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1.  Incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections in HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Adolescents in the United States 
Little is known about the incidence of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among HIV-infected vs. HIV-uninfected adolescents. This secondary analysis of a national, multisite study included adolescents aged 12–18 years who were behaviorally HIV-infected (n=346) or HIV-uninfected but at-risk (n=182). Incidence rates of bacterial STIs (gonorrhea, chlamydia [CT], and trichomonas [TV; females]) were calculated using Poisson modeling. Factors associated with incident STIs were explored using Cox proportional hazards modeling. HIV-infected vs. HIV-uninfected women had higher TV incidence (1.3 vs. 0.6/100 person-months; p=0.002). HIV-uninfected vs. HIV-infected women had higher CT incidence (1.6 vs. 1.1/100 person-months; p=0.04). Among women, demographic, behavioral, and HIV-related factors were associated with incident STIs. Among men, there were no differences in incident STIs. In this first analysis comparing STI incidence between HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adolescents, bacterial STI incidence among women significantly differed by HIV status, and factors associated with incident STIs varied by STI and HIV status.
PMCID: PMC4327832  PMID: 23467290
Adolescent; HIV; STI; Incidence
2.  Incident Anal HPV and HPV-Related Sequelae in HIV-Infected vs. HIV-Uninfected Adolescents in the United States 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2013;40(9):715-720.
Little is known about the incidence of anal HPV infection and related sequelae, and factors associated with these outcomes, among adolescents who are HIV-infected vs. uninfected but at-risk.
We analyzed data from a multisite U.S. study, the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health Project. Adolescents aged 12–18 years who were behaviorally HIV-infected (n=319) or HIV-uninfected but at-risk (n=177) were recruited. Incidence rates for anal HPV, high-risk anal HPV, anogenital warts, and anal dysplasia were calculated using Poisson modeling. Factors associated with these outcomes were examined using Cox proportional hazards modeling.
Mean age at entry was 16.8 years; mean follow-up time for detection of anal HPV was 22.4 months (SD 10.8). Most participants (76%) were female; 70% were black non-Hispanic. HIV-infected (vs. –uninfected) women had significantly higher incidence of anal HPV (30 vs. 14 per 100 person-years; p=0.002), high-risk anal HPV (12 vs. 5.3 per 100 person-years; p=0.04), and anogenital warts (6.7 vs. 1.6 per 100 person-years; p=0.002) but not anal dysplasia. Although incidence rates were higher for these outcomes among HIV-infected vs. -uninfected men, the differences were not statistically significant. Among women, factors associated with anal HPV and related sequelae differed by HIV status and included biological, behavioral, and HIV-related factors. No factors were associated with outcomes in men.
HIV-infected vs. -uninfected adolescent women had higher rates of anal HPV and anogenital warts. Because HIV-infected youth are at increased risk of these outcomes, enhanced HPV prevention efforts, such as vaccination, are warranted for this group.
PMCID: PMC4313540  PMID: 23949587
3.  Vitamin D3 supplementation increases fibroblast growth factor-23 in HIV-infected youth treated with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 
Antiviral therapy  2014;19(6):613-618.
Tenofovir (TDF) is associated with phosphaturia and elevated 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D (1,25-OH(2)D). Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) causes phosphaturia and increases in response to elevated 1,25-OH(2)D. Vitamin D binding protein (VDBP) binds to 1,25-OH(2)D, decreasing its biologic activity, and is elevated in persons with higher plasma tenofovir concentrations. We compared FGF23 and VDBP before and after vitamin D3 (VITD) supplementation in youth treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) containing or not containing TDF.
A randomized controlled trial in HIV+ youth ages 18–25 years enrolled participants based on cART treatment with TDF (TDF, N=118) or without TDF (no-TDF, N=85) and randomized within those groups to VITD (50,000 IU every four weeks) or placebo (PL). We measured FGF23 and VDBP and calculated free 1,25-OH(2)D at baseline and week 12, and compared changes by TDF treatment and VITD randomized group.
At baseline, serum FGF23 concentration showed a quadratic relationship with 1,25-OH(2)D most pronounced in the TDF group. At week 12, total and free 1,25-OH(2)D increased in the VITD but not PL groups, independent of TDF use. FGF23 increased in the TDF group receiving VITD, but there was no FGF23 change in the no-TDF group receiving VITD or the PL groups. The adjusted mean change in FGF23 from baseline to week 12 was +7.7 pg/mL in the TDF/VITD group, compared to −1.7 (no-TDF/VITD, p=0.010); −1.3 (TDF/PL, p=0.006); and +1.1 (no-TDF/PL, p=0.035).
These results suggest that TDF-containing cART may alter the FGF23 response to vitamin D supplementation in HIV-infected youth.
