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1.  High Level of Viral Suppression and Low Switch Rate to Second-Line Antiretroviral Therapy among HIV-Infected Adult Patients Followed over Five Years: Retrospective Analysis of the DART Trial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90772.
In contrast to resource-rich countries, most HIV-infected patients in resource-limited countries receive treatment without virological monitoring. There are few long-term data, in this setting, on rates of viral suppression or switch to second-line antiretroviral therapy. The DART trial compared clinically driven monitoring (CDM) versus routine laboratory (CD4/haematology/biochemistry) and clinical monitoring (LCM) in HIV-infected adults initiating therapy. There was no virological monitoring in either study group during follow-up, but viral load was measured in Ugandan participants at trial closure. Two thousand three hundred and seventeen (2317) participants from this country initiated antiretroviral therapy with zidovudine/lamivudine plus tenofovir (n = 1717), abacavir (n = 300), or nevirapine (n = 300). Of 1896 (81.8%) participants who were alive and in follow-up at trial closure (median 5.1 years after therapy initiation), 1507 (79.5%) were on first-line and 389 (20.5%) on second-line antiretroviral therapy. The overall switch rate after the first year was 5.6 per 100 person-years; the rate was substantially higher in participants with low baseline CD4 counts (<50 cells/mm3). Among 1207 (80.1%) first-line participants with viral load measured, HIV RNA was <400 copies/ml in 963 (79.8%), 400–999 copies/ml in 37 (3.1%), 1,000–9,999 copies/ml in 110 (9.1%), and ≥10,000 copies/ml in 97 (8.0%). The proportion with HIV RNA <400 copies/ml was slightly lower (difference 7.1%, 95% CI 2.5 to 11.5%) in CDM (76.3%) than in LCM (83.4%). Among 252 (64.8%) second-line participants with viral load measured (median 2.3 years after switch), HIV RNA was <400 copies/ml in 226 (89.7%), with no difference between monitoring strategies. Low switch rates and high, sustained levels of viral suppression are achievable without viral load or CD4 count monitoring in the context of high-quality clinical care.
Trial Registration:
ISRCTN13968779
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090772
PMCID: PMC3953124  PMID: 24625508
2.  Predicting Patterns of Long-Term CD4 Reconstitution in HIV-Infected Children Starting Antiretroviral Therapy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Cohort-Based Modelling Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(10):e1001542.
Using data from the ARROW trial, Joanna Lewis and colleagues investigate the CD4 cell count recovery profiles of children infected with HIV starting antiretroviral therapy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Long-term immune reconstitution on antiretroviral therapy (ART) has important implications for HIV-infected children, who increasingly survive into adulthood. Children's response to ART differs from adults', and better descriptive and predictive models of reconstitution are needed to guide policy and direct research. We present statistical models characterising, qualitatively and quantitatively, patterns of long-term CD4 recovery.
Methods and Findings
CD4 counts every 12 wk over a median (interquartile range) of 4.0 (3.7, 4.4) y in 1,206 HIV-infected children, aged 0.4–17.6 y, starting ART in the Antiretroviral Research for Watoto trial (ISRCTN 24791884) were analysed in an exploratory analysis supplementary to the trial's pre-specified outcomes. Most (n = 914; 76%) children's CD4 counts rose quickly on ART to a constant age-corrected level. Using nonlinear mixed-effects models, higher long-term CD4 counts were predicted for children starting ART younger, and with higher CD4 counts (p<0.001). These results suggest that current World Health Organization–recommended CD4 thresholds for starting ART in children ≥5 y will result in lower CD4 counts in older children when they become adults, such that vertically infected children who remain ART-naïve beyond 10 y of age are unlikely ever to normalise CD4 count, regardless of CD4 count at ART initiation. CD4 profiles with four qualitatively distinct reconstitution patterns were seen in the remaining 292 (24%) children. Study limitations included incomplete viral load data, and that the uncertainty in allocating children to distinct reconstitution groups was not modelled.
Conclusions
Although younger ART-naïve children are at high risk of disease progression, they have good potential for achieving high CD4 counts on ART in later life provided ART is initiated following current World Health Organization (WHO), Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS, or US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. In contrast, to maximise CD4 reconstitution in treatment-naïve children >10 y, ART should ideally be considered even if there is a low risk of immediate disease progression. Further exploration of the immunological mechanisms for these CD4 recovery profiles should help guide management of paediatric HIV infection and optimise children's immunological development.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, about 3.3 million children under 15 years old are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. More than 90% of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 600 children become infected with HIV every day, usually acquiring the virus from their mother during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. HIV gradually reduces the numbers of CD4 lymphocytes in the immune system, leaving infected individuals susceptible to other infections. HIV infection can be kept in check but not cured with antiretroviral therapy (ART)—cocktails of drugs that have to be taken every day throughout life. ART reduces the amount of virus in the blood (viral load), which allows the immune system to recover (long-term immune reconstitution). Unfortunately, ART is very expensive, but concerted international efforts over the past decade mean that about a third of children who need ART are now receiving it, including half a million children in sub-Saharan Africa.
Why Was This Study Done?
World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend initiation of ART at age-related CD4 cell count thresholds based on the risk of short-term disease progression. The guidelines recommend that all HIV-positive children under two years old begin ART as soon they receive a diagnosis of HIV infection. For children aged 2–5 years, ART initiation is recommended once the CD4 count drops below 750 cells/µl blood, whereas for older children the threshold for ART initiation is 350 CD4 cells/µl. Because of improved ART coverage, many more HIV-infected children now survive into adulthood than in the past. It is therefore important to know how the timing of ART initiation in childhood affects long-term immune reconstitution. Unfortunately, although several studies have examined the effect of ART on immune reconstitution in adults, the results of these studies cannot be extrapolated to children because of age-related differences in immune reconstitution. In this cohort-based modelling study, the researchers investigate long-term CD4 recovery in a cohort (group) of HIV-infected children initiating ART in Uganda and Zimbabwe, and present statistical models that predict patterns of long-term CD4 status based on age and CD4 count at ART initiation.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
To investigate long-term CD4 reconstitution in children, the researchers used CD4 counts collected during the ARROW trial, a study designed to investigate monitoring strategies during first-line ART in 1,206 HIV-positive children. In three-quarters of the children, CD4 reconstitution following ART initiation was asymptotic—CD4 counts increased rapidly immediately after ART initiation, then slowed before eventually reaching a constant level of about 80% of the CD4 count expected in an uninfected child of the same age. Using a nonlinear mixed-effects statistical model that fitted this pattern of immune reconstitution, the researchers predicted CD4 trajectories for children starting ART at different ages and with different CD4 counts. Higher long-term counts were predicted for children starting ART earlier and with higher CD4 counts. Thus, to achieve a CD4 count greater than 700 cells/µl at age 20 years, CD4 counts of at least 96 cells/µl, 130 cells/µl, and 557 cells/µl are needed for children aged two, five, and 12 years, respectively, when they initiate ART. Qualitatively distinct reconstitution patterns were seen in the remaining children in the study.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that young HIV-positive, ART-naïve children can achieve high CD4 counts in later life, provided ART is initiated as recommended in the current WHO guidelines. However, the recommended CD4 count thresholds for ART initiation are unlikely to maximize immune reconstitution in treatment-naïve children over ten years old. Rather, these findings suggest that ART initiation should be considered in these older children when their CD4 count is still high—even though they have a low risk of immediate disease progression—in order to achieve higher long-term CD4 levels. The omission of viral load measurements in the researchers' model may limit the accuracy of these findings. Moreover, although the predictions made by the model apply to children who will go on to experience asymptotic recovery, they are less relevant to those with different recovery profiles, who cannot currently be accurately identified. Further exploration of the immunological mechanisms underlying the CD4 recovery profiles described here should improve our understanding of the factors that determine the response of HIV-positive children to ART and provide information to guide the management of HIV infections in children.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001542.
