In this work, we estimate the proportions of transmissions occurring in main vs. casual partnerships, and by the sexual role, infection stage, and testing and treatment history of the infected partner, for men who have sex with men (MSM) in the US and Peru. We use dynamic, stochastic models based in exponential random graph models (ERGMs), obtaining inputs from multiple large-scale MSM surveys. Parallel main partnership and casual sexual networks are simulated. Each man is characterized by age, race, circumcision status, sexual role behavior, and propensity for unprotected anal intercourse (UAI); his history is modeled from entry into the adult population, with potential transitions including HIV infection, detection, treatment, AIDS diagnosis, and death. We implemented two model variants differing in assumptions about acute infectiousness, and assessed sensitivity to other key inputs. Our two models suggested that only 4–5% (Model 1) or 22–29% (Model 2) of HIV transmission results from contacts with acute-stage partners; the plurality (80–81% and 49%, respectively) stem from chronic-stage partners and the remainder (14–16% and 27–35%, respectively) from AIDS-stage partners. Similar proportions of infections stem from partners whose infection is undiagnosed (24–31%), diagnosed but untreated (36–46%), and currently being treated (30–36%). Roughly one-third of infections (32–39%) occur within main partnerships. Results by country were qualitatively similar, despite key behavioral differences; one exception was that transmission from the receptive to insertive partner appears more important in Peru (34%) than the US (21%). The broad balance in transmission contexts suggests that education about risk, careful assessment, pre-exposure prophylaxis, more frequent testing, earlier treatment, and risk-reduction, disclosure, and adherence counseling may all contribute substantially to reducing the HIV incidence among MSM in the US and Peru.
Five preventative HIV vaccine efficacy trials have been conducted over the last 12 years, all of which evaluated vaccine efficacy (VE) to prevent HIV infection for a single vaccine regimen versus placebo. Now that one of these trials has supported partial VE of a prime-boost vaccine regimen, there is interest in conducting efficacy trials that simultaneously evaluate multiple prime-boost vaccine regimens against a shared placebo group in the same geographic region, for accelerating the pace of vaccine development. This article proposes such a design, which has main objectives (1) to evaluate VE of each regimen versus placebo against HIV exposures occurring near the time of the immunizations; (2) to evaluate durability of VE for each vaccine regimen showing reliable evidence for positive VE; (3) to expeditiously evaluate the immune correlates of protection if any vaccine regimen shows reliable evidence for positive VE; and (4) to compare VE among the vaccine regimens. The design uses sequential monitoring for the events of vaccine harm, non-efficacy, and high efficacy, selected to weed out poor vaccines as rapidly as possible while guarding against prematurely weeding out a vaccine that does not confer efficacy until most of the immunizations are received. The evaluation of the design shows that testing multiple vaccine regimens is important for providing a well-powered assessment of the correlation of vaccine-induced immune responses with HIV infection, and is critically important for providing a reasonably powered assessment of the value of identified correlates as surrogate endpoints for HIV infection.
HIV vaccine efficacy clinical trial; immune correlate of protection; one-way crossover design; surrogate endpoint for HIV infection; two-phase sampling
Although efficacy is unknown, many men who have sex with men (MSM) attempt to reduce HIV risk by adapting condom use, partner selection, or sexual position to the partner’s HIV serostatus. We assessed the association of seroadaptive practices with HIV acquisition.
We pooled data on North American MSM from four longitudinal HIV-prevention studies. Sexual behaviors reported during each six-month interval were assigned sequentially to one of six mutually exclusive risk categories: (1) no unprotected anal intercourse (UAI), (2) having a single negative partner, (3) being an exclusive top (only insertive anal sex), (4) serosorting (multiple partners, all HIV negative), (5) seropositioning (only insertive anal sex with potentially discordant partners), and (6) UAI with no seroadaptive practices. HIV antibody testing was conducted at the end of each interval. We used Cox models to evaluate the independent association of each category with HIV acquisition, controlling for number of partners, age, race, drug use, and intervention assignment. 12,277 participants contributed to 60,162 six-month intervals with 663 HIV seroconversions. No UAI was reported in 47.4% of intervals, UAI with some seroadaptive practices in 31.8%, and UAI with no seroadaptive practices in 20.4%. All seroadaptive practices were associated with a lower risk, compared to UAI with no seroadaptive practices. However, compared to no UAI, serosorting carried twice the risk (HR = 2.03, 95%CI:1.51–2.73), whereas seropositioning was similar in risk (HR = 0.85, 95%CI:0.50–1.44), and UAI with a single negative partner and as an exclusive top were both associated with a lower risk (HR = 0.56, 95%CI:0.32–0.96 and HR = 0.55, 95%CI:0.36–0.84, respectively).
