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2.  CYP2B6 18492T→C Polymorphism Compromises Efavirenz Concentration in Coinfected HIV and Tuberculosis Patients Carrying CYP2B6 Haplotype *1/*1 
Data regarding the effect of the CYP2B6 18492T→C polymorphism on plasma efavirenz concentrations and 96-week virologic responses in patients coinfected with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) are still unavailable. A total of 139 antiretroviral-naive HIV-infected adults with active TB were prospectively enrolled to receive efavirenz 600 mg-tenofovir 300 mg-lamivudine 300 mg. Eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within CYP2B6 were genotyped. Seven SNPs, including 64C→T, 499C→G, 516G→T, 785A→G, 1375A→G, 1459C→T, and 21563C→T, were included for CYP2B6 haplotype determination. The CYP2B6 18492T→C polymorphism was studied in 48 patients who carried haplotype *1/*1. At 12 and 24 weeks after antiretroviral therapy, plasma efavirenz concentrations at 12 h after dosing were measured. Plasma HIV RNA was monitored every 12 weeks for 96 weeks. Of 48 patients {body weight [mean ± standard deviation (SD)], 56 ± 10 kg}, 77% received a rifampin-containing anti-TB regimen. No drug resistance-associated mutation was detected at baseline. The frequencies of the wild type (18492TT) and the heterozygous (18492TC) and homozygous (18492CC) mutants of the CYP2B6 18492T→C polymorphism were 39%, 42%, and 19%, respectively. At 12 weeks, mean (±SD) efavirenz concentrations of patients who carried the 18492TT, 18492TC, and 18492CC mutants were 2.8 ± 1.6, 1.7 ± 0.9, and 1.4 ± 0.5 mg/liter, respectively (P = 0.005). At 24 weeks, the efavirenz concentrations of the corresponding groups were 2.4 ± 0.8, 1.7 ± 0.8, and 1.2 ± 0.4 mg/liter, respectively (P = 0.003). A low efavirenz concentration was independently associated with 18492T→C (β = −0.937, P = 0.004) and high body weight (β = −0.032, P = 0.046). At 96 weeks, 19%, 17%, and 28% of patients carrying the 18492TT, 18492TC, and 18492CC mutants, respectively, had plasma HIV RNA levels of >40 copies/ml and developed efavirenz-associated mutations (P = 0.254). In summary, the CYP2B6 18492T→C polymorphism compromises efavirenz concentrations in patients who carry CYP2B6 haplotype *1/*1 and are coinfected with HIV and tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC4023787  PMID: 24492364
3.  HIV multi-drug resistance at first-line antiretroviral failure and subsequent virological response in Asia 
First-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) failure often results from the development of resistance-associated mutations (RAMs). Three patterns, including thymidine analogue mutations (TAMs), 69 Insertion (69Ins) and the Q151M complex, are associated with resistance to multiple-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and may compromise treatment options for second-line ART.
We investigated patterns and factors associated with multi-NRTI RAMs at first-line failure in patients from The TREAT Asia Studies to Evaluate Resistance – Monitoring study (TASER-M), and evaluated their impact on virological responses at 12 months after switching to second-line ART. RAMs were compared with the IAS-USA 2013 mutations list. We defined multi-NRTI RAMs as the presence of either Q151M; 69Ins; ≥2 TAMs; or M184V+≥1 TAM. Virological suppression was defined as viral load (VL) <400 copies/ml at 12 months from switch to second-line. Logistic regression was used to analyze (1) factors associated with multi-NRTI RAMs at first-line failure and (2) factors associated with virological suppression after 12 months on second-line.
A total of 105 patients from 10 sites in Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines were included. There were 97/105 (92%) patients harbouring ≥1 RAMs at first-line failure, 39/105 with multi-NRTI RAMs: six with Q151M; 24 with ≥2 TAMs; and 32 with M184V+≥1 TAM. Factors associated with multi-NRTI RAMs were CD4 ≤200 cells/µL at genotyping (OR=4.43, 95% CI [1.59–12.37], p=0.004) and ART duration >2 years (OR=6.25, 95% CI [2.39–16.36], p<0.001). Among 87/105 patients with available VL at 12 months after switch to second-line ART, virological suppression was achieved in 85%. The median genotypic susceptibility score (GSS) for the second-line regimen was 2.00. Patients with ART adherence ≥95% were more likely to be virologically suppressed (OR=9.33, 95% CI (2.43–35.81), p=0.001). Measures of patient resistance to second-line ART, including the GSS, were not significantly associated with virological outcome.