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 HIV and AIDS in Africa and on HIV infection in children (in English and Spanish)
The UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2012 provides up-to-date information about the AIDS epidemic and efforts to halt it; the UNAIDS's 2013 Progress Report on the Global Plan provides information on progress towards eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015
The World Health Organization provides information about universal access to AIDS treatment (in several languages); its 2010 guidelines for ART in infants and children can be downloaded
Information about the ARROW trial is available
Personal stories about living with HIV/AIDS, including stories from young people infected with HIV, are available through Avert, through Nam/aidsmap, and through the charity website Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001542
PMCID: PMC3812080  PMID: 24204216
3.  The Immunological and Virological Consequences of Planned Treatment Interruptions in Children with HIV Infection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76582.
Objectives
To evaluate the immunological and viral consequences of planned treatment interruptions (PTI) in children with HIV.
Design
This was an immunological and virological sub-study of the Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA) 11 trial, which compared CD4-guided PTI of antiretroviral therapy (ART) with continuous therapy (CT) in children.
Methods
HIV-1 RNA and lymphocyte subsets, including CD4 and CD8 cells, were quantified on fresh samples collected during the study; CD45RA, CD45RO and CD31 subpopulations were evaluated in some centres. For 36 (18 PTI, 18 CT) children, immunophenotyping was performed and cell-associated HIV-1 DNA analysed on stored samples to 48 weeks.
Results
In the PTI group, CD4 cell count fell rapidly in the first 12 weeks off ART, with decreases in both naïve and memory cells. However, the proportion of CD4 cells expressing CD45RA and CD45RO remained constant in both groups. The increase in CD8 cells in the first 12 weeks off ART in the PTI group was predominantly due to increases in RO-expressing cells. PTI was associated with a rapid and sustained increase in CD4 cells expressing Ki67 and HLA-DR, and increased levels of HIV-1 DNA.
Conclusions
PTI in children is associated with rapid changes in CD4 and CD8 cells, likely due to increased cell turnover and immune activation. However, children off treatment may be able to maintain stable levels of naïve CD4 cells, at least in proportion to the memory cell pool, which may in part explain the observed excellent CD4 cell recovery with re-introduction of ART.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076582
PMCID: PMC3806774  PMID: 24194841
4.  Plasma Drug Concentrations and Virologic Evaluations after Stopping Treatment with Nonnucleoside Reverse-Transcriptase Inhibitors in HIV Type 1–Infected Children 
Background
The optimum strategy for stopping treatment with drugs that have different half-lives in a combination regimen to minimize the risk of selecting drug-resistant viruses remains unknown. We evaluated drug concentrations in plasma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) load, and development of drug resistance after a planned treatment interruption of a nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)–containing regimen in HIV type 1–infected children.
Methods
Children with viral loads <50 copies/mL and CD4 cell percentages ≥30% (for children aged 2–6 years) or CD4 cell percentages ≥25% and CD4 cell counts ≥500 cells/μL (for children aged 7–15 years) were randomized to either a planned treatment interruption or to continuous therapy. In the planned treatment interruption arm, either (1) treatment with nevirapine or efavirenz was stopped, and treatment with the remaining drugs was continued for 7–14 days, or (2) nevirapine or efavirenz were replaced by a protease inhibitor, and all drugs were stopped after 7–14 days. Sampling for determination of plasma drug concentrations, measurement of viral load, and drug resistance testing was scheduled at day 0, day 7 (drug concentrations only), day 14, and day 28 after interruption of treatment with an NNRTI.
Results
Treatment with an NNRTI was interrupted for 35 children (20 were receiving nevirapine, and 15 were receiving efavirenz). Median time from NNRTI cessation to stopping all drugs was 9 days (range, 6–15 days) for nevirapine and 14 days (range, 6–18 days) for efavirenz. At 7 days, 1 (5%) of 19 and 4 (50%) of 8 children had detectable nevirapine and efavirenz concentrations, respectively; efavirenz remained detectable in 3 (25%) of 12 children at 14 days. At 14 days, viral load was ≥50 copies/mL in 6 of 16 children interrupting treatment with nevirapine (range, 52–7000 copies/mL) and in 2 of 12 children interrupting treatment with efavirenz (range, 120–1600 copies/mL). No new NNRTI mutations were observed.
Conclusions
In children with virological suppression who experienced interruption of treatment with an NNRTI, staggered or replacement stopping strategies for a median of 9 days for nevirapine and 14 days for efavirenz were not associated with the selection of NNRTI resistance mutations.
doi:10.1086/587657
PMCID: PMC3597130  PMID: 18419497
5.  Early Antiretroviral Therapy and Mortality among HIV-Infected Infants 
The New England journal of medicine  2008;359(21):2233-2244.
Background
In countries with a high seroprevalence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), HIV infection contributes significantly to infant mortality. We investigated antiretroviral-treatment strategies in the Children with HIV Early Antiretroviral Therapy (CHER) trial.
Methods
HIV-infected infants 6 to 12 weeks of age with a CD4 lymphocyte percentage (the CD4 percentage) of 25% or more were randomly assigned to receive antiretroviral therapy (lopinavir–ritonavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine) when the CD4 percentage decreased to less than 20% (or 25% if the child was younger than 1 year) or clinical criteria were met (the deferred antiretroviral-therapy group) or to immediate initiation of limited antiretroviral therapy until 1 year of age or 2 years of age (the early antiretroviral-therapy groups). We report the early outcomes for infants who received deferred antiretroviral therapy as compared with early antiretroviral therapy.
