Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); lung cancer; incidence; smoking; immunosuppression; non-AIDS defining malignancy
Clinical trials with highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) have shown that a substantial number of patients continue to show a decrease in viral load and/or increase or stable CD4+ T-cell numbers even in the presence of multidrug resistant (MDR) viruses. We compared replication capacity (RC) and expression of anti-apoptosis marker genes (AAMGs) in human peripheral blood mononuclear (PBM) cells infected with NL4-3 (wild-type; WT) and mutant viruses. Replication kinetics assays showed a significant decrease in RC of all mutant viruses in comparison to the WT virus. The viruses containing patient-derived MDR RT without the K65R mutation (PSD5.2) replicated efficiently in comparison to the viruses with MDR RT containing the K65R mutation (PSD5.1), or the single mutations K65R and M184V. Compared with WT, a significant decrease in RCs of viruses: K65R (RC=0.39±0.02; p≤0.0001), M184V (RC=0.72±0.04; p≤0.0001), PSD5.1 (RC=0.32±0.04; p≤0.0001), and PSD5.2 (RC=0.90±0.04; p=0.002) was observed on day 10. RT-PCR-based apoptosis array was performed on total cellular RNA. Recombinant virus PSD5.2 showed a 1.5- to 6-fold upregulation in 8 AAMGs (AKT1, BAG3, BCL2A1, BFAR, BIRC2, BNIP1, BNIP3, and CFLAR) on day 1 and day 7 post-infection with respect to WT virus. PSD5.1 showed upregulation of only one gene (BAG1) on day 1 (1.75-fold) and day 7 (1.97-fold). Point mutant K65R showed a 1.5- to 4-fold upregulation of six AAMGs on day 7. Viruses with the M184V mutation showed upregulation of only one gene (BAG1). These observations indicate that the upregulation of specific AAMGs may not be dependent on the RCs of HIV-I variants, and that the possible interaction among mutated RT residues and viral and/or host proteins may induce CD4+ T-cell-protective anti-apoptosis proteins.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among non-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) defining malignancies. Since highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) has improved survival for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients, we evaluated lung cancer outcomes in the HAART era.
HIV-positive patients diagnosed with lung cancer in our institution during the HAART era (1995-2008) were analyzed. Patient charts were reviewed for clinical and laboratory data. CD4 count at diagnosis was treated as a continuous variable and subcategorized into distinct variables with 3 cut-off points (50, 200, & 500 μl). Pearson’s correlation coefficients were estimated for each covariate studied. Survival was determined by the Kaplan-Meier method.
Out of 80 patients, 73 had non-small cell lung cancer. Baseline characteristics were: median age-52 yrs; male-80%; African American-84%; injection drug use-25%; smokers-100%; and prior exposure to antiretroviral agents-55%. Mean CD4 count and viral load were 304 μL and 82,420 copies/ml, respectively at cancer diagnosis. The latency between diagnosis of HIV and lung cancer was significantly shorter in women (4.1 yrs vs. 7.7 yrs, P=0.02) and 71% of the patients received anti-cancer therapy. The 1- and 3-year survival rates were 31% and 4% overall. Grade 3/4 toxicities occurred in 60% with chemo-radiation vs. 36% with chemotherapy. Cancer-related survival was better for patients with CD4 count >200 (P=0.0298) and >500 (P=0.0076).
The latency from diagnosis of HIV to lung cancer was significantly shorter for women. Although outcomes for lung cancer patients with HIV remain poor, high CD4 count is associated with an improved lung cancer-related survival.
lung cancer; HIV; survival; anti-retroviral therapy; HAART
We assessed smoking data from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) electronic medical record (EMR) Health Factors dataset.
To assess the validity of the EMR Health Factors smoking data, we first created an algorithm to convert text entries into a 3-category smoking variable (never, former, and current). We compared this EMR smoking variable to 2 different sources of patient self-reported smoking survey data: (a) 6,816 HIV-infected and -uninfected participants in the 8-site Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS-8) and (b) a subset of 13,689 participants from the national VACS Virtual Cohort (VACS-VC), who also completed the 1999 Large Health Study (LHS) survey. Sensitivity, specificity, and kappa statistics were used to evaluate agreement of EMR Health Factors smoking data with self-report smoking data.