Multi-NRTI RAMs at first-line failure were associated with low CD4 level and longer duration of ART. With many patients switching to highly susceptible regimens, good adherence was still crucial in achieving virological response. This emphasizes the importance of continued adherence counselling well into second-line therapy.
PMCID: PMC4139921  PMID: 25141905
HIV; resource-limited; resistance; mutations; failure
4.  Factors associated with suboptimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy in Asia 
Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) plays an important role in treatment outcomes. It is crucial to identify factors influencing adherence in order to optimize treatment responses. The aim of this study was to assess the rates of, and factors associated with, suboptimal adherence (SubAdh) in the first 24 months of ART in an Asian HIV cohort.
As part of a prospective resistance monitoring study, the TREAT Asia Studies to Evaluate Resistance Monitoring Study (TASER-M) collected patients’ adherence based on the World Health Organization-validated Adherence Visual Analogue Scale. SubAdh was defined in two ways: (i) <100% and (ii) <95%. Follow-up time started from ART initiation and was censored at 24 months, loss to follow-up, death, treatment switch, or treatment cessation for >14 days. Time was divided into four intervals: 0–6, 6–12, 12–18 and 18–24 months. Factors associated with SubAdh were analysed using generalized estimating equations.
Out of 1316 patients, 32% ever reported <100% adherence and 17% ever reported <95%. Defining the outcome as SubAdh <100%, the rates of SubAdh for the four time intervals were 26%, 17%, 12% and 10%. Sites with an average of >2 assessments per patient per year had an odds ratio (OR)=0.7 (95% confidence interval (CI) (0.55 to 0.90), p=0.006), compared to sites with ≤2 assessments per patient per year. Compared to heterosexual exposure, SubAdh was higher in injecting drug users (IDUs) (OR=1.92, 95% CI (1.23 to 3.00), p=0.004) and lower in homosexual exposure (OR=0.52, 95% CI (0.38 to 0.71), p<0.001). Patients taking a nucleoside transcriptase inhibitor and protease inhibitor (NRTI+PI) combination were less likely to report adherence <100% (OR=0.36, 95% CI (0.20 to 0.67), p=0.001) compared to patients taking an NRTI and non-nucleoside transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI+NNRTI) combination. SubAdh decreased with increasing time on ART (all p<0.001). Similar associations were found with adherence <95% as the outcome.
We found that SubAdh, defined as either <100% and <95%, was associated with mode of HIV exposure, ART regimen, time on ART and frequency of adherence measurement. The more frequently sites assessed patients, the lower the SubAdh, possibly reflecting site resourcing for patient counselling. Although social desirability bias could not be excluded, a greater emphasis on more frequent adherence counselling immediately following ART initiation and through the first six months may be valuable in promoting treatment and programme retention.
PMCID: PMC4024656  PMID: 24836775
HIV; adherence; Asia; resource-limited; visual analogue scale
5.  Evaluating immunologic response and clinical deterioration in treatment-naïve patients initiating first-line therapies infected with HIV-1 CRF01_AE and subtype B 
HIV-1 group M viruses diverge 25%–35% in envelope, important for viral attachment during infection, and 10–15% in the pol region, under selection pressure from common antiretrovirals. In Asia, subtypes B and CRF01_AE are common genotypes. Our objectives were to determine whether clinical, immunologic or virologic treatment responses differed by genotype in treatment-naïve patients initiating first-line therapy.
Prospectively collected, longitudinal data from patients in Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea were provided for analysis. Covariates included demographics, hepatitis B and C coinfections, baseline CD4 T lymphocyte count and plasma HIV-1 RNA levels. Clinical deterioration (a new diagnosis of CDC category B/AIDS-defining illness or death) was assessed by proportional hazards models. Surrogate endpoints were 12-month change in CD4 cell count and virologic suppression post-therapy, evaluated by linear and logistic regression, respectively.