Results
At a median age of 7.4 weeks (interquartile range, 6.6 to 8.9) and a CD4 percentage of 35.2% (interquartile range, 29.1 to 41.2), 125 infants were randomly assigned to receive deferred therapy, and 252 infants were randomly assigned to receive early therapy. After a median follow-up of 40 weeks (interquartile range, 24 to 58), antiretroviral therapy was initiated in 66% of infants in the deferred-therapy group. Twenty infants in the deferred-therapy group (16%) died versus 10 infants in the early-therapy groups (4%) (hazard ratio for death, 0.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.11 to 0.51; P<0.001). In 32 infants in the deferred-therapy group (26%) versus 16 infants in the early-therapy groups (6%), disease progressed to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stage C or severe stage B (hazard ratio for disease progression, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.41; P<0.001). Stavudine was substituted for zidovudine in four infants in the early-therapy groups because of neutropenia in three infants and anemia in one infant; no drugs were permanently discontinued. After a review by the data and safety monitoring board, the deferred-therapy group was modified, and infants in this group were all reassessed for initiation of antiretroviral therapy.
Conclusions
Early HIV diagnosis and early antiretroviral therapy reduced early infant mortality by 76% and HIV progression by 75%. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00102960.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0800971
PMCID: PMC2950021  PMID: 19020325
6.  Mortality in the Year Following Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation in HIV-Infected Adults and Children in Uganda and Zimbabwe 
In low-income countries, children ≥4 years and adults with low CD4 count have equally high mortality risk in the 3 months after initiation of antiretroviral therapy, similar to that of untreated individuals. Bacterial infections play a major role; targeted interventions could have important benefits.
Background. Adult mortality in the first 3 months on antiretroviral therapy (ART) is higher in low-income than in high-income countries, with more similar mortality after 6 months. However, the specific patterns of changing risk and causes of death have rarely been investigated in adults, nor compared with children in low-income countries.
Methods. We used flexible parametric hazard models to investigate how mortality risks varied over the first year on ART in human immunodeficiency virus–infected adults (aged 18–73 years) and children (aged 4 months to 15 years) in 2 trials in Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Results. One hundred seventy-nine of 3316 (5.4%) adults and 39 of 1199 (3.3%) children died; half of adult/pediatric deaths occurred in the first 3 months. Mortality variation over year 1 was similar; at all CD4 counts/CD4%, mortality risk was greatest between days 30 and 50, declined rapidly to day 180, then declined more slowly. One-year mortality after initiating ART with 0–49, 50–99 or ≥100 CD4 cells/μL was 9.4%, 4.5%, and 2.9%, respectively, in adults, and 10.1%, 4.4%, and 1.3%, respectively, in children aged 4–15 years. Mortality in children aged 4 months to 3 years initiating ART in equivalent CD4% strata was also similar (0%–4%: 9.1%; 5%–9%: 4.5%; ≥10%: 2.8%). Only 10 of 179 (6%) adult deaths and 1 of 39 (3%) child deaths were probably medication-related. The most common cause of death was septicemia/meningitis in adults (20%, median 76 days) and children (36%, median 79 days); pneumonia also commonly caused child deaths (28%, median 41 days).
Conclusions. Children ≥4 years and adults with low CD4 values have remarkably similar, and high, mortality risks in the first 3 months after ART initiation in low-income countries, similar to cohorts of untreated individuals. Bacterial infections are a major cause of death in both adults and children; targeted interventions could have important benefits.
doi:10.1093/cid/cis797
PMCID: PMC3501336  PMID: 22972859
7.  Treatment of Young Children with HIV Infection: Using Evidence to Inform Policymakers 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(7):e1001273.
Andrew Prendergast and colleagues consider the evidence for a change in policy for the treatment of young children infected with HIV.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001273
PMCID: PMC3404108  PMID: 22910874
8.  Pregnancy and Infant Outcomes among HIV-Infected Women Taking Long-Term ART with and without Tenofovir in the DART Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(5):e1001217.
Diana Gibb and colleagues investigate the effect of in utero tenofovir exposure by analyzing the pregnancy and infant outcomes of HIV-infected women enrolled in the DART trial.
Background
Few data have described long-term outcomes for infants born to HIV-infected African women taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) in pregnancy. This is particularly true for World Health Organization (WHO)–recommended tenofovir-containing first-line regimens, which are increasingly used and known to cause renal and bone toxicities; concerns have been raised about potential toxicity in babies due to in utero tenofovir exposure.
Methods and Findings
Pregnancy outcome and maternal/infant ART were collected in Ugandan/Zimbabwean HIV-infected women initiating ART during The Development of AntiRetroviral Therapy in Africa (DART) trial, which compared routine laboratory monitoring (CD4; toxicity) versus clinically driven monitoring. Women were followed 15 January 2003 to 28 September 2009. Infant feeding, clinical status, and biochemistry/haematology results were collected in a separate infant study. Effect of in utero ART exposure on infant growth was analysed using random effects models.
382 pregnancies occurred in 302/1,867 (16%) women (4.4/100 woman-years [95% CI 4.0–4.9]). 226/390 (58%) outcomes were live-births, 27 (7%) stillbirths (≥22 wk), and 137 (35%) terminations/miscarriages (<22 wk). Of 226 live-births, seven (3%) infants died <2 wk from perinatal causes and there were seven (3%) congenital abnormalities, with no effect of in utero tenofovir exposure (p>0.4). Of 219 surviving infants, 182 (83%) enrolled in the follow-up study; median (interquartile range [IQR]) age at last visit was 25 (12–38) months. From mothers' ART, 62/9/111 infants had no/20%–89%/≥90% in utero tenofovir exposure; most were also zidovudine/lamivudine exposed. All 172 infants tested were HIV-negative (ten untested). Only 73/182(40%) infants were breast-fed for median 94 (IQR 75–212) days. Overall, 14 infants died at median (IQR) age 9 (3–23) months, giving 5% 12-month mortality; six of 14 were HIV-uninfected; eight untested infants died of respiratory infection (three), sepsis (two), burns (one), measles (one), unknown (one). During follow-up, no bone fractures were reported to have occurred; 12/368 creatinines and seven out of 305 phosphates were grade one (16) or two (three) in 14 children with no effect of in utero tenofovir (p>0.1). There was no evidence that in utero tenofovir affected growth after 2 years (p = 0.38). Attained height- and weight for age were similar to general (HIV-uninfected) Ugandan populations. Study limitations included relatively small size and lack of randomisation to maternal ART regimens.
Conclusions
Overall 1-year 5% infant mortality was similar to the 2%–4% post-neonatal mortality observed in this region. No increase in congenital, renal, or growth abnormalities was observed with in utero tenofovir exposure. Although some infants died untested, absence of recorded HIV infection with combination ART in pregnancy is encouraging. Detailed safety of tenofovir for pre-exposure prophylaxis will need confirmation from longer term follow-up of larger numbers of exposed children.