PMCID: PMC4135028  PMID: 24535626
4.  Variants in Interleukin Family of Cytokines Genes Influence Clearance of High Risk HPV in HIV-1 Coinfected African-American Adolescents 
Human immunology  2013;74(12):10.1016/j.humimm.2013.08.010.
Our work aimed to examine the potential influence of variants in interleukin/interleukin receptors genes on high-risk (HR-HPV) HPV clearance. Clearance of genital HR-HPV infection was evaluated for 134 HIV-1 seropositive African-American female adolescents from the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) cohort. Genotyping targeted 225 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the exons, 5′ untranslated region (UTR) and 3′ UTR sequences of 27 immune-related candidate genes encoding interleukin family of cytokines. Cox proportional hazard models were used to determine the association of type- specific HPV clearance adjusting for time-varying CD4+ T-cell count and low-risk (LR-HPV) HPV co-infections. HR-HPV clearance rates were significantly (p< 0.001) associated with five SNPs (rs228942, rs419598, rs315950, rs7737000, rs9292618) mapped to coding and regulatory regions in three genes (IL2RB, IL1RN, and IL7R). These data suggest that the analyzed genetic variants in interleukin family of cytokines modulate HR-HPV clearance in HIV-1 seropositive African-Americans that warrants replication.
PMCID: PMC3842375  PMID: 23973891
HPV clearance; genetic association; interleukins; HIV-1 seropositive; African American adolescents
5.  Immunogenicity and Safety of the Human Papillomavirus 6, 11, 16, 18 Vaccine in HIV-Infected Young Women 
Among 16- to 23-year-old human immunodeficiency virus–infected young women who were human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA and HPV seronegative at the time of vaccination with the quadrivalent HPV vaccine, immune responses to vaccination were generally robust and the vaccine was well tolerated.
The objective of this study was to determine whether the 3-dose quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series (HPV-6, -11, -16, -18) is immunogenic and safe in young women infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
We enrolled 99 women aged 16–23 years in a phase 2, open-label, multicenter trial, conducted from 2008 to 2011 by the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. Outcome measures were immunogenicity 4 weeks after dose 3, measured by (1) geometric mean titers (GMTs) and (2) seroconversion rates for HPV-6, -11, -16, and -18, among those seronegative and HPV DNA negative for each type. Immune responses were compared to those of a historical comparison group of HIV-negative women (n = 267) using univariate methods. Clinical and laboratory adverse events were assessed after each dose.
The mean age of subjects was 21.4 years; 80% were non-Hispanic black, 69 were not taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 30 were taking ART. No differences in GMTs were noted among participants taking ART vs the comparison group, but GMTs were lower in participants not taking ART vs the comparison group for HPV-16 (2393 vs 3892 milli-Merck units per milliliter [mMU/mL], P = .012) and HPV-18 (463 vs 801 mMU/mL, P = .003). Seroconversion rates were 100% for HPV-6, -11, -16, and -18 among participants taking ART. Rates ranged from 92.3% (for HPV-18) to 100.0% (for HPV-6) among participants not taking ART. One severe adverse event (fatigue) was noted.
In a sample of HIV-infected women who were HPV DNA and HPV seronegative, immune responses to HPV vaccination were generally robust and the vaccine was well tolerated.
Clinical Trials Registration
PMCID: PMC3739463  PMID: 23667266
immunogenicity; safety; human papillomavirus; vaccine; HIV infected
6.  KIR2DS4 Promotes HIV-1 Pathogenesis: New Evidence from Analyses of Immunogenetic Data and Natural Killer Cell Function 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99353.
KIR2DS4 gene variants encode full-length and truncated protein products, with only the former serving as membrane-bound receptors to activate natural killer (NK) cells. We have previously shown that full-length KIR2DS4 was associated with relatively high viral load and accelerated heterosexual HIV-1 transmission. Our objective here was to provide confirmatory data and to offer new insights about the potential mechanisms.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Mixed models for repeated (longitudinal) outcome measurements on 207 HIV-1 seropositive American youth revealed an association of full-length KIR2DS4 with relatively high viral load and low CD4+ T-cell count (p<0.01 for both). Depending on KIR2DS4 expression (presence or absence) on cell surface, NK cells from 43 individuals with untreated, chronic HIV-1 infection often differed in functional properties, including degranulation and secretion of IFN-γ and MIP-1β. In particular, polyfunctional NK cells were enriched in the KIR2DS4-positive subset.
Full-length KIR2DS4 promotes HIV-1 pathogenesis during chronic infection, probably through the maintenance of an excessively pro-inflammatory state.
PMCID: PMC4047121  PMID: 24901871
7.  Association of Higher Plasma Vitamin D Binding Protein and Lower Free Calcitriol Levels with Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate Use and Plasma and Intracellular Tenofovir Pharmacokinetics: Cause of a Functional Vitamin D Deficiency? 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2013;57(11):5619-5628.