Seroadaptive practices appear protective when compared with UAI with no seroadaptive practices, but serosorting appears to be twice as risky as no UAI. Condom use and limiting number of partners should be advocated as first-line prevention strategies, but seroadaptive practices may be considered harm-reduction for men at greatest risk.
Transient HIV infections have been invoked to account for the cellular immune responses detected in highly virus-exposed individuals who have remained HIV seronegative. We tested for very low levels of HIV RNA in 524 seronegative plasma samples from 311 highly exposed women and men from 3 longitudinal HIV cohorts.
2073 transcription mediated amplification (TMA) HIV RNA tests were performed for an average of 3.95 TMA assays per plasma sample. Quadruplicate TMA assays, analyzing a total of 2 ml of plasma, provided an estimated sensitivity of 3.5 HIV RNA copies/ml.
Four samples from subjects who did not sero-convert within the following six months were positive for HIV RNA. For one sample, human polymorphism DNA analysis indicated a sample mix up. Borderline HIV RNA detection signals were detected for the other three positive samples and further replicate TMA testing yielded no positive results. Nested PCR assays (n=254) for HIV proviral DNA on PBMC from these 3 subjects were negative.
Transient viremia was not reproducibly detected in highly HIV exposed seronegative men and women. If transient infections do occur, plasma HIV RNA levels may remain below the detection limits of the sensitive assay used here, be of very short duration, or viral replication may be restricted to mucosal surfaces or their draining lymphoid tissues.
Extensive observational data suggest that HSV-2 infection may
facilitate HIV acquisition, increase HIV viral load, and accelerate HIV
progression and onward transmission. To explore these relationships, we
examined the impact of pre-existing HSV-2 infection in an international HIV
We analyzed the associations between prevalent HSV-2 infection and
HIV-1 acquisition and progression among 1836 men who have sex with men
(MSM). We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate the
association between HSV-2 infection and both HIV acquisition and ART
initiation, and linear regression to explore the effect of HSV-2 on pre-ART
HSV-2 infection increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition among all
volunteers (adjusted hazard ratio 2.2; 95% CI, 1.4 to 3.5).
Adjusting for demographic variables, circumcision, Ad5 titer and significant
risk behaviors, the risk of HIV acquisition among HSV-2 infected placebo
recipients was three fold higher than HSV-2 seronegatives (hazard ratio 3.3;
95% CI, 1.6 to 6.9). Past HSV-2 infection was associated with a 0.2
log10 copies/ml higher adjusted mean set point viral load
(95% CI, 0.3 lower to 0.6 higher). HSV-2 infection was not
associated with time to ART initiation.
Among MSM in an HIV-1 vaccine trial, pre-existing HSV-2 infection was
a major risk factor for HIV acquisition. Past HSV-2 did not significantly
increase HIV viral load or early disease progression. HSV-2 seropositive
persons will likely prove more difficult than HSV-2 seronegative persons to
protect against HIV infection using vaccines or other prevention
Herpes Simplex Virus Type II; HIV incidence
Recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 (rAd5) vaccine vectors for HIV-1 and other pathogens have been shown to be limited by high titers of Ad5 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) in the developing world. Alternative serotype rAd vectors have therefore been constructed. Here we report Ad5, Ad26, Ad35, and Ad48 NAb titers in 4,381 individuals from North America, South America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. As expected, Ad5 NAb titers were both frequent and high magnitude in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In contrast, Ad35 NAb titers proved infrequent and low in all regions studied, and Ad48 NAbs were rare in all regions except East Africa. Ad26 NAbs were moderately common in adults in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, but Ad26 NAb titers proved markedly lower than Ad5 NAb titers in all regions, and these relatively low Ad26 NAb titers did not detectably suppress the immunogenicity of 4×1010 vp of a rAd26-Gag/Pol/Env/Nef vaccine in rhesus monkeys. These data inform the clinical development of alternative serotype rAd vaccine vectors in the developing world.