Of 1105 patients, 1036 (93.8%) infected with CRF01_AE or subtype B were eligible for inclusion in clinical deterioration analyses and contributed 1546.7 person-years of follow-up (median:413 days, IQR:169–672 days). Patients >40 years demonstrated smaller immunological increases (p=0.002) and higher risk of clinical deterioration (HR=2.17; p=0.008). Patients with baseline CD4 cell counts >200 cells/μL had lower risk of clinical deterioration (HR=0.373; p=0.003). A total of 532 patients (48.1% of eligible) had CD4 counts available at baseline and 12 months post-therapy for inclusion in immunolgic analyses. Patients infected with subtype B had larger increases in CD4 counts at 12 months (p=0.024). A total of 530 patients (48.0% of eligible) were included in virologic analyses with no differences in response found between genotypes.
Results suggest that patients infected with CRF01_AE have reduced immunologic response to therapy at 12 months, compared to subtype-B-infected counterparts. Clinical deterioration was associated with low baseline CD4 counts and older age. The lack of differences in virologic outcomes suggests that all patients have opportunities for virologic suppression.
PMCID: PMC3964197  PMID: 23138836
HIV-1; Asia; genotype; CRF01_AE; subtype B
6.  Trends of CD4 cell count levels at the initiation of antiretroviral therapy over time and factors associated with late initiation of antiretroviral therapy among Asian HIV-positive patients 
Although antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been rapidly scaled up in Asia, most HIV-positive patients in the region still present with late-stage HIV disease. We aimed to determine trends of pre-ART CD4 levels over time in Asian HIV-positive patients and to determine factors associated with late ART initiation.
Data from two regional cohort observational databases were analyzed for trends in median CD4 cell counts at ART initiation and the proportion of late ART initiation (CD4 cell counts <200 cells/mm3 or prior AIDS diagnosis). Predictors for late ART initiation and mortality were determined.
A total of 2737 HIV-positive ART-naïve patients from 22 sites in 13 Asian countries and territories were eligible. The overall median (IQR) CD4 cell count at ART initiation was 150 (46–241) cells/mm3. Median CD4 cell counts at ART initiation increased over time, from a low point of 115 cells/mm3 in 2008 to a peak of 302 cells/mm3 after 2011 (p for trend 0.002). The proportion of patients with late ART initiation significantly decreased over time from 79.1% before 2007 to 36.3% after 2011 (p for trend <0.001). Factors associated with late ART initiation were year of ART initiation (e.g. 2010 vs. before 2007; OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.27–0.59; p<0.001), sex (male vs. female; OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.18–1.93; p=0.001) and HIV exposure risk (heterosexual vs. homosexual; OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.24–2.23; p=0.001 and intravenous drug use vs. homosexual; OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.77–5.21; p<0.001). Factors associated with mortality after ART initiation were late ART initiation (HR 2.13, 95% CI 1.19–3.79; p=0.010), sex (male vs. female; HR 2.12, 95% CI 1.31–3.43; p=0.002), age (≥51 vs. ≤30 years; HR 3.91, 95% CI 2.18–7.04; p<0.001) and hepatitis C serostatus (positive vs. negative; HR 2.48, 95% CI 1.−4.36; p=0.035).
Median CD4 cell count at ART initiation among Asian patients significantly increases over time but the proportion of patients with late ART initiation is still significant. ART initiation at higher CD4 cell counts remains a challenge. Strategic interventions to increase earlier diagnosis of HIV infection and prompt more rapid linkage to ART must be implemented.