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) causes bone, endocrine, and renal changes by an unknown mechanism(s). Data are limited on tenofovir pharmacokinetics and these effects. Using baseline data from a multicenter study of HIV-infected youth on stable treatment with regimens containing TDF (n = 118) or lacking TDF (n = 85), we measured cross-sectional associations of TDF use with markers of renal function, vitamin D-calcium-parathyroid hormone balance, phosphate metabolism (tubular reabsorption of phosphate and fibroblast growth factor 23 [FGF23]), and bone turnover. Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic associations with plasma tenofovir and intracellular tenofovir diphosphate concentrations were explored among those receiving TDF. The mean age was 20.9 (standard deviation [SD], 2.0) years; 63% were male; and 52% were African American. Compared to the no-TDF group, the TDF group showed lower mean estimated glomerular filtration rates and tubular reabsorption of phosphate, as well as higher parathyroid hormone and 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D [1,25-OH(2)D] levels. The highest quintile of plasma tenofovir concentrations was associated with higher vitamin D binding protein, lower free 1,25-OH(2)D, higher 25-OH vitamin D, and higher serum calcium. The highest quintile of intracellular tenofovir diphosphate concentration was associated with lower FGF23. Higher plasma tenofovir concentrations were associated with higher vitamin D binding protein and lower free 1,25-OH(2)D, suggesting a functional vitamin D deficiency explaining TDF-associated increased parathyroid hormone. The finding of lower FGF23 accompanying higher intracellular tenofovir diphosphate suggests that different mechanisms mediate TDF-associated changes in phosphate handling. Separate pharmacokinetic properties may be associated with distinct TDF toxicities: tenofovir with parathyroid hormone and altered calcium balance and tenofovir diphosphate with hypophosphatemia and FGF23 regulation.
(The clinical trial registration number for this study is NCT00490412 and is available online at
PMCID: PMC3811269  PMID: 24002093
8.  Assessment of Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Risk Among HIV Type 1-Infected Adolescents: Role of Soluble Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule As an Early Indicator of Endothelial Inflammation 
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) biomarkers were examined in a cohort of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adolescents who participated in Adolescent Trials Network study 083 utilizing samples from the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care cohort, a longitudinal study of youth infected through adult risk behavior. Nonfasting blood samples from 97 HIV-infected and 81 HIV-uninfected adolescents infected by adult risk behaviors were analyzed for total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), triglycerides, apolipoprotein A-I, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), soluble vascular adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), myeloperoxidase, and neopterin at baseline and 18 months later. Results were analyzed using ANOVA, Wilcoxon signed-rank, and paired t tests. Among infected subjects 67 received antiretroviral therapy and 30 were treatment naive. The HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected subjects were similar in gender, ethnicity, and cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and obesity. In all groups lipid parameters were within accepted guidelines for cardiovascular risk. Among HIV-infected youth on antiretroviral therapy (ART), HDL and apoprotein A-I were significantly lower when compared to uninfected youth. hsCRP was not elevated and thus not predictive for risk in any group. sVCAM-1 levels were significantly elevated in both HIV-infected groups: 1,435 ng/ml and 1,492 ng/ml in untreated and treated subjects, respectively, and 1,064 ng/ml in the uninfected group (p<0.0001). Across all groups neopterin correlated with sVCAM at 18 months (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.58, p<0.0001). Only 9% of ART-treated subjects fully suppressed virus. Lipid profiles and hsCRP, traditional markers of cardiovascular disease, are not abnormal among HIV-infected youth but elevated sVCAM may be an early marker of atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3581064  PMID: 23062187
10.  Epidemiology of HIV Infection and Risk in Adolescents and Youth 
Adolescents and youth ages 15–24 are one of the populations most impacted by the global HIV epidemic with an estimated 50% of new infections occurring in this age group. They are thus one of the prime populations for targeting behavioral and biomedical preventions. However, the dynamics of the HIV epidemic in youth vary widely by geographic region as well as risk behavior profiles. There are also biological and neurodevelopmental considerations that must be considered in the development, testing and ultimate dissemination of HIV prevention interventions. These concepts are broadly discussed here.