Background. Host genetic variation influences human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and progression to AIDS. Here we used clinically well-characterized subjects from 5 pretreatment HIV/AIDS cohorts for a genome-wide association study to identify gene associations with rate of AIDS progression.
Methods. European American HIV seroconverters (n = 755) were interrogated for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (n = 700,022) associated with progression to AIDS 1987 (Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, co-dominant model).
Results. Association with slower progression was observed for SNPs in the gene PARD3B. One of these, rs11884476, reached genome-wide significance (relative hazard = 0.3; P =3. 370 × 10−9) after statistical correction for 700,022 SNPs and contributes 4.52% of the overall variance in AIDS progression in this study. Nine of the top-ranked SNPs define a PARD3B haplotype that also displays significant association with progression to AIDS (hazard ratio, 0.3; P = 3.220 × 10−8). One of these SNPs, rs10185378, is a predicted exonic splicing enhancer; significant alteration in the expression profile of PARD3B splicing transcripts was observed in B cell lines with alternate rs10185378 genotypes. This SNP was typed in European cohorts of rapid progressors and was found to be protective for AIDS 1993 definition (odds ratio, 0.43, P = .025).
Conclusions. These observations suggest a potential unsuspected pathway of host genetic influence on the dynamics of AIDS progression.
The Step trial raised the possibility that uncircumcised men with pre-existing Ad5 neutralizing antibodies carried an increased risk of HIV infection after vaccination. Thus, understanding Ad seropositivity in humans is important to the development of an AIDS vaccine. Here, we analyze the impact of different Ad5-specific neutralizing antibodies on immune function and clinical outcome.
Methods and Findings
Ad seropositivity in the Step trial volunteers was analyzed using chimeric rAd5/35 vectors to characterize their specificity for Ad5 fiber and non-fiber external (capsid) proteins. Immune responses and HIV seropositivity were correlated with the specificity of Ad5-neutralizing antibodies. Neutralizing antibodies induced by the vaccine in Ad5 seronegative subjects were directed preferentially to Ad5 capsid proteins, although some fiber-neutralizing antibodies could be detected. Pre-vaccination Ad5 serostatus did not affect the capsid-directed response after three vaccinations. In contrast, anti-fiber antibody titers were significantly higher in volunteers who were Ad5 seropositive prior to vaccination. Those Ad5 seropositive subjects who generated anti-capsid responses showed a marked reduction in vaccine-induced CD8 responses. Unexpectedly, anti-vector immunity differed qualitatively in Ad5 seropositive participants who became HIV-1 infected compared to uninfected case controls; Ad5 seropositive participants who later acquired HIV had lower neutralizing antibodies to capsid. Moreover, Ad35 seropositivity was decreased in HIV-infected subjects compared with uninfected case controls, while seroprevalence for other serotypes including Ad14, Ad28 and Ad41 was similar in both groups.
Together, these findings suggest that the case subjects were less immunologically responsive prior to infection. Subjects infected during the Step trial had qualitative differences in immunity that increased their risk of HIV-1 infection independent of vaccination.
To assess the association between male circumcision, insertive anal sex practices, and HIV acquisition in a cohort of men who have sex with men (MSM).
Data were from 1824 HSV-2 seropositive, HIV seronegative MSM, 1362 (75%) from Peru and 462 (25%) from the US, who participated in a randomized placebo controlled trial of HSV-2 suppression for HIV prevention (HPTN 039). Circumcision status was determined by examination at enrollment. HIV testing was done every three months for up to 18 months. Partner-specific sexual behavior for up to the last three partners during the previous three months was analyzed.
There was no significant association between male circumcision and HIV acquisition in univariate analysis (RR=0.84, 95% CI 0.50–1.42). In a pre-specified multivariate analysis that assumed a linear relationship between the proportion of insertive acts and effect of circumcision on HIV acquisition, the interaction between circumcision and proportion of insertive acts was not significant (p=0.11). In an exploratory analysis that categorized behavior with recent partners by proportion of insertive acts (<60% or ≥60% insertive acts), circumcision was associated with a non-statistically significant 69% reduction in the risk of HIV acquisition (RR=0.31, 95% CI 0.06–1.51) among men who reported ≥60% of insertive acts with recent male partners.