For the EMR Health Factors and VACS-8 comparison of current, former, and never smoking categories, the kappa statistic was .66. For EMR Health Factors and VACS-VC/LHS comparison of smoking, the kappa statistic was .61.
Based on kappa statistics, agreement between the EMR Health Factors and survey sources is substantial. Identification of current smokers nationally within the VHA can be used in future studies to track smoking status over time, to evaluate smoking interventions, and to adjust for smoking status in research. Our methodology may provide insights for other organizations seeking to use EMR data for accurate determination of smoking status.
Chronic inflammation caused by hepatitis B virus infection, hepatitis C virus infection, and/or heavy alcohol use can lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and eventually hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). FIB-4 is an index score calculated from platelet count, alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and age that predicts fibrosis and cirrhosis. We hypothesized that high FIB-4 would be associated with development of HCC in HIV-infected persons, who are at high risk due to high prevalence of viral hepatitis and alcohol consumption, and possibly due to HIV infection itself.
Using proportional hazards models, we tested this hypothesis among 22,980 HIV-infected men from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. We identified incident HCC cases from the VA Central Cancer Registry.
During follow-up, there were 112 incident HCC diagnoses. The age-and race/ethnic group-adjusted HR was 4.2 (95% CI: 2.4, 7.4)for intermediate FIB-4 and 13.0 (95% CI: 7.2, 23.4) for high FIB-4, compared to low FIB-4. After further adjustment for enrollment year, CD4 count, HIV-1 RNA level, antiretroviral therapy use, hepatitis B and C virus infection, alcohol abuse/dependency, and diabetes, FIB-4 remained a strong, significant, independent risk factor for HCC. The multivariate-adjusted HR was 3.6 (95% CI: 2.1, 6.4) for intermediate FIB-4 and 9.6 (95% CI: 5.2, 17.4) for high FIB-4.
Calculated from routine, non-invasive laboratory tests, FIB-4 is a strong, independent HCC risk factor in HIV-infected patients.
FIB-4 might prove valuable as an easily measured index to identify those at highest risk for HCC, even prior to development of clinical cirrhosis.
hepatocellular carcinoma; FIB-4; HIV; liver neoplasms; hepatic fibrosis
We analyzed the cycle threshold (CT) of PCR surveillance MRSA swabs obtained from veterans. Lower CT on admission was associated with a positive culture from nasal swabs at discharge. Compared to PCR, direct plating of nasal swabs performed poorly, especially for patients with an elevated CT. The CT is strongly correlated with quantitative nasal cultures. Clinical and infection control applications of the CT have yet to be defined and warrant further evaluation.
Changes in body fat distribution and abnormal glucose metabolism are common in HIV-infected patients. We hypothesized that HIV-infected participants would have a higher prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) compared with control subjects.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A total of 491 HIV-infected and 187 control participants from the second examination of the Study of Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM) underwent glucose tolerance testing (GTT). Multivariable regression was used to identify factors associated with GTT parameters.
The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) (>110 mg/dL) was similar in HIV-infected and control participants (21 vs. 25%, P = 0.23). In those without IFG, the prevalence of IGT was slightly higher in HIV-infected participants compared with control subjects (13.1 vs. 8.2%, P = 0.14) and in HIV+ participants with lipoatrophy versus without (18.1 vs. 11.5%, P = 0.084). Diabetes detected by GTT was rare (HIV subjects 1.3% and control subjects 0%, P = 0.65). Mean 2-h glucose levels were 7.6 mg/dL higher in the HIV-infected participants (P = 0.012). Increased upper trunk subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and decreased leg SAT were associated with 2-h glucose and IGT in both HIV-infected and control participants. Adjusting for adipose tissue reduced the estimated effects of HIV. Exercise, alcohol use, and current tenofovir use were associated with lower 2-h glucose levels in HIV-infected participants.
In HIV infection, increased upper trunk SAT and decreased leg SAT are associated with higher 2-h glucose. These body fat characteristics may identify HIV-infected patients with normal fasting glucose but nonetheless at increased risk for diabetes.