PMCID: PMC2924282  PMID: 20571423
HIV/AIDS; Epidemiology; Adolescents
11.  Toll-Like Receptor Gene Variants Associated with Bacterial Vaginosis among HIV-1 Infected Adolescents 
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal disorder in women of reproductive age, especially among women with HIV-1 infection. Several bacterial products including lipopolysaccharides (LPS), lipoteichoic acids (LTA), and peptidoglycans (PGN) are stimulatory ligands for Toll-like receptors (TLRs), and recent evidence indicates the important role of variation in TLR genes for permitting overgrowth of gram negative and BV-type flora. We assessed whether genetic polymorphisms in five TLR genes (TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR6, and TLR9) could be determinants of differential host immune responses to BV in 159 HIV-1-positive African American adolescents enrolled in the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) study. BV was assessed biannually and diagnosed either by a Nugent Score of at least 7 of 10, or using the Amsel Criteria. Cox-proportional hazards regression models, adjusted for concurrent Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections, douching, and absolute CD4 cell count, were used to identify host genetic factors associated with BV. Two SNPs were associated with BV as diagnosed by the Nugent Score and the combined criteria: a minor allele G of rs4986790 (frequency=0.07), which encodes a His to Tyr substitution in TLR4 (HR=1.47, 95% CI 1.15–1.87) and rs187084 (frequency=0.24) on TLR9. The minor allele of rs1898830 (frequency=0.13) was associated with an increased hazard of BV defined by the Amsel criteria (HR=1.86, 95%CI 1.17–2.95). Further studies are warranted to confirm the associations of TLR gene variants and also to understand the underlying pathways and immunogenetic correlates in the context of HIV-1 infection.
PMCID: PMC3518650  PMID: 23021866
HIV-1; Bacterial Vaginosis; Toll Like Receptors
12.  Prevalence of Proteinuria and Elevated Serum Cystatin C among HIV-infected Adolescents in the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) Study 
In the United States (US), kidney dysfunction is prevalent in almost 30% of HIV-infected patients and is an independent predictor of mortality. Proteinuria and elevated serum cystatin C (eCysC) are used as markers of kidney disease in the general population; however, the prevalence of these markers in HIV-infected adolescents is largely unknown.
This study includes 304 HIV-infected adolescents from the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) cohort, an observational study of adolescents recruited from 13 US cities. Clinical and demographic characteristics of participants were evaluated as correlates of proteinuria, a urine protein to creatinine ratio (UP/Cr) of ≥200 mg/g. Select univariate predictors were assessed to determine the association with urinary protein excretion and serum cystatin C in multivariable linear regression models and proteinuria and elevated serum cystatin C (eCysC ≥ 75th percentile) in multivariable logistic regression models.
Overall, 19.1% of the participants had proteinuria while 23.7% had an eCysC. Low CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts (<200 cells/mm3) were significantly associated with a greater UP/Cr in linear models and with proteinuria in logistic regression models. CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts <500 cells/mm3 were significantly associated with a greater serum cystatin C concentration in linear models and with eCysC in logistic regression models.
Proteinuria among HIV-infected adolescents in REACH was approximately two-fold greater than healthy US adolescents. Both proteinuria and eCysC are associated with CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts. Further studies investigating early markers of kidney disease and the association with immune status and inflammation in adolescents are needed.
PMCID: PMC3494783  PMID: 22918154
HIV; adolescent; kidney; CD4+ T-cells; proteinuria; serum cystatin C
13.  Genetic associations with 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency in HIV-1-infected youth: fine-mapping for the GC/DBP gene that encodes the vitamin D-binding protein 
Frontiers in Genetics  2013;4:234.
Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is often deficient (<12 ng/ml) or insufficient (<20 ng/ml) in youth living with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection (YLH). Based on evidence from multiple genome-wide association studies, we hypothesized that genetic factors associated with 25(OH)D deficiency should be readily detectable in YLH even when controlling for other known factors, including use of the antiretroviral drug efavirenz (EFV). Genotyping by bi-directional sequencing targeted 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at the GC/DBP locus, with a focus on coding and regulatory variants, as well as those repeatedly reported in the literature. Three intronic SNPs (rs222016, rs222020, and rs222029) in a conserved haplotype block had unequivocal association signals (false discovery rate ≤ 0.006). In particular, the minor allele G for rs222020 was highly unfavorable among 192 YLH (99 African–Americans and 93 others), as gauged by relatively low likelihood for 25(OH)D sufficiency at enrollment (odds ratio = 0.31, p = 9.0 × 10-4). In a reduced multivariable model, race, season, latitude, body mass index, exposure to EFV, and rs222020-G were independent factors that collectively accounted for 38% of variance in the log10-transformed 25(OH)D concentration (p < 0.0001). Interaction terms were evident for rs222020-G × season (p < 0.001), latitude × season (especially fall and winter; p < 0.01), and race × EFV use (p = 0.024). Overall, variance in serum 25(OH)D is substantially attributable to multiple factors, but the exact contribution of genetic and non-genetic factors can be obscured by partial overlaps and frequent interactions.
PMCID: PMC3827582  PMID: 24294218
antiretroviral; genetics; HIV-1; race; youth; vitamin D
14.  Prevalence and Risk Factors for HPV in HIV-Positive Young Women Receiving Their First HPV Vaccination 
The objectives of this study were to describe the prevalence and risk factors for HPV infection among HIV-infected young women receiving their first quadrivalent HPV (HPV-6, -11, -16, -18) vaccine dose.