Circumcision does not have a significant protective effect against HIV acquisition among MSM from Peru and US, although there may be reduced risk for men who are primarily insertive with their male partners. This association needs to be investigated across diverse cohorts of MSM.
HIV acquisition; male circumcision; men who have sex with men
Recombinant viruses hold promise as vectors for vaccines to prevent infectious diseases with significant global health impacts. One of their major limitations is that preexisting anti-vector neutralizing antibodies can reduce T cell responses to the insert antigens; however, the impact of vector-specific cellular immunity on subsequent insert-specific T cell responses has not been assessed in humans. Here, we have identified and compared adenovirus-specific and HIV-specific T cell responses in subjects participating in two HIV-1 vaccine trials using a vaccine vectored by adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5). Higher frequencies of pre-immunization adenovirus-specific CD4+ T cells were associated with substantially decreased magnitude of HIV-specific CD4+ T cell responses and decreased breadth of HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses in vaccine recipients, independent of type-specific preexisting Ad5-specific neutralizing antibody titers. Further, epitopes recognized by adenovirus-specific T cells were commonly conserved across many adenovirus serotypes, suggesting that cross-reactivity of preexisting adenovirus-specific T cells can extend to adenovirus vectors derived from rare serotypes. These findings provide what we believe to be a new understanding of how preexisting viral immunity may impact the efficacy of vaccines under current evaluation for prevention of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria.
A safe and effective HIV vaccine is needed to curtail the US and global epidemics. However, the search for a preventive vaccine has been elusive, despite more than 25 years of focused research. Results from the RV144 Thai efficacy trial have renewed hope that a vaccine may protect against HIV acquisition. We can draw several scientific and operational lessons from RV144 and other recent tests of concept efficacy trials. Here we describe how trial results, some unexpected, highlight the fundamental role these clinical studies play in HIV vaccine discovery. These trials also teach us that transparency in data analysis and results dissemination can yield substantial rewards and that efforts to engage communities, particularly those most heavily affected by the epidemic, are needed to augment research literacy and trial recruitment. Future efficacy trial designs may incorporate novel, partially effective prevention strategies. Although greater in size and complexity, these trials may offer unique opportunities to explore synergies with vaccines under study.
HIV vaccines; clinical trials; efficacy trials; combination prevention
Background. High-throughput genome-wide techniques have facilitated the identification of previously unknown host proteins involved in cellular human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Recently, 3 independent studies have used small interfering RNA technology to silence each gene in the human genome to determine the importance of each in HIV infection. Genes conferring a significant effect were termed HIV-dependency factors (HDFs).
Methods. We assembled high-density panels of 6380 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 278 HDF genes and tested for genotype associations with HIV infection and AIDS progression in 1633 individuals from clinical AIDS cohorts.
Results. After statistical correction for multiple tests, significant associations with HIV acquisition were found for SNPs in 2 genes, NCOR2 and IDH1. Weaker associations with AIDS progression were revealed for SNPs within the TM9SF2 and EGFR genes.
Conclusions. This study independently verifies the influence of NCOR2 and IDH1 on HIV transmission, and its findings suggest that variation in these genes affects susceptibility to HIV infection in exposed individuals.
An IL28B haplotype strongly determines the outcome of natural and interferon-α treated HCV infection. To assess if the polymorphism marking the haplotype (rs12979860) also affects other interferon-α responsive chronic viral illnesses, namely hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV), we genotyped 226 individuals with HBV persistence, 384 with HBV recovery, and 2548 with or at high-risk for HIV infection. The C/C genotype of rs12979860 was not associated with HBV recovery (OR 0.99), resistance to HIV infection (0.97), or HIV disease progression (P>0.05). This IL28B SNP affects the immune response to HCV but not to HBV or HIV.
IL28B; HIV; HBV; genetics; polymorphism
An IL28B haplotype strongly determines the outcome of natural and interferon-α treated hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. To assess whether the polymorphism marking the haplotype (rs12979860) also affects other interferon-α responsive chronic viral illnesses, namely hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infections, we genotyped 226 individuals with HBV persistence, 384 with HBV recovery, and 2548 with or at high risk for HIV infection. The C/C genotype of rs12979860 was not associated with HBV recovery (odds ratio, 0.99), resistance to HIV infection (odds ratio, 0.97), or HIV disease progression (P>.05). This IL28B single-nucleotide polymorphism affects the immune response to HCV but not to HBV or HIV.