The absence of validated methods to identify hepatic decompensation in cohort studies has prevented a full understanding of the natural history of chronic liver diseases and impact of medications on this outcome. We determined the ability of diagnostic codes and liver-related laboratory abnormalities to identify hepatic decompensation events within the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS).
Medical records of patients with hepatic decompensation codes and/or laboratory abnormalities of liver dysfunction (total bilirubin ≥5.0 gm/dL, albumin ≤2.0 gm/dL, international normalized ratio ≥1.7) recorded one year before through six months after VACS entry were reviewed to identify decompensation events (i.e., ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, variceal hemorrhage, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatocellular carcinoma) at VACS enrollment. Positive predictive values (PPVs) of diagnostic codes, laboratory abnormalities, and their combinations for confirmed outcomes were determined.
Among 137 patients with a hepatic decompensation code and 197 with a laboratory abnormality, the diagnosis was confirmed in 57 (PPV, 42%; 95% CI, 33% – 50%) and 56 (PPV, 28%; 95% CI, 22% – 35%), respectively. The combination of any code plus laboratory abnormality increased PPV (64%; 95% CI, 47% - 79%). One inpatient or ≥2 outpatient diagnostic codes for ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, or variceal hemorrhage had high PPV (91%; 95% CI, 77% – 98%) for confirmed hepatic decompensation events.
An algorithm of 1 inpatient or ≥2 outpatient codes for ascites, peritonitis, or variceal hemorrhage has sufficiently high PPV for hepatic decompensation to enable its use for epidemiologic research in VACS. This algorithm may be applicable to other cohorts.
hepatic decompensation; end-stage liver disease; epidemiologic methods; outcomes; validation studies
Whether hepatitis C (HCV) confers additional coronary heart disease (CHD) risk among Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected individuals is unclear. Without appropriate adjustment for antiretroviral therapy, CD4 count, and HIV-1 RNA, and substantially different mortality rates among those with and without HIV and HCV infection, the association between HIV, HCV, and CHD may be obscured.
Methods and Results
We analyzed data on 8579 participants (28% HIV+, 9% HIV+HCV+) from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort who participated in the 1999 Large Health Study of Veteran Enrollees. We analyzed data collected on HIV and HCV status, risk factors for and the incidence of CHD, and mortality from 1/2000–7/2007. We compared models to assess CHD risk when death was treated as a censoring event and as a competing risk. During the median 7.3 years of follow-up, there were 194 CHD events and 1186 deaths. Compared with HIV−HCV− Veterans, HIV+ HCV+ Veterans had a significantly higher risk of CHD regardless of whether death was adjusted for as a censoring event (adjusted hazard ratio (HR)=2.03, 95% CI=1.28–3.21) or a competing risk (adjusted HR=2.45, 95% CI=1.83–3.27 respectively). Compared with HIV+HCV− Veterans, HIV+ HCV+ Veterans also had a significantly higher adjusted risk of CHD regardless of whether death was treated as a censored event (adjusted HR=1.93, 95% CI=1.02–3.62) or a competing risk (adjusted HR =1.46, 95% CI=1.03–2.07).
HIV+HCV+ Veterans have an increased risk of CHD compared to HIV+HCV−, and HIV−HCV− Veterans.
viruses; coronary disease; mortality; multi morbidity
Rationale: In aging HIV-infected populations comorbid diseases are important determinants of morbidity and mortality. Pulmonary diseases have not been systematically assessed in the combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) era.
Objectives: To determine the incidence of pulmonary diseases in HIV-infected persons compared with HIV-uninfected persons.
Methods: We analyzed data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort, consisting of 33,420 HIV-infected veterans and 66,840 age, sex, race and ethnicity, and site-matched HIV-uninfected veterans. Using Poisson regression, incidence rates and adjusted incidence rate ratios were calculated to determine the association of HIV with pulmonary disease. The Virtual Cohort was merged with the 1999 Veterans Large Health Survey to adjust for self-reported smoking in a nested sample (14%).
Measurements and Main Results: Incident chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension, and pulmonary fibrosis, as well as pulmonary infections, were significantly more likely among HIV-infected patients compared with uninfected patients in adjusted analyses, although rates of asthma did not differ by HIV status. Bacterial pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the two most common incident pulmonary diseases, whereas opportunistic pneumonias were less common. Absolute rates of most pulmonary diseases increased with age, although the relative differences between those with and without HIV infection were greatest in younger persons. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, as well as pulmonary infections, were less likely in those with lower HIV RNA levels and use of ART at baseline.