Trial registration
www.controlled-trials.com ISRCTN13968779
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Currently, about 34 million people (mostly in low- and middle-income countries) are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. At the beginning of the epidemic, more men than women were infected with HIV but now about half of all people living with HIV/AIDS are women, most of who became infected through unprotected sex with an infected partner. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 12 million women are HIV-positive. Worldwide, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among women of child-bearing age. Moreover, most of the 400,000 children who become infected with HIV every year acquire the virus from their mother during pregnancy or birth, or through breastfeeding, so-called mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Combination antiretroviral therapy (ART)—treatment with cocktails of powerful antiretroviral drugs—reduces HIV-related illness and death among women, and ART given to HIV-positive mothers during pregnancy and delivery and to their newborn babies greatly reduces MTCT.
Why Was This Study Done?
Because of ongoing international efforts to increase ART coverage, more HIV-positive women in Africa have access to ART now than ever before. However, little is known about pregnancy outcomes among HIV-infected African women taking ART throughout pregnancy for their own health or about the long-term outcomes of their offspring. In particular, few studies have examined the effect of taking tenofovir (an antiretroviral drug that is now recommended as part of first-line ART) throughout pregnancy. Tenofovir readily crosses from mother to child during pregnancy and, in animal experiments, high doses of tenofovir given during pregnancy caused bone demineralization (which weakens bones), kidney problems, and impaired growth among offspring. In this study, the researchers analyze data collected on pregnancy and infant outcomes among Ugandan and Zimbabwean HIV-positive women who took ART throughout pregnancy in the Development of AntiRetroviral Therapy in Africa (DART) trial. This trial was designed to test whether ART could be safely and effectively delivered in Africa without access to the expensive laboratory tests that are routinely used to monitor ART toxicity and efficacy in developed countries.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The pregnancy outcomes of 302 women who became pregnant during the DART trial and information on birth defects among their babies were collected as part of the DART protocol; information on the survival, growth, and development of the infants born to these women was collected in a separate infant study. Most of the women who became pregnant were taking tenofovir-containing ART before and throughout their pregnancies. 58% of the pregnancies resulted in a live birth, 7% resulted in a stillbirth (birth of a dead baby at any time from 22 weeks gestation to the end of pregnancy), and 35% resulted in a termination or miscarriage (before 22 weeks gestation). Of the 226 live births, seven infants died within 2 weeks and seven had birth defects. Similar proportions of the infants exposed and not exposed to tenofovir during pregnancy died soon after birth or had birth defects. Of the 182 surviving infants who were enrolled in the infant study, 14 subsequently died at an average age of 9 months, giving a 1-year mortality of 5%. None of the surviving children who were tested (172 infants) were HIV infected. No bone fractures or major kidney problems occurred during follow-up and prebirth exposure to tenofovir in utero had no effect on growth or weight gain at 2 years (in contrast to a previous US study).
What Do These Findings Mean?
By showing that prebirth tenofovir exposure does not affect pregnancy outcomes or increase birth defects, growth abnormalities, or kidney problems, these findings support the use of tenofovir-containing ART during pregnancy among HIV-positive African women, and suggest that it could also be used to prevent women of child-bearing age acquiring HIV-infection heterosexually. Notably, the observed 5% 1-year infant mortality is similar to the 2%–4% infant mortality normally seen in the region. The absence of HIV infection among the infants born to the DART participants is also encouraging. However, this is a small study (only 111 infants were exposed to tenofovir throughout pregnancy) and women were not randomly assigned to receive tenofovir-containing ART. Consequently, more studies are needed to confirm that tenofovir exposure during pregnancy does not affect pregnancy outcomes or have any long-term effects on infants. Such studies are essential because the use of tenofovir as a treatment for women who are HIV-positive is likely to increase and tenofovir may also be used in the future to prevent HIV acquisition in HIV-uninfected women.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001217.
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases on all aspects of HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS, and summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment (in several languages)
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS nonprofit on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including detailed information on HIV/AIDS treatment and care, women, HIV and AIDS, children, HIV and AIDS, and on HIV/AIDS and pregnancy (some information in English and Spanish); personal stories of women living with HIV are available
More information about the DART trial is available
Additional patient stories about living with HIV/AIDS are available through the nonprofit website Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001217
PMCID: PMC3352861  PMID: 22615543
9.  Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy and Acceptability of Planned Treatment Interruptions in HIV-Infected Children 
AIDS and Behavior  2012;17(1):193-202.
There have been no paediatric randomised trials describing the effect of planned treatment interruptions (PTIs) of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on adherence, or evaluating acceptability of such a strategy. In PENTA 11, HIV-infected children were randomised to CD4-guided PTIs (n = 53) or continuous therapy (CT, n = 56). Carers, and children if appropriate, completed questionnaires on adherence to ART and acceptability of PTIs. There was no difference in reported adherence on ART between CT and PTI groups; non-adherence (reporting missed doses over the last 3 days or marking <100 % adherence since the last clinical visit on a visual analogue scale) was 18 % (20/111) and 14 % (12/83) on carer questionnaires in the CT and PTI groups respectively (odds ratios, OR (95 % CI) = 1.04 (0.20, 5.41), χ2 (1) = 0.003, p = 0.96). Carers in Europe/USA reported non-adherence more often (31/121, 26 %) than in Thailand (1/73, 1 %; OR (95 % CI) = 54.65 (3.68, 810.55), χ2 (1) = 8.45, p = 0.004). The majority of families indicated they were happy to have further PTIs (carer: 23/36, 64 %; children: 8/13, 62 %), however many reported more clinic visits during PTI were a problem (carer: 15/36, 42 %; children: 6/12, 50 %).
doi:10.1007/s10461-012-0197-y
PMCID: PMC3548111  PMID: 22584916
Adherence; Acceptability; Planned treatment interruptions; HIV; Children
10.  Perception of Risk of Vertically Acquired HIV Infection and Acceptability of Provider-Initiated Testing and Counseling Among Adolescents in Zimbabwe 
American Journal of Public Health  2011;101(12):2325-2332.
Objectives. We investigated attitudes toward provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) in the suburbs of Harare, Zimbabwe, where late presentation after mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) is a major cause of adolescent mortality.
Methods. Adolescents (10–18 years) attending 2 primary clinics were offered PITC. Participants completed a questionnaire investigating acceptability of PITC, and in-depth interviews with 41 adolescents and 30 guardians explored understanding of long-term survival after MTCT.
Results. Of 506 participants, 16 were known to be HIV-positive; of the remaining 490, only 5 (1%) declined HIV testing. Infected adolescents and their guardians often anticipated a positive result and reported being advised by relatives (but not health workers) to be tested because of chronic illness, especially if parents or siblings had died or were HIV-infected. However, HIV-negative participants were not aware that long-term survival following MTCT could occur. All adolescents felt that HIV diagnosed at their age would be assumed to have been sexually acquired regardless of the true mode of transmission.
Conclusions. Including late diagnosis of MTCT in pretest counseling and health educational messages may facilitate PITC for older children and adolescents, especially for those who have not had their sexual debut.
doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300250
PMCID: PMC3222430  PMID: 22021300
11.  Utility of clinical parameters to identify HIV infection in infants below ten weeks of age in South Africa: a prospective cohort study 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:104.