We recruited 16-23 year-old women from 14 sites for an HPV vaccine trial. At the first visit they completed a questionnaire and were tested for cervicovaginal HPV DNA (41 types) and HPV serology (4 vaccine types). Factors associated with any HPV, type-specific HPV, and high-risk (cancer-associated) HPV infection were identified using univariate and multivariable logistic regression.
The mean age of participants (N=99) was 21.4 years, 30.3% were on antiretroviral therapy, 74.7% were positive for > 1 HPV DNA type, 53.5% for > 1 high-risk type, 12.1% for HPV-16, and 5.1% for HPV-18. Most were HPV DNA negative and seronegative for HPV-16 (55.6%) and HPV-18 (73.7%); 45.5% were HPV DNA and seronegative for both HPV-16 and -18. Three variables were associated with high-risk HPV DNA in multivariable analysis: non-Hispanic Black vs. Hispanic ethnicity (AOR 7.06, 95% CI 1.63-30.5), HIV viral load > 400 vs. < 400 copies/mL (AOR 3.47, 95% CI 1.28-9.43), and frequency of vaginal sex in the past 90 days (AOR 5.82, 95% CI 1.30-26.11 for > 6 vs. 0 times).
The prevalence of > 1 HPV type was high in these young women, demonstrating the importance of vaccinating prior to sexual initiation. However, most were HPV DNA negative and seronegative for high-risk, vaccine-type HPV infection, supporting vaccination of sexually experienced HIV-positive young women.
PMCID: PMC3480995  PMID: 22820809
human papillomavirus; vaccine; epidemiology; women; HIV
15.  Tolerance and Safety of Different Concentrations of Chlorhexidine for Peripartum Vaginal and Infant Washes: HIVNET025 
There is a continuing need to evaluate sustainable interventions for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV type 1. We evaluated different concentrations (0.25%, 1%, and 2%) of chlorhexidine (CHX) for perinatal maternal and infant washes to identify the maximum tolerable concentration of CHX for such an intervention.
Women were enrolled during their third trimester at the maternity unit of the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa, and perinatal maternal and infant washes were completed. Subjective maternal symptoms as well as infant examinations were used to assess tolerability of the washes.
The 0.25% concentration of CHX was well tolerated by the mothers (n = 29). Ten of 79 women (13%) with 1% CHX washes complained of mild vaginal area burning or itching, and washes were stopped in 5 (6%). Twenty-three of 75 women (31%) in the 2% CHX wash group had subjective complaints, and the washes were stopped in 12 (16%). There were no clinical indications of toxicity of the CHX washes among infants.
A 1% solution of CHX appears to be a safe and tolerable concentration of CHX for consideration in an MTCT prevention trial.
PMCID: PMC2753236  PMID: 14722445
vertical transmission; chlorhexidine; peripartum microbicide washes
Human immunology  2011;72(4):312-318.
Populations of African ancestry continue to account for a disproportionate burden of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) epidemic in the US. We investigated the effects of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I markers in association with virologic and immunologic control of HIV-1 infection among 338 HIV-1 subtype B-infected African Americans in two cohorts: REACH (Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health) and HERS (HIV Epidemiology Research Study). One-year treatment-free interval measurements of HIV-1 RNA viral loads and CD4+ T-cells were examined both separately and combined to represent three categories of HIV-1 disease control (76 “controllers,” 169 “intermediates,” and 93 “non-controllers”). Certain previously or newly implicated HLA class I alleles (A*32, A*36, A*74, B*14, B*1510, B*3501, B*45, B*53, B*57, Cw*04, Cw*08, Cw*12, and Cw*18) were associated with one or more of the endpoints in univariate analyses. After multivariable adjustments for other genetic and non-genetic risk factors of HIV-1 progression, the subset of alleles more strongly or consistently associated with HIV-1 disease control included A*32, A*74, B*14, B*45, B*53, B*57, and Cw*08. Carriage of infrequent HLA-B but not HLA-A alleles was associated with more favorable disease outcomes. Certain HLA class I associations with control of HIV-1 infection span the boundaries of race and viral subtype; while others appear confined within one or the other of those boundaries.
PMCID: PMC3778654  PMID: 21262311
HLA class I; Allele frequency; HIV-1 control; African American
17.  Hepatitis B Vaccination in HIV-Infected Youth: A Randomized Trial of Three Regimens 
HIV-infected youth are at risk of hepatitis B (HBV) infection and should be vaccinated. Previous reports suggest reduced response to standard HBV vaccine regimens.
HIV-infected youth, age 12 to <25 years, were randomly assigned to one of three treatment arms: Arm 1: Engerix B®, 20 mcg HBsAg; Arm 2: Engerix B®, 40 mcg; and Arm 3: Twinrix®, 20mcg HBsAg combined with 720 ELU hepatitis A antigen. Vaccines were administered at weeks 0, 4 and 24.