PMCID: PMC3944639  PMID: 24598459
AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; Asia; CD4; HIV; trends
8.  Impact of Pharmacogenetic Markers of CYP2B6, Clinical Factors, and Drug-Drug Interaction on Efavirenz Concentrations in HIV/Tuberculosis-Coinfected Patients 
Comprehensive information on the effects of cytochrome P450 2B6 (CYP2B6) polymorphisms, clinical factors, and drug-drug interactions on efavirenz concentrations in HIV/tuberculosis-coinfected (HIV/TB) patients is unavailable. A total of 139 HIV/TB adults, 101 of whom received a rifampin-containing anti-TB regimen, were prospectively enrolled to receive efavirenz (600 mg)/tenofovir/lamivudine. Nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within CYP2B6 were genotyped. Plasma efavirenz concentrations were measured at 12 weeks. The median (interquartile range [IQR]) efavirenz concentration was 2.3 (1.4 to 3.9) mg/liter. The SNPs (frequencies of heterozygous and homozygous mutants) were 64C>T (10% and 1%), 499C>G (0% and 0%), 516G>T (47% and 8%), 785A>G (54% and 10%), 1375A>G (0% and 0%), 1459C>T (3% and 0%), 3003C>T (44% and 27%), 18492T>C (39% and 6%), and 21563C>T (57% and 5%). The four most frequent CYP2B6 haplotypes identified were *1/*6 (41%), *1/*1 (35%), *1/*2 (7%), and *6/*6 (7%). The heterozygous/homozygous mutation associated with low efavirenz concentrations was 18492T>C (P < 0.001), and those associated with high efavirenz concentrations were 516G>T, 785A>G, and 21563C>T (all P < 0.05). Haplotype *1/*1 was associated with low efavirenz concentrations, and *6/*6, *1/*6, and *5/6 were associated with high efavirenz concentrations. As shown by multivariate analysis, low efavirenz concentrations were significantly associated with the *1/*1 haplotype (beta = −1.084, P = 0.027) and high body weight (beta = −0.076, P = 0.002). In conclusion, pharmacogenetic markers of CYP2B6 have the greatest impact with respect to inducing low plasma efavirenz concentrations in HIV/TB Thai patients.
PMCID: PMC3553682  PMID: 23254426
9.  Comparisons of Primary HIV-1 Drug Resistance between Recent and Chronic HIV-1 Infection within a Sub-Regional Cohort of Asian Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e62057.
The emergence and transmission of HIV-1 drug resistance (HIVDR) has raised concerns after rapid global antiretroviral therapy (ART) scale-up. There are limited data on the epidemiology of primary HIVDR in resource-limited settings in Asia. We aimed to determine the prevalence and compare the distribution of HIVDR in a cohort of ART-naïve Asian patients with recent and chronic HIV-1 infection.
Multicenter prospective study was conducted in ART-naïve patients between 2007 and 2010. Resistance-associated mutations (RAMs) were assessed using the World Health Organization 2009 list for surveillance of primary HIVDR.
A total of 458 patients with recent and 1,340 patients with chronic HIV-1 infection were included in the analysis. The overall prevalence of primary HIVDR was 4.6%. Recently infected patients had a higher prevalence of primary HIVDR (6.1% vs. 4.0%, p = 0.065) and frequencies of RAMs to protease inhibitors (PIs; 3.9% vs. 1.0%, p<0.001). Among those with recent infection, the most common RAMs to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) were M184I/V and T215D/E/F/I/S/Y (1.1%), to non-NRTIs was Y181C (1.3%), and to PIs was M46I (1.5%). Of patients with chronic infection, T215D/E/F/I/S/Y (0.8%; NRTI), Y181C (0.5%; non-NRTI), and M46I (0.4%; PI) were the most common RAMs. K70R (p = 0.016) and M46I (p = 0.026) were found more frequently among recently infected patients. In multivariate logistic regression analysis in patients with chronic infection, heterosexual contact as a risk factor for HIV-1 infection was less likely to be associated with primary HIVDR compared to other risk categories (odds ratio 0.34, 95% confidence interval 0.20–0.59, p<0.001).
The prevalence of primary HIVDR was higher among patients with recent than chronic HIV-1 infection in our cohort, but of borderline statistical significance. Chronically infected patients with non-heterosexual risks for HIV were more likely to have primary HIVDR.
PMCID: PMC3694952  PMID: 23826076
10.  Comparison of predicted susceptibility between genotype and virtual phenotype HIV drug resistance interpretation systems among treatment-naive HIV-infected patients in Asia: TASER-M cohort analysis 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:582.
Accurate interpretation of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) testing is challenging, yet important for patient care. We compared genotyping interpretation, based on the Stanford University HIV Drug Resistance Database (Stanford HIVdb), and virtual phenotyping, based on the Janssen Diagnostics BVBA’s vircoTYPE™ HIV-1, and investigated their level of agreement in antiretroviral (ARV) naive patients in Asia, where non-B subtypes predominate.