Background
As HIV-infected infants have high mortality, the World Health Organization now recommends initiating antiretroviral therapy as early as possible in the first year of life. However, in many settings, laboratory diagnosis of HIV in infants is not readily available. We aimed to develop a clinical algorithm for HIV presumptive diagnosis in infants < 10 weeks old using screening data from the Children with HIV Early Antiretroviral therapy (CHER) study in South Africa.
HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected exposed infants < 10 weeks of age were identified through Vertical Transmission Prevention programs. Clinical and laboratory data were systematically recorded, groups were compared using Kruskal-Wallis, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Fisher's exact tests. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were compiled using combinations of clinical findings.
Results
417 HIV-infected and 125 HIV-exposed, uninfected infants, median age 46 days (IQR 38-55), were included. The median CD4 percentage in HIV-infected infants was 34 (IQR 28-41)%. HIV-infected infants had lower weight-for-age, more lymphadenopathy, oral thrush, and hepatomegaly than exposed uninfected infants (Adjusted Odds Ratio 0.51, 8.8, 5.6 and 23.5 respectively; p < 0.001 for all). Sensitivity of individual signs was low (< 20%) but specificity high (98-100%). If any one of oral thrush, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, diaper dermatitis, weight < 50th centile are present, sensitivity for HIV infection amongst HIV-exposed infants was 86%. These algorithms performed similarly when used to predict severe immune suppression.
Conclusions
A combination of physical findings is helpful in identifying infants most likely to be HIV-infected. This may inform management algorithms and provide guidance for focused laboratory testing in some settings, and should be further validated in these settings and elsewhere.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-104
PMCID: PMC3258191  PMID: 22103994
12.  Impact of Cotrimoxazole on Carriage and Antibiotic Resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae in HIV-Infected Children in Zambia▿  
This is a substudy of a larger randomized controlled trial on HIV-infected Zambian children, which revealed that cotrimoxazole prophylaxis reduced morbidity and mortality despite a background of high cotrimoxazole resistance. The impact of cotrimoxazole on the carriage and antibiotic resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae as major causes of childhood mortality in HIV-infected children was investigated since these are unclear. Representative nasopharyngeal swabs were taken prior to randomization for 181 of 534 children (92 on cotrimoxazole and 89 on placebo). Bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility were performed by routine methods. Due to reduced mortality, prophylactic cotrimoxazole increased the median time from randomization to the last specimen from 48 to 56 months (P = 0.001). The carriage of H. influenzae was unaltered by cotrimoxazole. Carriage of S. pneumoniae increased slightly in both arms but was not statistically significant in the placebo arm. In S. pneumoniae switching between carriage and no carriage in consecutive pairs of samples was unaffected by cotrimoxazole (P = 0.18) with a suggestion that the probability of remaining carriage free was lower (P = 0.10). In H. influenzae cotrimoxazole decreased switching from carriage to no carriage (P = 0.02). Cotrimoxazole resistance levels were higher in postbaseline samples in the cotrimoxazole arm than in the placebo arm (S. pneumoniae, P < 0.0001; H. influenzae, P = 0.005). Cotrimoxazole decreased switching from cotrimoxazole resistance to cotrimoxazole sensitivity in S. pneumoniae (P = 0.002) and reduced the chance of H. influenzae remaining cotrimoxazole sensitive (P = 0.05). No associations were observed between the percentage of CD4 (CD4%), the change in CD4% from baseline, child age at date of specimen, child gender, or sampling month with carriage of either pathogen.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01409-09
PMCID: PMC2934996  PMID: 20585110
13.  Ensuring the Involvement of Children in the Evaluation of New Tuberculosis Treatment Regimens 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(8):e176.
William Burman and colleagues review the barriers to involving children in studies of new tuberculosis treatments and recommend strategies for overcoming these barriers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050176
PMCID: PMC2517617  PMID: 18715115
14.  Underdosing of antiretrovirals in UK and Irish children with HIV as an example of problems in prescribing medicines to children, 1997-2005: cohort study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2006;332(7551):1183-1187.
Objective To measure the extent of underdosing of antiretroviral drugs in children.
Design Multicentre cohort study.
Setting Clinical centres in hospitals in the United Kingdom and Ireland in the collaborative HIV paediatric study (CHIPS).
Participants 615 HIV infected children aged 2-12 years receiving antiretrovirals.
Main outcome measures Doses relative to weight and height compared with current recommended doses in 2004 European guidelines.
Results The CHIPS cohort of 934 children comprises 80% of diagnosed HIV infected children in the UK and Ireland between January 1997 and March 2005, of which 66% (615) aged 2-12 years were prescribed antiretrovirals. Actual doses standardised to weight or surface area varied widely across individual drugs, antiretroviral class, and calendar time, with children underdosed (prescribed less than 90% of current recommended doses) from 6-62% child time at risk. Three serious issues in prescribing antiretrovirals, which may also be relevant to paediatric prescribing in general, were identified. Firstly, dosing was inadequate before incorrect recommendations at licensing were later revised when important pharmacokinetic results emerged. Secondly, guidelines stating dosage alternatives (by weight/surface area) for the same drug led to different and inconsistent doses. And, thirdly, ongoing growth was not adjusted for.
Conclusions Largely inadvertently, HIV infected children in the United Kingdom and Ireland have been underdosed with antiretrovirals, highlighting problems applicable throughout paediatric prescribing.
PMCID: PMC1463938  PMID: 16709991
15.  Vertical transmission rates for HIV in the British Isles: estimates based on surveillance data 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7219):1227-1229.
Objective
To estimate and interpret time trends in vertical transmission rates for HIV using data from national obstetric and paediatric surveillance registers.
Design
Prospective study of HIV infected women reported through obstetric surveillance. HIV infection status of the child and onset of AIDS were reported through paediatric surveillance. Rates of vertical transmission and progression to AIDS rate were estimated by methods that take account of incomplete follow up of children with indeterminate infection status and delay in AIDS reporting.
Setting
British Isles.
Subjects
Pregnant women infected with HIV whose infection was diagnosed before delivery, and their babies.
Main outcome measures
Mother to child transmission of infection and progression to AIDS in children.
Results
By January 1999, 800 children born to diagnosed HIV infected women who had not breast fed had been reported. Vertical transmission rates rose to 19.6% (95% confidence interval 8.0% to 32.5%) in 1993 before falling to 2.2% (0% to 7.8%) in 1998. Between 1995 and 1998 use of antiretroviral treatment increased significantly each year, reaching 97% of live births in 1998. The rate of elective caesarean section remained constant, at around 40%, up to 1997 but increased to 62% in 1998. Caesarean section and antiretroviral treatment together were estimated to reduce risk of transmission from 31.6% (13.6% to 52.2%) to 4.2% (0.8% to 8.5%). The proportion of infected children developing AIDS in the first 6 months fell from 17.7% (6.8% to 30.8%) before 1994 to 7.2% (0% to 15.7%) after, coinciding with increased use of prophylaxis against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
Conclusions
In the British Isles both HIV related morbidity and vertical transmission are being reduced through increased use of interventions.
