HIV-1; response
4.  Predictors of Early Mortality in a Cohort of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Infected African Children 
Background
Pediatric human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection follows a bimodal clinical course with rapid progression in 10 – 45% of children before the age of 2 years and slower progression in the remainder. A prospective observational study was undertaken to determine predictors of mortality in HIV-1-infected African infants during the first 2 years of life.
Methods
Infants in a perinatal cohort identified to be HIV-1-infected by DNA PCR were followed monthly to 1 year, then quarterly to 2 years or death.
Results
Among 62 HIV-1-infected infants, infection occurred by the age of 1 month in 56 (90%) infants, and 32 (52%) died at median age of 6.2 months. All infant deaths were caused by infectious diseases, most frequently pneumonia (75%) and diarrhea (41%). Univariate predictors of infant mortality included maternal CD4 count <200 cells/μl [hazard ratio (HR), 3.4; P = 0.008], maternal anemia (HR = 3.7; P = 0.005), delivery complications (HR = 2.7; P = 0.01), low birth weight (HR = 4.1; P = 0.001), weight, length and head circumference ≤5th percentile at age 1 month (HR = 3.7, P = 0.003; HR = 5.8, P < 0.001; and HR = 10.4, P < 0.001, respectively), formula-feeding (HR = 4.0; P = 0.01), infant CD4% ≤15% (HR = 5.5; P = 0.01), infant CD4 count <750 (HR = 9.7; P = 0.006) and maternal death (HR = 2.9, P = 0.05). In multivariate analysis, maternal CD4 count <200 (HR = 2.7; P = 0.03) and delivery complications (HR = 3.4; P = 0.005) were independently associated with infant mortality.
Conclusions
Advanced maternal HIV disease, maternal anemia, delivery complications, early growth faltering, formula-feeding and low infant CD4 were predictors of early mortality in African HIV-1-infected infants. In resource-poor settings, these predictors may be useful for early identification and treatment of high risk infants.
PMCID: PMC3380074  PMID: 15194835
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1; disease progression; mortality; predictors
5.  Morbidity Among HIV-1–Infected Mothers in Kenya 
Background
Much of the burden of morbidity affecting women of childbearing age in sub-Saharan Africa occurs in the context of HIV-1 infection. Understanding patterns of illness and determinants of disease in HIV-1–infected mothers may guide effective interventions to improve maternal health in this setting.
Methods
We describe the incidence and cofactors of comorbidities affecting peripartum and postpartum HIV-1–infected women in Kenya. Women were evaluated by clinical examination and standardized questionnaires during pregnancy and for up to 2 years after delivery.
Results
Five hundred thirty-five women were enrolled in the cohort (median CD4 count of 433 cells/mm3) and accrued 7736 person-months of follow-up. During 1-year follow-up, the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections was 161 per 100 person-years, incidence of pneumonia was 33 per 100 person-years, incidence of tuberculosis (TB) was 11 per 100 person-years, and incidence of diarrhea was 63 per 100 person-years. Immunosuppression and HIV-1 RNA levels were predictive for pneumonia, oral thrush, and TB but not for diarrhea; CD4 counts <200 cells/mm3 were associated with pneumonia (relative risk [RR] = 2.87, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.71 to 4.83), TB (RR = 7.14, 95% CI: 2.93 to 17.40) and thrush. The risk of diarrhea was significantly associated with crowding (RR = 1.86, 95% CI: 1.19 to 2.92) and breast-feeding (RR = 1.71, 95% CI: 1.19 to 2.44). Less than 10% of women reported hospitalization during 2-year follow-up; mortality risk in the cohort was 1.9% and 4.8% for 1 and 2 years, respectively.
Conclusions
Mothers with HIV-1, although generally healthy, have substantial morbidity as a result of common infections, some of which are predicted by immune status or by socioeconomic factors. Enhanced attention to maternal health is increasingly important as HIV-1–infected mothers transition from programs targeting the prevention of mother-to-child transmission to HIV care clinics.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318141fcc0
PMCID: PMC3372412  PMID: 17667334
HIV/AIDS; HIV-1 progression; maternal health; morbidity; postpartum; pregnancy; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; women
6.  Predictors of mortality in HIV-1 infected children on antiretroviral therapy in Kenya: a prospective cohort 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:33.
Background
Among children, early mortality following highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) remains high. It is important to define correlates of mortality in order to improve outcome.
Methods
HIV-1-infected children aged 18 months-12 years were followed up at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi after initiating NNRTI-based HAART. Cofactors for mortality were determined using multivariate Cox regression models.