Characteristics of evaluable patients (n=336) at entry were similar in the study arms. At enrollment, median CD4+ T-cell count was 460 cells/mm3 (IQR: 305 to 668); 13% were < 200 cells/mm3. Among Engerix B®, 20 mcg recipients, 60.4% responded to vaccine (HBsAb ≥ 10 IU/mL at week 28). Improved vaccine response was seen in recipients of Engerix B®, 40 mcg, (73.2%, vs. Arm 1, p=0.04) and Twinrix® (75.4%, vs. Arm 1, p=0.02). In multivariate analysis, only baseline CD4+ T-cell count and study arm were independent predictors of vaccine response.
In HIV-infected youth, a three dose vaccination regimen with Engerix B®, 40 mcg, or Twinrix® and higher baseline CD4+ T-cell counts were independently associated with improved vaccine response.
PMCID: PMC3079288  PMID: 21350366
HIV; Hepatitis B Vaccination; Adolescents; Engerix B; Twinrix
18.  Predictors of Suboptimal Virologic Response to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Among Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Adolescents 
To examine the prevalence and biopsychosocial predictors of sub-optimal virologic response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adolescents.
Population-based cohort study.
Sixteen academic medical centers across thirteen cities in the United States.
One hundred and fifty four HIV-infected adolescents who presented for at least two consecutive visits after initiation of HAART.
Main Outcome Measures
Viral load (plasma concentration of HIV RNA), CD4+ T-lymphocyte count.
Of the 154 adolescents enrolled in the study, 50 (32.5%) demonstrated early and sustained virologic suppression while receiving HAART. The remaining 104 adolescents (67.5%) had a poor virologic response. Adequate adherence (>50%) to HAART—reported by 70.8% of respondents—was associated with a 60% reduced odds of suboptimal virologic suppression in a multivariable logistic regression model (adjusted odds ratio = 0.4; 95% confidence interval : 0.2 – 1.0). Exposure to sub-optimal antiretroviral therapy (ART) prior to HAART, on the other hand, was associated with more than a two-fold increased odds of sub-optimal virologic response (adjusted odds ratio = 2.6; 95% confidence interval: 1.1 – 5.7).
Fully two-thirds of HIV-infected adolescents in the current study demonstrated a sub-optimal virologic response to HAART. Non-adherence and prior single or dual ART were associated with subsequent poor virologic responses to HAART. These predictors of HAART failure echo findings in pediatric and adult populations. Given the unique developmental stage of adolescence, age-specific interventions are indicated to address high rates of non-adherence and therapeutic failure.
PMCID: PMC3739292  PMID: 19996046
HIV; Adolescent; Antiretroviral Therapy; Highly Active; Adherence; Viral Load; CD4 Lymphocyte Count
19.  Low Bone Mass in Behaviorally HIV-Infected Young Men on Antiretroviral Therapy: Adolescent Trials Network Study 021B 
We report evidence of low bone mass in behaviorally human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected young men on antiretroviral therapy with a relatively recent diagnosis of HIV infection, compared with seronegative controls.
Background. Peak bone mass is achieved in adolescence/early adulthood and is the key determinant of bone mass in adulthood. We evaluated the association of bone mass with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART) during this critical period among behaviorally HIV–infected young men and seronegative controls.
Methods. HIV-positive men (N = 199) and HIV-negative controls (N = 53), ages 14–25 years, were studied at 15 Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions sites. HIV-positive participants were recruited on the basis of ART status: ART-naive (N = 105) or on a regimen containing a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI; N = 52) or protease inhibitor (PI; N = 42). Bone mineral density (BMD) and content (BMC) and body composition were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Results were compared across groups by linear modeling. Bone results were adjusted for race, body mass index (BMI), and type of DXA (Hologic/Lunar).
Results. The HIV-positive and HIV-negative groups had comparable median age (21 years) and racial/ethnic distribution. Median times since HIV diagnosis were 1.3, 1.9, and 2.2 years in the ART-naive, NNRTI, and PI groups, respectively (P = .01). Total and regional fat were significantly lower in the ART-naive group compared with seronegative controls. Mean BMD and Z scores were generally lower among HIV-positive participants on ART, particularly in the PI group. Average Z scores for the spine were below zero in all 4 groups, including controls.
Conclusions. Young men on ART with a relatively recent diagnosis of HIV infection have lower bone mass than controls. Longitudinal studies are required to determine the impact of impaired accrual or actual loss of bone during adolescence on subsequent fracture risk.
PMCID: PMC3491777  PMID: 22573848
20.  Comprehension of a simplified assent form in a vaccine trial for adolescents 
Journal of medical ethics  2013;39(6):410-412.
Future HIV vaccine efficacy trials with adolescents will need to ensure that participants comprehend study concepts in order to confer true informed assent. A Hepatitis B vaccine trial with adolescents offers valuable opportunity to test youth understanding of vaccine trial requirements in general.