Key messagesReliable estimates of HIV vertical transmission rates can be derived from surveillance dataInfected pregnant women are increasingly taking up elective caesarean section and antiretroviral treatment to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to their babiesVertical transmission rates have fallen greatly over the past four years and progression to AIDS among infected children may also have slowedThese benefits can occur only if infected women are diagnosed before or during pregnancy
PMCID: PMC28270  PMID: 10550082
16.  A primary care level algorithm for identifying HIV-infected adolescents in populations at high risk through mother-to-child transmission 
Objective
To present an algorithm for primary-care health workers for identifying HIV-infected adolescents in populations at high risk through mother-to-child transmission.
Methods
Five hundred and six adolescent (10–18 years) attendees to two primary care clinics in Harare, Zimbabwe, were recruited. A randomly extracted ‘training’ data set (n = 251) was used to generate an algorithm using variables identified as associated with HIV through multivariable logistic regression. Performance characteristics of the algorithm were evaluated in the remaining (‘test’) records (n = 255) at different HIV prevalence rates.
Results
HIV prevalence was 17%, and infection was independently associated with client-reported orphanhood, past hospitalization, skin problems, presenting with sexually transmitted infection and poor functional ability. Classifying adolescents as requiring HIV testing if they reported >1 of these five criteria had 74% sensitivity and 80% specificity for HIV, with the algorithm correctly predicting the HIV status of 79% of participants. In low-HIV-prevalence settings (<2%), the algorithm would have a high negative predictive value (≥99.5%) and result in an estimated 60% decrease in the number of people needing to test to identify one HIV-infected individual, compared with universal testing.
Conclusions
Our simple algorithm can identify which individuals are likely to be HIV infected with sufficient accuracy to provide a screening tool for use in settings not already implementing universal testing policies among this age-group, for example immigrants to low-HIV-prevalence countries.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2010.02708.x
PMCID: PMC3132444  PMID: 21176006
HIV; Primary Health Care; adolescent; mother-to-child transmission
17.  Immediate antiretroviral therapy in young HIV-infected children: benefits and risks 
Purpose of review
Recent WHO guidelines recommend immediate initiation of lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) in all children below 5 years, irrespective of immune/clinical status, to improve access to paediatric ART. Interim trial results provide strong evidence for immediate ART during infancy because of high short-term risk of mortality and disease progression, but there is wider debate regarding the potential risks and benefits of immediate ART in asymptomatic children aged above 1 year. Concerns include long-term toxicities and treatment failure, particularly in resource-constrained settings with limited paediatric treatment options.
Recent findings
Benefits of immediate ART among infants appear to be maintained in the mid-term to long-term, with low risk of treatment failure, and better neurodevelopmental outcomes. In contrast, a trial reported no benefits of immediate versus deferred ART in asymptomatic children aged above 1 year. However, observational studies suggest that ART initiation at older ages and lower CD4 reduces the probability of immune reconstitution, with unclear implications on risk of clinical events or treatment change. A recent trial on treatment interruption following early intensive ART suggest that this may be a safe alternative approach.
Summary
Although there are clear benefits of immediate ART among infants, there remains conflicting evidence on the benefits for older children.
doi:10.1097/COH.0000000000000027
PMCID: PMC3868023  PMID: 24247666
antiretroviral therapy; children; immune response; neurodevelopment; survival
18.  Exploring mechanisms of excess mortality with early fluid resuscitation: insights from the FEAST trial 
BMC Medicine  2013;11:68.
Background
Early rapid fluid resuscitation (boluses) in African children with severe febrile illnesses increases the 48-hour mortality by 3.3% compared with controls (no bolus). We explored the effect of boluses on 48-hour all-cause mortality by clinical presentation at enrolment, hemodynamic changes over the first hour, and on different modes of death, according to terminal clinical events. We hypothesize that boluses may cause excess deaths from neurological or respiratory events relating to fluid overload.
Methods
Pre-defined presentation syndromes (PS; severe acidosis or severe shock, respiratory, neurological) and predominant terminal clinical events (cardiovascular collapse, respiratory, neurological) were described by randomized arm (bolus versus control) in 3,141 severely ill febrile children with shock enrolled in the Fluid Expansion as Supportive Therapy (FEAST) trial. Landmark analyses were used to compare early mortality in treatment groups, conditional on changes in shock and hypoxia parameters. Competing risks methods were used to estimate cumulative incidence curves and sub-hazard ratios to compare treatment groups in terms of terminal clinical events.
Results
Of 2,396 out of 3,141 (76%) classifiable participants, 1,647 (69%) had a severe metabolic acidosis or severe shock PS, 625 (26%) had a respiratory PS and 976 (41%) had a neurological PS, either alone or in combination. Mortality was greatest among children fulfilling criteria for all three PS (28% bolus, 21% control) and lowest for lone respiratory (2% bolus, 5% control) or neurological (3% bolus, 0% control) presentations. Excess mortality in bolus arms versus control was apparent for all three PS, including all their component features. By one hour, shock had resolved (responders) more frequently in bolus versus control groups (43% versus 32%, P <0.001), but excess mortality with boluses was evident in responders (relative risk 1.98, 95% confidence interval 0.94 to 4.17, P = 0.06) and 'non-responders' (relative risk 1.67, 95% confidence interval 1.23 to 2.28, P = 0.001), with no evidence of heterogeneity (P = 0.68). The major difference between bolus and control arms was the higher proportion of cardiogenic or shock terminal clinical events in bolus arms (n = 123; 4.6% versus 2.6%, P = 0.008) rather than respiratory (n = 61; 2.2% versus 1.3%, P = 0.09) or neurological (n = 63, 2.1% versus 1.8%, P = 0.6) terminal clinical events.
Conclusions
Excess mortality from boluses occurred in all subgroups of children. Contrary to expectation, cardiovascular collapse rather than fluid overload appeared to contribute most to excess deaths with rapid fluid resuscitation. These results should prompt a re-evaluation of evidence on fluid resuscitation for shock and a re-appraisal of the rate, composition and volume of resuscitation fluids.
Trial registration
ISRCTN69856593
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-68
PMCID: PMC3599745  PMID: 23496872
Africa; children; clinical trial; fluid resuscitation; human albumin solution; mortality; saline; shock; terminal clinical events
19.  A Single CD4 Test with 250 Cells/Mm3 Threshold Predicts Viral Suppression in HIV-Infected Adults Failing First-Line Therapy by Clinical Criteria 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e57580.
Background
In low-income countries, viral load (VL) monitoring of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is rarely available in the public sector for HIV-infected adults or children. Using clinical failure alone to identify first-line ART failure and trigger regimen switch may result in unnecessary use of costly second-line therapy. Our objective was to identify CD4 threshold values to confirm clinically-determined ART failure when VL is unavailable.