Results
Between August 2004 and November 2008, 149 children were initiated on HAART of whom 135 were followed for a total of 238 child-years (median 21 months) after HAART initiation. Baseline median CD4% was 6.8% and median HIV-1-RNA was 5.98-log10 copies/ml. Twenty children (13.4%) died at a median of 35 days post-HAART initiation. Mortality during the entire follow-up period was 8.4 deaths per 100 child-years (46 deaths/100 child-years in first 4 months and 1.0 deaths/100 child-years after 4 months post-HAART initiation). On univariate Cox regression, baseline hemoglobin (Hb) <9 g/dl, weight-for-height z-score (WHZ) < -2, and WHO clinical stage 4 were associated with increased risk of death (Hb <9 g/dl HR 3.00 [95% C.I. 1.21-7.39], p = 0.02, WHZ < -2 HR 3.41 [95% C.I. 1.28-9.08], p = 0.01, and WHO clinical stage 4, HR 3.08 [1.17-8.12], p = 0.02). On multivariate analysis Hb < 9 g/dl remained predictive of mortality after controlling for age, baseline CD4%, WHO clinical stage and weight-for-height z-score (HR 2.95 (95% C.I. 1.04-8.35) p = 0.04).
Conclusion
High early mortality was observed in this cohort of Kenyan children receiving HAART, and low baseline hemoglobin was an independent risk factor for death.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-10-33
PMCID: PMC2887829  PMID: 20482796
7.  Comparison of CD4 Cell Count, Viral Load, and Other Markers for the Prediction of Mortality among HIV-1–Infected Kenyan Pregnant Women 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2009;199(9):1292-1300.
Background
There are limited data regarding the relative merits of biomarkers as predictors of mortality or time to initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Methods
We evaluated the usefulness of the CD4 cell count, CD4 cell percentage (CD4%), human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) load, total lymphocyte count (TLC), body mass index (BMI), and hemoglobin measured at 32 weeks’ gestation as predictors of mortality in a cohort of HIV-1–infected women in Nairobi, Kenya. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) were determined for each biomarker separately, as well as for the CD4 cell count and the HIV-1 load combined.
Results
Among 489 women with 10,150 person-months of follow-up, mortality rates at 1 and 2 years postpartum were 2.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7%–3.4%) and 5.5% (95% CI, 3.0%–8.0%), respectively. CD4 cell count and CD4% had the highest AUC value (>0.9). BMI, TLC, and hemoglobin were each associated with but poorly predictive of mortality (PPV, <7%). The HIV-1 load did not predict mortality beyond the CD4 cell count.
Conclusions
The CD4 cell count and CD4% measured during pregnancy were both useful predictors of mortality among pregnant women. TLC, BMI, and hemoglobin had a limited predictive value, and the HIV-1 load did not predict mortality any better than did the CD4 cell count alone.
doi:10.1086/597617
PMCID: PMC2758232  PMID: 19317628
8.  Medication diaries do not improve outcomes with highly active antiretroviral therapy in Kenyan children: a randomized clinical trial 
Background
As highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) becomes increasingly available to African children, it is important to evaluate simple and feasible methods of improving adherence in order to maximize benefits of therapy.
Methods
HIV-1-infected children initiating World Health Organization non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase-inhibitor-containing first-line HAART regimens were randomized to use medication diaries plus counselling, or counselling only (the control arm of the study). The diaries were completed daily by caregivers of children randomized to the diary and counselling arm for nine months. HIV-1 RNA, CD4+ T cell count, and z-scores for weight-for-age, height-for-age and weight-for-height were measured at a baseline and every three to six months. Self-reported adherence was assessed by questionnaires for nine months.
Results
Ninety HIV-1-infected children initiated HAART, and were followed for a median of 15 months (interquartile range: 2–21). Mean CD4 percentage was 17.2% in the diary arm versus 16.3% in the control arm at six months (p = 0.92), and 17.6% versus 18.9% at 15 months (p = 0.36). Virologic response with HIV-1 RNA of <100 copies/ml at nine months was similar between the two arms (50% for the diary arm and 36% for the control, p = 0.83). The weight-for-age, height-for-age and weight-for-height at three, nine and 15 months after HAART initiation were similar between arms. A trend towards lower self-reported adherence was observed in the diary versus the control arm (85% versus 92%, p = 0.08).
Conclusion
Medication diaries did not improve clinical and virologic response to HAART over a 15-month period. Children had good adherence and clinical response without additional interventions. This suggests that paediatric HAART with conventional counselling can be a successful approach. Further studies on targeted approaches for non-adherent children will be important.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-12-8
PMCID: PMC2708138  PMID: 19549342

Results 1-8 (8)