Youth reviewed a simplified assent form with study investigators and then completed a comprehension questionnaire. Once enrolled, all youth were tested for HIV and confirmed to be HIV-negative.
123 youth completed the questionnaire (mean age=15 years; 63% male; 70% Hispanic). Overall, only 69 (56%) youth answered all six questions correctly.
Youth enrolled in a Hepatitis B vaccine trial demonstrated variable comprehension of the study design and various methodological concepts, such as treatment group masking.
PMCID: PMC3655100  PMID: 23349510
21.  Vitamin D3 Decreases Parathyroid Hormone in HIV-Infected Youth Being Treated With Tenofovir: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial 
In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of human immunodeficiency virus–infected youths aged 18–25, vitamin D3, 50000 IU once monthly for 3 months decreased parathyroid hormone in participants treated with tenofovir-containing antiretroviral regimens but not in those participants whose regimens did not contain tenofovir.
Background. The study goal was to determine the effect of vitamin D (VITD) supplementation on tubular reabsorption of phosphate (TRP), parathyroid hormone (PTH), bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), and C-telopeptide (CTX) in youth infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) receiving and not receiving combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF).
Methods. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial enrolled HIV-infected youth 18–25 years based on stable treatment with cART containing TDF (n = 118) or no TDF (noTDF; n = 85), and randomized within those groups to vitamin D3, 50 000 IU (n = 102) or placebo (n = 101), administered at 0, 4, and 8 weeks. Outcomes included change in TRP, PTH, BAP, and CTX from baseline to week 12 by TDF/noTDF; and VITD/placebo.
Results. At baseline, VITD and placebo groups were similar except those on TDF had lower TRP and higher PTH and CTX. At week 12, 95% in the VITD group had sufficient serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-OHD; ≥20 ng/mL), increased from 48% at baseline, without change in placebo (P < .001). PTH decreased in the TDF group receiving VITD (P = .031) but not in the noTDF group receiving VITD, or either placebo group. The decrease in PTH with VITD in those on TDF occurred with insufficient and sufficient baseline 25-OHD (mean PTH change, −7.9 and −6.2 pg/mL; P = .031 and .053, respectively).
Conclusions. In youth on TDF, vitamin D3 supplementation decreased PTH, regardless of baseline 25-OHD concentration.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00490412.
PMCID: PMC3297650  PMID: 22267714
22.  Incidence, Prevalence and Epidemiology of Herpes Simplex Virus-2 in HIV-1-positive and HIV-1-negative Adolescents 
Sexually Transmitted Diseases  2012;39(4):300-305.
Several studies have assessed risk factors associated with herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) prevalence in adults; however, few have focused on HSV-2 incidence, particularly in adolescents. The objective of this study was to determine HSV-2 prevalence and incidence and associated risk factors in a HIV-1-positive and at risk HIV-1-negative adolescent population.
Sera were tested for HSV-2 antibodies in 518 adolescents in the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) cohort at baseline and again at the final follow-up visit. Prevalence at baseline and incidence (per person years) of HSV-2 infection were calculated. Furthermore, among HIV-1-positive individuals, a subgroup analysis was performed to assess risk factors for HSV-2 infection. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and p-values (p) for associations between CD4+ T-cell (CD4+) count, HIV-1 viral load (VL), and HSV-2 acquisition, adjusting for antiretroviral therapy use, other sexually transmitted infections, gender, race, and number of sexual partners.
At baseline, 179 (35%) subjects were HSV-2 positive, with an additional 47 (16%) new cases being identified during a median follow-up time of 1.95 years and an incidence rate of 7.35 cases per 100 person years (py). Several risk factors were associated with HSV-2 prevalence (being female, non-Hispanic, uncertainty of sexual preference, and HIV-1 positive) and incidence (using drugs, alcohol, and number of new sexual partners). Among HIV-1 positives, an increase in CD4+ count by 50 cell/mm3 (OR, 1.17; 95% CI 1.04–1.31, p=0.008) was associated with HSV-2 acquisition.
The high prevalence and incidence of HSV-2 infection among adolescents, compared to the general population at this age group suggests a critical need for screening and preventive programs among this targeted group.