Cross-sectional assessment of HIV incidence relies on laboratory methods to discriminate between recent and non-recent HIV infection. Because HIV diversifies over time in infected individuals, HIV diversity may serve as a biomarker for assessing HIV incidence. We used a high resolution melting (HRM) diversity assay to compare HIV diversity in adults with different stages of HIV infection. This assay provides a single numeric HRM score that reflects the level of genetic diversity of HIV in a sample from an infected individual.
HIV diversity was measured in 203 adults: 20 with acute HIV infection (RNA positive, antibody negative), 116 with recent HIV infection (tested a median of 189 days after a previous negative HIV test, range 14–540 days), and 67 with non-recent HIV infection (HIV infected >2 years). HRM scores were generated for two regions in gag, one region in pol, and three regions in env.
Median HRM scores were higher in non-recent infection than in recent infection for all six regions tested. In multivariate models, higher HRM scores in three of the six regions were independently associated with non-recent HIV infection.
The HRM diversity assay provides a simple, scalable method for measuring HIV diversity. HRM scores, which reflect the genetic diversity in a viral population, may be useful biomarkers for evaluation of HIV incidence, particularly if multiple regions of the HIV genome are examined.
Chromosome 3p21–22 harbors two clusters of chemokine receptor genes, several of which serve as major or minor coreceptors of HIV-1. Although the genetic association of CCR5 and CCR2 variants with HIV-1 pathogenesis is well known, the role of variation in other nearby chemokine receptor genes remain unresolved. We genotyped exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in chemokine receptor genes: CCR3, CCRL2, and CXCR6 (at 3p21) and CCR8 and CX3CR1 (at 3p22), the majority of which were non-synonymous. The individual SNPs were tested for their effects on disease progression and outcomes in five treatment-naïve HIV-1/AIDS natural history cohorts. In addition to the known CCR5 and CCR2 associations, significant associations were identified for CCR3, CCR8, and CCRL2 on progression to AIDS. A multivariate survival analysis pointed to a previously undetected association of a non-conservative amino acid change F167Y in CCRL2 with AIDS progression: 167F is associated with accelerated progression to AIDS (RH = 1.90, P = 0.002, corrected). Further analysis indicated that CCRL2-167F was specifically associated with more rapid development of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) (RH = 2.84, 95% CI 1.28–6.31) among four major AIDS–defining conditions. Considering the newly defined role of CCRL2 in lung dendritic cell trafficking, this atypical chemokine receptor may affect PCP through immune regulation and inducing inflammation.
Human chemokine receptors are cell surface proteins that may be utilized by HIV-1 for entry into host cells. DNA variation in the HIV-1 major coreceptor CCR5 affects HIV-1 infection and progression. This study comprehensively assesses the role of genetic variation of multiple chemokine receptor genes clustered in the chromosome 3p21 and 3p22 on HIV-1 disease outcomes in HIV-1 natural history cohorts. The multivariate survival analyses identified functional variants that altered disease progression rate in CCRL2, CCR3, and CCR8. CCRL2-F167Y affects the rate to AIDS development through a specific protection against pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), a common AIDS–defining condition. Our study identified this atypical chemokine receptor CCRL2 as a key factor involved in PCP, possibly through inducing inflammation in the lung.
Background. The compilation of previous genomewide association studies of AIDS shows a major polymorphism in the HCP5 gene associated with both control of the viral load and long-term nonprogression (LTNP) to AIDS.
Methods. To look for genetic variants that affect LTNP without necessary control of the viral load, we reanalyzed the genomewide data of the unique LTNP Genomics of Resistance to Immunodeficiency Virus (GRIV) cohort by excluding “elite controller” patients, who were controlling the viral load at very low levels (<100 copies/mL).
Results. The rs2234358 polymorphism in the CXCR6 gene was the strongest signal (P = 2.5 × 10−7; odds ratio, 1.85) obtained for the genomewide association study comparing the 186 GRIV LTNPs who were not elite controllers with 697 uninfected control subjects. This association was replicated in 3 additional independent European studies, reaching genomewide significance of Pcombined = 9.7 × 10−10. This association with LTNP is independent of the combined CCR2-CCR5 locus and the HCP5 polymorphisms.