Methods
3316 HIV-infected Ugandan/Zimbabwean adults were randomised to first-line ART with Clinically-Driven (CDM, CD4s measured but blinded) or routine Laboratory and Clinical Monitoring (LCM, 12-weekly CD4s) in the DART trial. CD4 at switch and ART failure criteria (new/recurrent WHO 4, single/multiple WHO 3 event; LCM: CD4<100 cells/mm3) were reviewed in 361 LCM, 314 CDM participants who switched over median 5 years follow-up. Retrospective VLs were available in 368 (55%) participants.
Results
Overall, 265/361 (73%) LCM participants failed with CD4<100 cells/mm3; only 7 (2%) switched with CD4≥250 cells/mm3, four switches triggered by WHO events. Without CD4 monitoring, 207/314 (66%) CDM participants failed with WHO 4 events, and 77(25%)/30(10%) with single/multiple WHO 3 events. Failure/switching with single WHO 3 events was more likely with CD4≥250 cells/mm3 (28/77; 36%) (p = 0.0002). CD4 monitoring reduced switching with viral suppression: 23/187 (12%) LCM versus 49/181 (27%) CDM had VL<400 copies/ml at failure/switch (p<0.0001). Amongst CDM participants with CD4<250 cells/mm3 only 11/133 (8%) had VL<400copies/ml, compared with 38/48 (79%) with CD4≥250 cells/mm3 (p<0.0001).
Conclusion
Multiple, but not single, WHO 3 events predicted first-line ART failure. A CD4 threshold ‘tiebreaker’ of ≥250 cells/mm3 for clinically-monitored patients failing first-line could identify ∼80% with VL<400 copies/ml, who are unlikely to benefit from second-line. Targeting CD4s to single WHO stage 3 ‘clinical failures’ would particularly avoid premature, costly switch to second-line ART.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057580
PMCID: PMC3578828  PMID: 23437399
20.  Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Clinically Driven versus Routine Laboratory Monitoring of Antiretroviral Therapy in Uganda and Zimbabwe 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e33672.
Background
Despite funding constraints for treatment programmes in Africa, the costs and economic consequences of routine laboratory monitoring for efficacy and toxicity of antiretroviral therapy (ART) have rarely been evaluated.
Methods
Cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted in the DART trial (ISRCTN13968779). Adults in Uganda/Zimbabwe starting ART were randomised to clinically-driven monitoring (CDM) or laboratory and clinical monitoring (LCM); individual patient data on healthcare resource utilisation and outcomes were valued with primary economic costs and utilities. Total costs of first/second-line ART, routine 12-weekly CD4 and biochemistry/haematology tests, additional diagnostic investigations, clinic visits, concomitant medications and hospitalisations were considered from the public healthcare sector perspective. A Markov model was used to extrapolate costs and benefits 20 years beyond the trial.
Results
3316 (1660LCM;1656CDM) symptomatic, immunosuppressed ART-naive adults (median (IQR) age 37 (32,42); CD4 86 (31,139) cells/mm3) were followed for median 4.9 years. LCM had a mean 0.112 year (41 days) survival benefit at an additional mean cost of $765 [95%CI:685,845], translating into an adjusted incremental cost of $7386 [3277,dominated] per life-year gained and $7793 [4442,39179] per quality-adjusted life year gained. Routine toxicity tests were prominent cost-drivers and had no benefit. With 12-weekly CD4 monitoring from year 2 on ART, low-cost second-line ART, but without toxicity monitoring, CD4 test costs need to fall below $3.78 to become cost-effective (<3xper-capita GDP, following WHO benchmarks). CD4 monitoring at current costs as undertaken in DART was not cost-effective in the long-term.
Conclusions
There is no rationale for routine toxicity monitoring, which did not affect outcomes and was costly. Even though beneficial, there is little justification for routine 12-weekly CD4 monitoring of ART at current test costs in low-income African countries. CD4 monitoring, restricted to the second year on ART onwards, could be cost-effective with lower cost second-line therapy and development of a cheaper, ideally point-of-care, CD4 test.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033672
PMCID: PMC3335836  PMID: 22545079
21.  The evolution of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase in route to acquisition of Q151M multi-drug resistance is complex and involves mutations in multiple domains 
Retrovirology  2011;8:31.
Background
The Q151M multi-drug resistance (MDR) pathway in HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) confers reduced susceptibility to all nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) excluding tenofovir (TDF). This pathway emerges after long term failure of therapy, and is increasingly observed in the resource poor world, where antiretroviral therapy is rarely accompanied by intensive virological monitoring. In this study we examined the genotypic, phenotypic and fitness correlates associated with the development of Q151M MDR in the absence of viral load monitoring.
Results
Single-genome sequencing (SGS) of full-length RT was carried out on sequential samples from an HIV-infected individual enrolled in ART rollout. The emergence of Q151M MDR occurred in the order A62V, V75I, and finally Q151M on the same genome at 4, 17 and 37 months after initiation of therapy, respectively. This was accompanied by a parallel cumulative acquisition of mutations at 20 other codon positions; seven of which were located in the connection subdomain. We established that fourteen of these mutations are also observed in Q151M-containing sequences submitted to the Stanford University HIV database. Phenotypic drug susceptibility testing demonstrated that the Q151M-containing RT had reduced susceptibility to all NRTIs except for TDF. RT domain-swapping of patient and wild-type RTs showed that patient-derived connection subdomains were not associated with reduced NRTI susceptibility. However, the virus expressing patient-derived Q151M RT at 37 months demonstrated ~44% replicative capacity of that at 4 months. This was further reduced to ~22% when the Q151M-containing DNA pol domain was expressed with wild-type C-terminal domain, but was then fully compensated by coexpression of the coevolved connection subdomain.
Conclusions
We demonstrate a complex interplay between drug susceptibility and replicative fitness in the acquisition Q151M MDR with serious implications for second-line regimen options. The acquisition of the Q151M pathway occurred sequentially over a long period of failing NRTI therapy, and was associated with mutations in multiple RT domains.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-8-31
PMCID: PMC3113953  PMID: 21569325
22.  Excellent Adherence to Antiretrovirals in HIV+ Zambian Children Is Compromised by Disrupted Routine, HIV Nondisclosure, and Paradoxical Income Effects 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18505.