Conclusions: Pulmonary diseases among HIV-infected patients receiving care within the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in the combination ART era reflect a substantial burden of non–AIDS-defining and chronic conditions, many of which are associated with aging.
HIV; respiratory tract diseases; lung diseases, obstructive; pneumonia; pneumonia, bacterial
Visceral obesity is associated with insulin resistance, but the association of other regional adipose depots with insulin resistance is not understood. In HIV infection, buffalo hump (upper trunk fat) is associated, but the association of upper trunk fat with insulin resistance has not been examined in controls. To determine the independent association of adipose depots other than visceral with insulin resistance, we performed a cross-sectional analysis of controls and HIV-infected subjects in the Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM) study, who had measurements of glucose, insulin, and adipose tissue volumes by whole-body magnetic resonance imaging. We studied 926 HIV-positive persons from 16 academic medical center clinics and trials units with demographic characteristics representative of US patients with HIV infection and 258 FRAM controls from the population-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. We measured visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) volume in the legs, arms, lower trunk (back and abdomen), and upper trunk (back and chest) and assessed their association with the homeostasis model of assessment (HOMA) and HOMA >4 by stepwise multivariable analysis. The prevalence of HOMA >4 as a marker of insulin resistance was 28% among controls compared with 37% among HIV-infected subjects (P = 0.005). Among controls, those in the highest tertile of upper trunk SAT volume had an odds ratio (OR) of 9.0 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.4 to 34; P = 0.001) for having HOMA >4 compared with the lowest tertile, whereas in HIV-positive subjects, the OR was lower (OR = 2.09, 95% CI: 1.36 to 3.19; P = 0.001). Among controls, the highest tertile of VAT volume had an OR of 12.1 (95% CI: 3.2 to 46; P = 0.0002) of having HOMA >4 compared with the lowest tertile, whereas in HIV-positive subjects, the OR was 3.12 (95% CI: 2.0 to 4.8; P < 0.0001). After adjusting for VAT and upper trunk SAT, the association of other SAT depots with HOMA >4 did not reach statistical significance. Thus, VAT and upper trunk SAT are independently associated with insulin resistance in controls and in HIV-infected persons.
buffalo hump; fat distribution; insulin resistance; lipodystrophy; visceral obesity
Coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is reported to be associated with a higher prevalence of lipodystrophy than HIV infection alone. We examine the association between HCV and adipose tissue volume in HIV-infected men and women.
Cross-sectional analysis of HIV-infected subjects from the study of Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection. MRI measured regional adipose tissue volume. Detectable HCV RNA defined HCV infection.
Twenty percent of 792 men and 26% of 329 women were HIV/HCV-coinfected. HIV/HCV-coinfected and HIV-monoinfected women had similar amounts of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) in the leg, lower trunk, upper trunk, and arm and similar amounts of visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Similar findings were seen in men, except in the leg and VAT. After adjustment, HCV infection remained associated with more leg fat in men (12.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.3 to 25.3; P = 0.043). Among those on stavudine, HIV-monoinfected men had less leg fat (−7% effect per year of stavudine use, 95% CI: −9 to −5; P < 0.001); a weaker association was seen in HIV/HCV-coinfected men (−2% effect, 95% CI: −7 to 3; P = 0.45). Indinavir was associated with less leg fat (−4% in HIV-monoinfected men, 95% CI: −6 to −1; P = 0.002; −5% in HIV/HCV-coinfected men, 95% CI: −11 to 2; P = 0.14).