Conclusion. The statistical significance, the replication, and the magnitude of the association demonstrate that CXCR6 is likely involved in the molecular etiology of AIDS and, in particular, in LTNP, emphasizing the power of extreme-phenotype cohorts. CXCR6 is a chemokine receptor that is known as a minor coreceptor in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection but could participate in disease progression through its role as a mediator of inflammation.
Purpose of review
Two phase IIb test of concept studies evaluated the replication-defective adenovirus type 5 vaccine MRK gag/pol/nef HIV vaccine to prevent infection or decrease early plasma viral load in disparate populations. The Step study enrolled men and women in the Americas, Caribbean and Australia; the Phambili trial enrolled men and women in South Africa, where the modes of sexual transmission and HIV-1 risk, sub-types of HIV-1, and background Ad5 seroprevalence differed.
Vaccination in both studies were stopped, after the first interim efficacy analysis of the Step study crossed pre-determined non-efficacy boundaries. Neither trial demonstrated a decrease in HIV acquisition nor decreased early plasma viral load in vaccinees compared to placebo recipients. Post-hoc analyses of men enrolled in the Step study showed a larger number of HIV infections in the sub-group of vaccinated men who were Ad5 seropositive and uncircumcised compared to a comparable placebo group. This was not demonstrated in the Phambili study, where most men were heterosexual, while most in Step were homosexual/bisexual. Further analysis of the Step study has yet to explain the effect of Ad5 seroprevalence on increased HIV-1 susceptibility in men receiving the vaccine. However, promising vaccine effects on early viral control were seen, and the possibility of effects on early viral load setpoint in women in Phambili was seen.
These trials have provided a number of lessons about the importance of clinical trials in the HIV vaccine discovery process, and insight into the type and level of immune response that will be required for control of viral replication.
Phase IIb test of concept trials; HIV vaccines; ad5 vaccines
We analyzed HIV-1 genome sequences from 68 newly-infected volunteers in the Step HIV-1 vaccine trial. To determine whether the vaccine exerted selective T-cell pressure on breakthrough viruses, we identified potential T-cell epitopes in the founder sequences and compared them to epitopes in the vaccine. We found greater distances for sequences from vaccine recipients than from placebo recipients (p-values ranging from < 0.0001 to 0.09). The most significant signature site distinguishing vaccine from placebo recipients was Gag-84, a site encompassed by several epitopes contained in the vaccine and restricted by HLA alleles common in the cohort. Moreover, the extended divergence was confined to the vaccine components of the virus (Gag, Pol, Nef) and not found in other HIV-1 proteins. These results represent the first evidence of selective pressure from vaccine-induced T-cell responses on HIV-1 infection.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) trials are evaluating regimens containing tenofovir-disoproxil fumarate (TDF) for HIV prevention. We determined the baseline prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD) and the effect of TDF on BMD in men who have sex with men (MSM) in a PrEP trial in San Francisco.
We evaluated 1) the prevalence of low BMD using Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) in a baseline cohort of 210 HIV-uninfected MSM who screened for a randomized clinical trial of daily TDF vs. placebo, and 2) the effects of TDF on BMD in a longitudinal cohort of 184 enrolled men. Half began study drug after a 9-month delay to evaluate changes in risk behavior associated with pill-use. At baseline, 20 participants (10%) had low BMD (Z score≤−2.0 at the L2–L4 spine, total hip, or femoral neck). Low BMD was associated with amphetamine (OR = 5.86, 95% CI 1.70–20.20) and inhalant (OR = 4.57, 95% CI 1.32–15.81) use; men taking multivitamins, calcium, or vitamin D were less likely to have low BMD at baseline (OR = 0.26, 95% CI 0.10–0.71). In the longitudinal analysis, there was a 1.1% net decrease in mean BMD in the TDF vs. the pre-treatment/placebo group at the femoral neck (95% CI 0.4–1.9%), 0.8% net decline at the total hip (95% CI 0.3–1.3%), and 0.7% at the L2–L4 spine (95% CI −0.1–1.5%). At 24 months, 13% vs. 6% of participants experienced >5% BMD loss at the femoral neck in the TDF vs. placebo groups (p = 0.13).
