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1.  Changes to antiretroviral drug regimens during integrated TB-HIV treatment: Results of the SAPiT trial 
Antiviral therapy  2013;19(2):161-169.
Background
Frequency of drug changes in combination antiretroviral therapy among patients starting both tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) therapy, as a result of treatment-limiting toxicity or virological failure, is not well established.
Methods
Patients in the Starting Antiretroviral Therapy at Three Points in Tuberculosis (SAPiT) trial were randomized to initiate antiretroviral therapy either early or late during TB treatment or after completion of TB treatment. Drug changes due to toxicity (defined as due to grade 3 or 4 adverse events) or virological failure (defined as viral load > 1000 copies/ml on two occasions, taken at least 4 weeks apart) were assessed in these patients.
Results
A total of 501 TB-HIV co-infected patients were followed for a mean of 16.0 (95% confidence interval (CI): 15.5 to 16.6) months after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation. The standard first-line ARVs used, were efavirenz, lamivudine and didanosine. Individual drug switches for toxicity occurred in 14 patients (incidence rate: 2.1 per 100 person-years; 95% (CI): 1.1 to 3.5), and complete regimen changes due to virological failure in 25 patients (incidence rate: 3.7 per 100 person-years; CI: 2.4 to 5.5). The most common treatment limiting toxicities were neuropsychiatric effects (n=4; 0.8%), elevated transaminase levels and hyperlactatemia (n= 3; 0.6%), and peripheral neuropathy (n=2; 0.4%). Complete regimen change due to treatment failure was more common in patients with CD4+ cell count <50cells/mm3 (p<0.001) at ART initiation and body mass index greater than 25 kg/m2 (p=0.01) at entry into the study.
Conclusion
Both drug switches and complete regimen change were uncommon in patients co-treated for TB-HIV with the chosen regimen. Patients with severe immunosuppression need to be monitored carefully, as they were most at risk for treatment failure requiring regimen change.
doi:10.3851/IMP2701
PMCID: PMC3984627  PMID: 24176943
2.  Feasibility, performance, and acceptability of the Wisebag™ for potential monitoring of daily gel applicator use in Durban, South Africa 
AIDS and behavior  2013;17(2):640-648.
The Wisebag™, a lunchbag-style container with an electronic events-monitoring system, was designed as a real-time indirect objective measure of microbicide gel use. Due to cost, alternative functionalities (i.e. use of offline and dummy versions) were explored. We conducted a three-arm, double-blinded pilot study among fifty HIV-negative women in Durban, South Africa to assess participant adherence and Wisebag acceptability and performance. Participants were randomized 2:2:1 to Wisebag with online (events transmitted via cellular signal in real-time), offline (events stored in device memory) or inactive “dummy” devices. Participants were instructed to open the Wisebag daily for two weeks, retrieve a study sticker and affix it on a diary card. All participants completed the study. At exit, 94% did not know which device they had received, nor could they differentiate the Wisebag types when presented with the three options. Five offline devices failed (no data recorded). Per Wisebag events, 26% of women were perfectly adherent compared to 48% by self-report and 46% per diary card. Of reported non-adherence, 92% did not open the Wisebag (travelling or forgot) and 22% opened Wisebag >1x/day (curiosity). Participants liked and were comfortable carrying Wisebag. Successful blinding will allow inclusion of offline and/or dummy Wisebags in future study designs. Perfect adherence by opening events was significantly lower than by self-report, highlighting the importance of objective measures of adherence in clinical trials. Additional studies to validate Wisebag data with actual products, with and without SMS and online functionality, in different populations and settings, and in comparison to biomarkers are warranted.
doi:10.1007/s10461-012-0330-y
PMCID: PMC3562379  PMID: 23054042
Microbicide gel; adherence; electronic monitoring; Africa
3.  Integration of Antiretroviral Therapy with Tuberculosis Treatment 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;365(16):1492-1501.
Background
We previously reported that integrating antiretroviral therapy (ART) with tuberculosis treatment reduces mortality. However, optimal time to initiate ART during tuberculosis treatment remains contentious.
Methods
To address this, we conducted a 3-arm, open-label randomized controlled trial in South Africa in acid-fast bacilli smear positive patients (n=642) with HIV and CD4+ counts <500 cells/mm3. Findings on the early therapy group (ART initiated within 4 weeks of tuberculosis treatment initiation, n=214) and late therapy group (ART initiated within the first 4 weeks of the continuation phase of tuberculosis treatment, n=215) are presented here.
Results
Median CD4+ count and viral load at baseline was 150 cells/mm3 and 161000 copies/ml, being similar in both groups. Incidence rate of AIDS or death was 6.9 (18/259.4) and 7.8 (19/244.2) per 100 person-years in the early and late therapy groups respectively (Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR)=0.89; 95%Confidence Interval (95%CI): 0.44,1.79; P=0.73). However, in patients with CD4+ counts <50 cells/mm3, the incidence rates of AIDS or death were 8.5 (early) and 26.3 (late) per 100 person-years (IRR=0.32; 95%CI: 0.07,1.13; P=0.06). Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) incidence rates were 20.2 (early) and 7.7 (late) per 100 person-years (IRR=2.62; 95%CI: 1.48,4.82; P<0.001). Adverse events requiring antiretroviral drug switches occurred in 10 (early) and 1 (late) patients (P=0.006).
Conclusions
The benefits of AIDS-free survival balanced against the risks of IRIS and ART-related adverse events, support early ART initiation in patients with CD4+ counts <50 cells/mm3 and deferred ART initiation to the continuation phase of tuberculosis treatment when CD4+ counts are higher.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1014181
PMCID: PMC3233684  PMID: 22010915

Results 1-3 (3)