Our findings suggest that HIV/HCV coinfection is not associated with less SAT in men and women. HCV infection seems to mitigate the loss of leg fat seen in HIV-infected men on stavudine.
adipose tissue volume; fat distribution; hepatitis C virus; HIV; lipodystrophy
Serologic studies can provide important insights into the epidemiology and transmission of Pneumocystis jirovecii. Exposure to P. jirovecii can be assessed by serum antibody responses to recombinant antigens from the major surface glycoprotein (MsgC), although factors that influence the magnitude of the antibody response are incompletely understood. We determined the magnitudes of antibody responses to P. jirovecii in comparison to adenovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in HIV-infected and uninfected patients and identified predictors associated with the magnitude of the response. We performed a cross-sectional analysis using serum samples and data from 153 HIV-positive and 92 HIV-negative subjects enrolled in a feasibility study of the Veterans Aging Cohort 5 Site Study (VACS 5). Antibodies were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Independent predictors of antibody responses were determined using multivariate Tobit regression models. The results showed that serum antibody responses to P. jirovecii MsgC fragments were significantly and independently decreased in current smokers. Antibodies to P. jirovecii also tended to be lower with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hazardous alcohol use, injection drug use, and HIV infection, although these results were not statistically significant. These results were specific to P. jirovecii and did not correlate with adenovirus. Antibody responses to RSV were in the inverse direction. Thus, current smoking was independently associated with decreased P. jirovecii antibody responses. Whether smoking exerts an immunosuppressive effect that affects the P. jirovecii antibody response, colonization, or subsequent risk for disease is unclear; prospective, longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate these findings further.
Multiple factors, including patient characteristics, competing demands, and clinic type, impact delivery of depression treatment in primary care.
Assess whether depression severity and HIV serostatus have a differential effect on time to depression treatment among depressed patients receiving primary care at Infectious Disease or General Medicine clinics.
Multicenter prospective cohort, (Veterans Aging Cohort Study), comparing HIV-infected to uninfected patients.
PARTICIPANTS AND MEASURES
The total cohort consisted of 3,239 HIV-infected and 3,227 uninfected patients. Study inclusion criteria were untreated depressive symptoms, based on a Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) score of greater than 9, and no antidepressants or mental health visits in the 90 days prior to PHQ-9 assessment. Treatment was defined as antidepressant receipt or mental health visit within 90 days following PHQ-9 assessment. Depression severity based on PHQ-9 scores was defined as mild-moderate (greater than 9 to 19) and severe (20 or greater). Kaplan-Meier curves were used to estimate time to treatment by depression severity and HIV serostatus. Cox proportional hazards methods adjusted for covariates were used.
Overall, 718 (11%) of the cohort met inclusion criteria, 258 (36%) of whom received treatment. Median time to treatment was 7 days [95% confidence interval (CI) = 4, 13] and was shortest for severely depressed HIV-infected patients (0.5 days; 95% CI = 0.5, 6, p = 0.04). Compared to mildly-moderately depressed uninfected patients, severely depressed HIV-infected patients were significantly more likely to receive treatment [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.67, 95% CI = 1.07, 2.60), whereas mildly-moderately depressed HIV-infected patients (adjusted HR 1.10, 95% CI = 0.79, 1.52) and severely depressed uninfected patients (adjusted HR 0.93, 95% CI = 0.60, 1.44) were not.
In this large cohort, time to primary care treatment of depression was shortest among severely depressed HIV-infected patients. Regardless of HIV serostatus, if depression was not treated on the assessment day, then it was unlikely to be treated within a 90-day period, leading to the majority of depression being untreated.
AIDS; antidepressant drugs; HIV; major depression; psychotherapy
Depression is one of the most common comorbid conditions affecting persons with HIV. We compared depressive symptoms and depression treatment using data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS), a prospective cohort of HIV-infected and uninfected subjects. We identified subjects with a Patient Health Questionnaire score of 10 or greater. Treatment was defined as prescription of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or mental health counseling. Overall, 16% of 4,480 subjects had depressive symptoms, and HIV-infected patients were more likely to have had depressive symptoms (OR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.18, 1.62). Geographic site of care and having a mental health provider at the clinic was associated with treatment. In multivariable models restricted to 732 patients with depressive symptoms, receipt of depression treatment did not differ by HIV status (Adjusted OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 0.80, 1.54). Non-Hispanic whites were more likely to receive treatment (Adjusted OR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.04, 4.24). Primary care and HIV providers were equally unlikely to treat active depressive symptoms. Treatment variation by race, site, and availability of a mental health provider, suggests targets for intervention.