Ten percent of HIV-negative MSM had low BMD at baseline. TDF use resulted in a small but statistically significant decline in BMD at the total hip and femoral neck. Larger studies with longer follow-up are needed to determine the trajectory of BMD changes and any association with clinical fractures.
Antiretroviral chemoprophylaxis before exposure is a promising approach for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition.
We randomly assigned 2499 HIV-seronegative men or transgender women who have sex with men to receive a combination of two oral antiretroviral drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC–TDF), or placebo once daily. All subjects received HIV testing, risk-reduction counseling, condoms, and management of sexually transmitted infections.
The study subjects were followed for 3324 person-years (median, 1.2 years; maximum, 2.8 years). Of these subjects, 10 were found to have been infected with HIV at enrollment, and 100 became infected during follow-up (36 in the FTC–TDF group and 64 in the placebo group), indicating a 44% reduction in the incidence of HIV (95% confidence interval, 15 to 63; P = 0.005). In the FTC–TDF group, the study drug was detected in 22 of 43 of seronegative subjects (51%) and in 3 of 34 HIV-infected subjects (9%) (P<0.001). Nausea was reported more frequently during the first 4 weeks in the FTC–TDF group than in the placebo group (P<0.001). The two groups had similar rates of serious adverse events (P = 0.57).
Oral FTC–TDF provided protection against the acquisition of HIV infection among the subjects. Detectable blood levels strongly correlated with the prophylactic effect. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00458393.)
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention is a promising experimental approach currently being tested globally. A number of PrEP trials are evaluating the safety and effectiveness of PrEP in men who have sex with men (MSM) and other populations at risk for HIV, and results will be available from this first generation of efficacy trials over the next few years. Here we review the rationale for orally-administered antiretrovirals for prevention, and outline issues the first generation trials will address as well as questions that may be addressed in future studies. We also describe the rationale for combination prevention approaches that may combine PrEP with other prevention modalities as part of a larger prevention package.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis; Clinical trials; HIV prevention; Combination prevention
A variant 35 kb upstream of the HLA-C gene (-35C/T) was previously shown to associate with HLA-C mRNA expression level and steady-state plasma HIV RNA levels. We genotyped this variant in 1,698 patients of European ancestry with HIV. Individuals with known seroconversion dates were used for disease progression analysis and those with longitudinal viral load data were used for viral load analysis. We further tested cell surface expression of HLA-C in normal donors using an HLA-C-specific antibody. We show that the -35C allele is a proxy for high HLA-C cell surface expression, and that individuals with high-expressing HLA-C alleles progress more slowly to AIDS and control viremia significantly better than individuals with low HLA-C expressing alleles. These data strongly implicate high HLA-C expression levels in more effective control of HIV-1, potentially through better antigen presentation to cytotoxic T lymphocytes or recognition and killing of infected cells by natural killer cells.
The human mitochondrial genome includes only 13 coding genes while nuclear-encoded genes account for 99% of proteins responsible for mitochondrial morphology, redox regulation, and energetics. Mitochondrial pathogenesis occurs in HIV patients and genetically, mitochondrial DNA haplogroups with presumed functional differences have been associated with differential AIDS progression.
Here we explore whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within 904 of the estimated 1,500 genes that specify nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins (NEMPs) influence AIDS progression among HIV-1 infected patients. We examined NEMPs for association with the rate of AIDS progression using genotypes generated by an Affymetrix 6.0 genotyping array of 1,455 European American patients from five US AIDS cohorts. Successfully genotyped SNPs gave 50% or better haplotype coverage for 679 of known NEMP genes. With a Bonferroni adjustment for the number of genes and tests examined, multiple SNPs within two NEMP genes showed significant association with AIDS progression: acyl-CoA synthetase medium-chain family member 4 (ACSM4) on chromosome 12 and peroxisomal D3,D2-enoyl-CoA isomerase (PECI) on chromosome 6.
Our previous studies on mitochondrial DNA showed that European haplogroups with presumed functional differences were associated with AIDS progression and HAART mediated adverse events. The modest influences of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes found in the current study add support to the idea that mitochondrial function plays a role in AIDS pathogenesis.