PMCID: PMC3306602  PMID: 22421698
HIV-1; HSV-2; CD4+ count; adolescents
23.  Identification of Three Immunologic Correlates for HIV Type 1 Pathogenesis in Youth 
To evaluate the stability and heterogeneity of cytokine and chemokine profiles in 80 youth with and without HIV-1 infection, we tested plasma samples at repeated visits without antiretroviral therapy. Among nine analytes that were quantified using multiplexing assays, interleukin 10 (IL-10), IL-18, and soluble CD30 persistently showed a positive correlation with HIV-1 viral load (Spearman ρ = 0.40–0.59, p < 0.01 for all). A negative correlation with CD4+ T cell counts (ρ = −0.40 to −0.60, p < 0.01 for all) was also persistent for the three analytes. Analyses restricted to 48 AIDS-free youth (96 visits) yielded similar findings, as did multivariable models in which race, sex, age, body mass index, and time interval between visits were treated as covariates. These relationships reflected two novel features observed for all three analytes. First, their presence in plasma was relatively stable between visits (ρ = 0.50–0.90, p < 0.03), regardless of HIV-1 infection status. Second, pairwise correlation was strong and persistent in HIV-1-seropositive youth (ρ = 0.40–0.59, p < 0.01), but not in HIV-1, seronegatives (p > 0.13). Additional analytes, especially eotaxin/CCL11 and SDF-1β/CXCL12, had no correlation with HIV-1-related outcomes despite their stability between visits. Overall, circulating IL-10, IL-18, and soluble CD30 could partially track unfavorable responses to HIV-1 infection in youth. These markers of persistent immune activation are individually and collectively indicative of HIV-1 pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3101082  PMID: 20969482
24.  Randomized Trial to Determine Safety and Immunogenicity of Two Strategies for Hepatitis B Vaccination in Healthy Urban Adolescents in the United States 
Multiple studies have shown excellent response rates after hepatitis B immunization in youth; however, one previous study conducted in urban youth demonstrated poor responses.
Urban youth, ages 12-17 years, at participating Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions Clinical/Research (ATN) sites were randomized to receive either two doses of Recombivax HB (10mcg hepatitis B surface antigen) or Twinrix (20mcg hepatitis B surface antigen and 720 EL.U hepatitis A antigen) at 0 and 24 weeks. Safety data were collected and antibody measures performed at 0, 28 and 76 weeks.
123 subjects were enrolled and 102 had week 28 serum samples available for antibody measure. A positive response (serum antibody ≥ 10mIU/mL) to hepatitis B antigen was documented in 41/47 (87.2%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 74.3%-95.2%) Recombivax HB recipients and in 52/55 (94.6%; 95% CI 84.9%-98.9%) Twinrix recipients (p=.295). In an adjusted analysis, those identified as Hispanic ethnicity (N=86) were more likely to have a positive response (odds ratio 7.38, 95% confidence interval 1.56-34.95; p=0.0018); whereas those who identified as not heterosexual (N=9) were less likely to respond (odds ratio=0.12, 95%CI, 0.02-0.74). The majority of youth in the Twinrix arm were hepatitis A antibody positive at baseline (26/51; 51%); however, 24/25 hepatitis A antibody negative youth responded to the hepatitis A component. Both vaccines were safe.
Response rate to two doses of Recombivax HB in urban youth is lower than previous studies suggest. The factors associated with diminished response are not known.
PMCID: PMC3274492  PMID: 20173677
Adolescents; hepatitis B; Vaccination; Immunogenicity
25.  Transitional Probability-Based Model for HPV Clearance in HIV-1-Positive Adolescent Females 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30736.
HIV-1-positive patients clear the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection less frequently than HIV-1-negative. Datasets for estimating HPV clearance probability often have irregular measurements of HPV status and risk factors. A new transitional probability-based model for estimation of probability of HPV clearance was developed to fully incorporate information on HIV-1-related clinical data, such as CD4 counts, HIV-1 viral load (VL), highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and risk factors (measured quarterly), and HPV infection status (measured at 6-month intervals).
Methodology and Findings
Data from 266 HIV-1-positive and 134 at-risk HIV-1-negative adolescent females from the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) cohort were used in this study. First, the associations were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazard model, and the variables that demonstrated significant effects on HPV clearance were included in transitional probability models. The new model established the efficacy of CD4 cell counts as a main clearance predictor for all type-specific HPV phylogenetic groups. The 3-month probability of HPV clearance in HIV-1-infected patients significantly increased with increasing CD4 counts for HPV16/16-like (p<0.001), HPV18/18-like (p<0.001), HPV56/56-like (p = 0.05), and low-risk HPV (p<0.001) phylogenetic groups, with the lowest probability found for HPV16/16-like infections (21.60±1.81% at CD4 level 200 cells/mm3, p<0.05; and 28.03±1.47% at CD4 level 500 cells/mm3). HIV-1 VL was a significant predictor for clearance of low-risk HPV infections (p<0.05). HAART (with protease inhibitor) was significant predictor of probability of HPV16 clearance (p<0.05). HPV16/16-like and HPV18/18-like groups showed heterogeneity (p<0.05) in terms of how CD4 counts, HIV VL, and HAART affected probability of clearance of each HPV infection.
This new model predicts the 3-month probability of HPV infection clearance based on CD4 cell counts and other HIV-1-related clinical measurements.
PMCID: PMC3265500  PMID: 22292027

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