HIV-infection; Depression; Psychiatric status rating scales; Anti-depressive agents
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected persons have a high incidence of pneumonia and pneumococcal disease. Benefits of vaccination with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) among these patients continue to be debated.
The impact of PPV vaccination on the incidence of pneumonia events (i.e., the composite of pneumococcal pneumonia and pneumonia due to nonspecified organisms) was examined among participants in the Veterans Aging Cohort 5-Site Study, an ongoing prospective study of HIV-infected patients matched to an HIV-uninfected control group. Dates of PPV vaccination and pneumonia were determined by retrospective review of electronic medical records. Time to events was measured for up to 2 years from PPV vaccination or from enrollment for vaccinated and unvaccinated patients, respectively. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression methods were used to examine the incidence of pneumonia by HIV infection and PPV vaccination status.
Among 692 HIV-uninfected and 934 HIV-infected study participants, 59% were vaccinated with PPV. The 2-year incidence of pneumonia was 6% (97 participants developed pneumonia). HIV-infected patients had a higher rate of pneumonia (hazard ratio, 5.81; 95% confidence interval, 3.15–10.71); overall, vaccinated patients showed a trend toward lower risk of pneumonia (hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, 0.50–1.13). Among HIV-infected patients, after controlling for HIV-specific and other variables, vaccination significantly reduced the risk of pneumonia (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.42–1.00); current smoking, low hemoglobin level, and low CD4 cell count significantly increased such risk. The effect of PPV vaccination among HIV-uninfected patients was not significant.
Among HIV-infected patients, PPV vaccination offered protection against pneumonia. Smoking cessation needs to be pursued as an additional strategy for preventing pneumonia.
Identifying and treating persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection early in their disease stage is considered an effective means of reducing the impact of the disease. We compared the cost-effectiveness of HIV screening in three settings, sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics serving men who have sex with men, hospital emergency departments (EDs), settings where patients are likely to be diagnosed early, and inpatient diagnosis based on clinical manifestations.
Methods and Findings
We developed the Progression and Transmission of HIV/AIDS model, a health state transition model that tracks index patients and their infected partners from HIV infection to death. We used program characteristics for each setting to compare the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year gained from early versus late diagnosis and treatment. We ran the model for 10,000 index patients for each setting, examining alternative scenarios, excluding and including transmission to partners, and assuming HAART was initiated at a CD4 count of either 350 or 500 cells/µL. Screening in STD clinics and EDs was cost-effective compared with diagnosing inpatients, even when including only the benefits to the index patients. Screening patients in STD clinics, who have less-advanced disease, was cost-effective compared with ED screening when treatment with HAART was initiated at a CD4 count of 500 cells/µL. When the benefits of reduced transmission to partners from early diagnosis were included, screening in settings with less-advanced disease stages was cost-saving compared with screening later in the course of infection. The study was limited by a small number of observations on CD4 count at diagnosis and by including transmission only to first generation partners of the index patients.
HIV prevention efforts can be advanced by screening in settings where patients present with less-advanced stages of HIV infection and by initiating treatment with HAART earlier in the course of infection.
The Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) is a study of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected and uninfected patients seen in infectious disease and general medical clinics. VACS includes the earlier 3 and 5 site studies (VACS 3 and VACS 5) as well as the ongoing 8 site study.
We sought to provide background and context for analyses based upon VACS data, including study design and rationale as well as its basic protocol and the baseline characteristics of the enrolled sample.
We undertook a prospectively consented multisite observational study of veterans in care with and without HIV infection.
Data were derived from patient and provider self report, telephone interviews, blood and DNA samples, focus groups, and full access to the national VA “paperless” electronic medical record system.
More than 7200 veterans have been enrolled in at least one of the studies. The 8 site study (VACS) has enrolled 2979 HIV-infected and 3019 HIV-uninfected age–race–site matched comparators and has achieved stratified enrollment targets for race/ethnicity and age and 99% of its total target enrollment as of October 30, 2005. Participants in VACS are similar to other veterans receiving care within the VA. VACS participants are older and more predominantly black than those reported by the Centers for Disease Control.
VACS has assembled a rich, in-depth, and representative sample of veterans in care with and without HIV infection to conduct longitudinal analyses of questions concerning the association between alcohol use and related comorbid and AIDS-defining conditions.