Introduction
A better understanding of pediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence in sub-Saharan Africa is necessary to develop interventions to sustain high levels of adherence.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Adherence among 96 HIV-infected Zambian children (median age 6, interquartile range [IQR] 2,9) initiating fixed-dose combination ART was measured prospectively (median 23 months; IQR 20,26) with caregiver report, clinic and unannounced home-based pill counts, and medication event monitoring systems (MEMS). HIV-1 RNA was determined at 48 weeks. Child and caregiver characteristics, socio-demographic status, and treatment-related factors were assessed as predictors of adherence. Median adherence was 97.4% (IQR 96.1,98.4%) by visual analog scale, 94.8% (IQR 86,100%) by caregiver-reported last missed dose, 96.9% (IQR 94.5,98.2%) by clinic pill count, 93.4% (IQR 90.2,96.7%) by unannounced home-based pill count, and 94.8% (IQR 87.8,97.7%) by MEMS. At 48 weeks, 72.6% of children had HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/ml. Agreement among adherence measures was poor; only MEMS was significantly associated with viral suppression (p = 0.013). Predictors of poor adherence included changing residence, school attendance, lack of HIV disclosure to children aged nine to 15 years, and increasing household income.
Conclusions/Significance
Adherence among children taking fixed-dose combination ART in sub-Saharan Africa is high and sustained over two years. However, certain groups are at risk for treatment failure, including children with disrupted routines, no knowledge of their HIV diagnosis among older children, and relatively high household income, possibly reflecting greater social support in the setting of greater poverty.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018505
PMCID: PMC3080873  PMID: 21533031
23.  Causes of Acute Hospitalization in Adolescence: Burden and Spectrum of HIV-Related Morbidity in a Country with an Early-Onset and Severe HIV Epidemic: A Prospective Survey 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(2):e1000178.
Rashida Ferrand and colleagues show that HIV infection is the commonest cause of hospitalization among adolescents in a high HIV prevalence setting.
Background
Survival to older childhood with untreated, vertically acquired HIV infection, which was previously considered extremely unusual, is increasingly well described. However, the overall impact on adolescent health in settings with high HIV seroprevalence has not previously been investigated.
Methods and Findings
Adolescents (aged 10–18 y) systematically recruited from acute admissions to the two public hospitals in Harare, Zimbabwe, answered a questionnaire and underwent standard investigations including HIV testing, with consent. Pre-set case-definitions defined cause of admission and underlying chronic conditions. Participation was 94%. 139 (46%) of 301 participants were HIV-positive (median age of diagnosis 12 y: interquartile range [IQR] 11–14 y), median CD4 count = 151; IQR 57–328 cells/µl), but only four (1.3%) were herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) positive. Age (median 13 y: IQR 11–16 y) and sex (57% male) did not differ by HIV status, but HIV-infected participants were significantly more likely to be stunted (z-score<−2: 52% versus 23%, p<0.001), have pubertal delay (15% versus 2%, p<0.001), and be maternal orphans or have an HIV-infected mother (73% versus 17%, p<0.001). 69% of HIV-positive and 19% of HIV-negative admissions were for infections, most commonly tuberculosis and pneumonia. 84 (28%) participants had underlying heart, lung, or other chronic diseases. Case fatality rates were significantly higher for HIV-related admissions (22% versus 7%, p<0.001), and significantly associated with advanced HIV, pubertal immaturity, and chronic conditions.
Conclusion
HIV is the commonest cause of adolescent hospitalisation in Harare, mainly due to adult-spectrum opportunistic infections plus a high burden of chronic complications of paediatric HIV/AIDS. Low HSV-2 prevalence and high maternal orphanhood rates provide further evidence of long-term survival following mother-to-child transmission. Better recognition of this growing phenomenon is needed to promote earlier HIV diagnosis and care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has killed more than 25 million people since 1981, and more than 30 million people are now infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. HIV destroys the cells in the immune system that normally provide protection against disease-causing organisms. Consequently, people infected with HIV are susceptible to so-called opportunistic infections, including tuberculosis and pneumonia. HIV is most commonly spread through unprotected sex with an infected partner but another major route of transmission is mother-to-child (vertical transmission) during pregnancy or delivery or during breast feeding. Mother-to-child transmission can be prevented by giving antiviral drugs to HIV-positive mothers during their pregnancy and to their newborn children. But, although most mothers in developed countries have access to this intervention, fewer than half of HIV-positive mothers in low- and middle-income countries receive this treatment and, every year, nearly half a million children become infected with HIV.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is generally thought that HIV infections in infants progress rapidly and that half of the children who acquire HIV from their mothers will die before their second birthday if not treated with antiretroviral drugs. However, as the AIDS epidemic matures, more children are surviving to adolescence with untreated, vertically acquired HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa, the region where most children with HIV/AIDS live. Little is known about the burden of HIV infection and its contribution to illness and death in adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa but this information is needed to help health care providers prepare for this new aspect of the AIDS epidemic. In this study, the researchers examine the causes of acute hospital admissions (admissions for conditions with a sudden onset and usually a short course) among adolescents in Zimbabwe, a country where the HIV epidemic started early and where one in seven adults is HIV-positive and more than 17,000 children are infected with HIV every year, mainly through vertical transmission.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited 301 10–18-year olds who were admitted to each of the two public hospitals in Harare (Zimbabwe) for acute illnesses between September 2007 and April 2008. Each patient completed a questionnaire about themselves and their health and underwent standard investigations, including HIV testing. Nearly half the participants were HIV positive; about a quarter of these HIV-positive individuals only found out about their status during the study. HIV-positive participants were more likely to be stunted, to have pubertal delay, and to be maternal orphans or have an HIV-infected mother than HIV-negative participants. 69% of HIV-positive participants were admitted to hospital because of infections, often tuberculosis or pneumonia whereas only 19% of the HIV-negative participants were admitted for infections. More than a quarter of all the participants had underlying heart, lung, or other chronic conditions. Finally, 22% of the HIV-positive participants died while in hospital compared to only 7% of the HIV-negative participants. Factors that increased the risk of death among all the participants were advanced HIV infection, pubertal immaturity, and chronic conditions.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that HIV infection is the commonest cause of acute adolescent admission to hospital in Harare (and probably elsewhere in Zimbabwe). Most of these admissions are due to opportunistic infections similar to those seen in HIV-positive adults and to long-term complications of having HIV/AIDS as an infant such as delayed puberty. Other findings indicate that most of the HIV-positive adolescents who participated in this study were infected via vertical transmission, which supports the idea that long-term survival after vertical infection is possible. Because the AIDS epidemic started early in Zimbabwe, there is likely to be a lag before adolescent survivors of vertical HIV transmission become common elsewhere. Nevertheless, all African countries and other places where HIV infection in adults is common need to recognize that the burden of HIV in their acutely unwell adolescents is likely to increase over the next few years. To deal with this emerging aspect of the AIDS epidemic, measures must be introduced to ensure early diagnosis of HIV in this previously neglected age group so that treatment can be started before HIV-positive adolescents become critically ill.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000178.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Glenda Gray
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including a list of articles and other sources of information about the primary care of adolescents with HIV
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on the HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe, and on children, HIV, and AIDS (in English and Spanish)
UNICEF also has information about children and HIV and AIDS (in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000178
PMCID: PMC2814826  PMID: 20126383

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