HIV/AIDS; alcohol; aging veterans; data management/research design
HIV infection has been associated with an increased risk of fragility fracture. We explored whether or not this increased risk persisted in HIV infected and uninfected men when controlling for traditional fragility fracture risk factors.
Cox regression models were used to assess the association of HIV infection with the risk for incident hip, vertebral, or upper arm fracture in male Veterans enrolled in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort (VACS-VC). We calculated adjusted hazard ratios comparing HIV status and controlling for demographics and other established risk factors. The sample consisted of 119,318 men, 33% of whom were HIV infected (34% aged 50 years or older at baseline, and 55% black or Hispanic). Median body mass index (BMI) was lower in HIV infected compared with uninfected men (25 vs. 28 kg/m2; p<0.0001). Unadjusted risk for fracture was higher among HIV infected compared with uninfected men [HR: 1.32 (95% CI: 1.20, 1.47)]. After adjusting for demographics, comorbid disease, smoking and alcohol abuse, HIV infection remained associated with an increased fracture risk [HR: 1.24 (95% CI: 1.11, 1.39)]. However, adjusting for BMI attenuated this association [HR: 1.10 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.25)]. The only HIV-specific factor associated with fragility fracture was current protease inhibitor use [HR: 1.41 (95% CI: 1.16, 1.70)].
HIV infection is associated with fragility fracture risk. This risk is attenuated by BMI.
To examine the effect of hepatitis C virus (HCV) on the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) among veterans with HIV and to evaluate independent associations of HCV and CKD with mortality.
We studied a national cohort of HIV-infected patients receiving care through the Veterans Healthcare Administration from 1998 to 2004. CKD was defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR (mL/min/1.73 m2)] < 60. Poisson regression was used to assess relationships between CKD, HCV, and mortality.
Among 23,155 HIV-infected veterans, 12% had CKD. Forty percent of the cohort was coinfected with HCV, and a higher proportion of coinfected subjects had CKD compared with monoinfected subjects (14% vs 11%, P < 0.001). During the median follow-up of 7.6 years, 37% of subjects died and a graduated increase in adjusted mortality rates occurred with lower levels of eGFR (P < 0.001). Adjusted mortality rates were consistently higher in HCV-coinfected subjects across all levels of eGFR (P < 0.001). HCV was independently associated with increased mortality (incidence rate ratio 1.23, 95% confidence interval 1.17–1.29).
CKD is prevalent in HIV-infected veterans and associated with substantially higher mortality. Compared with their monoinfected counterparts, veterans coinfected with HCV have significantly higher rates of CKD and mortality.
death; HIV; hepatitis C; kidney failure; veterans
The major hurdle in the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) includes the development of drug resistance-associated mutations in the target regions of the virus. Since reverse transcriptase (RT) is essential for HIV-1 replication, several nucleoside analogues have been developed to target RT of the virus. Clinical studies have shown that mutations at RT codon 65 and 74 which are located in β3-β4 linkage group of finger sub-domain of RT are selected during treatment with several RT inhibitors, including didanosine, deoxycytidine, abacavir and tenofovir. Interestingly, the co-selection of K65R and L74V is rare in clinical settings. We have previously shown that K65R and L74V are incompatible and a R→K reversion occurs at codon 65 during replication of the virus. Analysis of the HIV resistance database has revealed that similar to K65R+L74V, the double mutant K65R+L74I is also rare. We sought to compare the impact of L→V versus L→I change at codon 74 in the background of K65R mutation, on the replication of doubly mutant viruses.
Proviral clones containing K65R, L74V, L74I, K65R+L74V and K65R+L74I RT mutations were created in pNL4-3 backbone and viruses were produced in 293T cells. Replication efficiencies of all the viruses were compared in peripheral blood mononuclear (PBM) cells in the absence of selection pressure. Replication capacity (RC) of mutant viruses in relation to wild type was calculated on the basis of antigen p24 production and RT activity, and paired analysis by student t-test was performed among RCs of doubly mutant viruses. Reversion at RT codons 65 and 74 was monitored during replication in PBM cells. In vitro processivity of mutant RTs was measured to analyze the impact of amino acid changes at RT codon 74.
Replication kinetics plot showed that all of the mutant viruses were attenuated as compared to wild type (WT) virus. Although attenuated in comparison to WT virus and single point mutants K65R, L74V and L74I; the double mutant K65R+L74I replicated efficiently in comparison to K65R+L74V mutant. The increased replication capacity of K65R+L74I viruses in comparison to K65R+L74V viruses was significant at multiplicity of infection 0.01 (p = 0.0004). Direct sequencing and sequencing after population cloning showed a more pronounced reversion at codon 65 in viruses containing K65R+L74V mutations in comparison to viruses with K65R+L74I mutations. In vitro processivity assays showed increased processivity of RT containing K65R+L74I in comparison to K65R+L74V RT.
The improved replication kinetics of K65R+L74I virus in comparison to K65R+L74V viruses was due to an increase in the processivity of RT containing K65R+L74I mutations. These observations support the rationale behind structural functional analysis to understand the interactions among unique RT mutations that may emerge during the treatment with specific drug regimens.
To determine the relationship of HIV infection, demographic and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors with mortality in the recent HAART era.
Vital status was ascertained from 2004–2007 in 922 HIV-infected and 280 controls in the Study of Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV infection; 469 HIV-infected were included in analysis comparing HIV to similar age controls. Multivariable exponential survival regression (adjusting for demographic and CVD factors) estimated hazard ratios (HR) for death.
After 5 years of follow-up, the overall adjusted mortality HR was 3.4[95% confidence interval (CI):1.35,8.5]; HR was 6.3 among HIV-infected with CD4<200(95% CI:2.2,18.2), 4.3 with CD4 200–350(95% CI:1.14,16.0), and 2.3 with CD4>350(95% CI:0.78,6.9). Among HIV-infected, current smoking (HR=2.73 vs. never smokers, 95% CI:1.64,4.5) and older age (HR=1.61 per decade, 95% CI:1.27,2.1) were independent risk factors for death; higher baseline CD4 count was associated with lower risk (HR=0.65 per CD4 doubling, 95% CI:0.58,0.73).
HIV infection was associated with a 3-fold mortality risk compared to controls after adjustment for demographic and CVD risk factors. In addition to low baseline CD4 count, older age and current smoking were strong and independent predictors of mortality in a US cohort of HIV-infected participants in clinical care.
Cardiovascular disease; Mortality; HIV infection; FRAM
Concordant with the emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the community setting, colonization and infections with this pathogen have become a prevalent problem among the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive population. A variety of different host- and, possibly, pathogen-related factors may play a role in explaining the increased prevalence and incidence observed. In this article, we review pathophysiology, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and treatment of MRSA in the HIV-infected population.
MRSA; Staphylococcus aureus; HIV; resistance
The association of fat distribution with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) elevations is not well-defined in HIV-infected individuals. Obesity is associated with hepatic steatosis, and ALT is a marker of steatosis in the general population.
Cross-sectional analysis of 1119 HIV-infected and 284 control subjects. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA testing determined HCV infection. Magnetic resonance imaging measured regional adipose tissue volume.
After adjustment for demographic and lifestyle factors, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) was positively associated with ALT in HIV/HCV-coinfected subjects (+9.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.8 to 17.6), HIV-monoinfected subjects (+8.0%, 95% CI: 4.2 to 12.1), and controls (+5.9%, 95% CI: 2.0 to 10.1). In contrast, lower trunk subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) was negatively associated with ALT in HIV/HCV-coinfected subjects (−14.3%, 95% CI: −24.7 to −4.2) and HIV-monoinfected subjects (−11.9%, 95% CI: −18.4 to −5.3); there was a trend toward an association in controls (−7.1%, 95% CI: −22.7 to 5.9). Estimated associations between regional adipose tissue and AST were small and did not reach statistical significance.
More VAT and less lower trunk SAT are associated with elevated ALT, which likely reflects the presence of steatosis. There was little association with AST. HCV infection and having more VAT or less lower trunk SAT are independently associated with elevated ALT in HIV infection. Study regarding the association between VAT, trunk SAT, HCV, and progression of steatosis and fibrosis is needed in HIV-infected individuals.
adipose tissue; aminotransferase levels; hepatitis C virus; HIV; lipodystrophy