Sequences from 1301 ARV-naive patients enrolled in the TREAT Asia Studies to Evaluate Resistance – Monitoring Study (TASER-M) were analysed by both interpreting systems. Interpretations from both Stanford HIVdb and vircoTYPE™ HIV-1 were initially grouped into 2 levels: susceptible and non-susceptible. Discrepancy was defined as a discordant result between the susceptible and non-susceptible interpretations from the two systems for the same ARV. Further analysis was performed when interpretations from both systems were categorised into 3 levels: susceptible, intermediate and resistant; whereby discrepancies could be categorised as major discrepancies and minor discrepancies. Major discrepancy was defined as having a susceptible result from one system and resistant from the other. Minor discrepancy corresponded to having an intermediate interpretation in one system, with a susceptible or resistant result in the other. The level of agreement was analysed using the prevalence adjusted bias adjusted kappa (PABAK).
Overall, the agreement was high, with each ARV being in “almost perfect agreement”, using Landis and Koch’s categorisation. Highest discordance was observed for efavirenz (75/1301, 5.8%), all arising from susceptible Stanford HIVdb versus non-susceptible vircoTYPE™ HIV-1 predictions. Protease Inhibitors had highest level of concordance with PABAKs all above 0.99, followed by Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors with PABAKs above 0.97 and non-NRTIs with the lowest PABAK of 0.88. The 68/75 patients with discordant efavirenz results harboured the V179D/E mutations compared to 7/1226 with no efavirenz discrepancy (p-value <0.001). In the 3-level comparison, all but one of the discrepancies was minor.
The two systems agreed well with lowest concordance observed for efavirenz. When interpreting HIVDR, especially in non-B subtypes, clinical correlation is crucial, in particular when efavirenz resistance is interpreted based on V179D/E.
PMCID: PMC3505153  PMID: 23095645
Asia; HIV; Resistance; Interpretation; Algorithm
11.  Monitoring and impact of fluconazole serum and cerebrospinal fluid concentration in HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis-infected patients 
HIV medicine  2009;11(4):276-281.
The aim of the present study was to assess fluconazole pharmacokinetic measures in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); and the correlation of these measures with clinical outcomes of invasive fungal infections.
A randomized trial was conducted in HIV-infected patients receiving 3 different regimens of fluconazole plus amphotericin B (AmB) for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis. Regimens included fluconazole 400 mg/day+AmB (AmB+Fluc400) or fluconazole 800 mg/day+AmB (AmB+Fluc800) (14 days followed by fluconazole alone at the randomized dose for 56 days); or AmB alone for 14 days followed by fluconazole 400 mg/day for 56 days. Serum (at 24 hours after dosing) and CSF samples were taken at Baseline and days 14 and 70 (serum only) for fluconazole measurement, using gas-liquid chromatography.
Sixty-four treated patients had fluconazole measurements; 11 in AmB group, 12 in AmB+Fluc400 group and 41 in AmB+Fluc800 group. Day 14 serum concentration geometric means were 24.7 mg/L for AmB+Fluc400 and 37.0 mg/L for AmB+Fluc800. Correspondingly, CSF concentration geometric means were 25.1 mg/L and 32.7 mg/L. Day 14 Serum and CSF concentrations were highly correlated for AmB+Fluc800 (p<0.001, r=0.873) and for AmB+Fluc400 (p=0.005, r=0.943). Increased Serum AUC appears associated with decreased mortality at day 70 (p=0.061, odds-ratio=2.19) as well as with increased study composite endpoint success at Days 42 and 70 (p=0.081, odds-ratio=2.25 and 0.058, 4.08; respectively).
High fluconazole dosage (800 mg/day) for the treatment of HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis was associated with high serum and CSF fluconazole concentration. Overall, high serum and CSF concentration appear associated with increased survival and primary composite endpoint success.
PMCID: PMC3418324  PMID: 20002501
12.  Prevalence of and risk factors for lipodystrophy among HIV-infected patients receiving combined antiretroviral treatment in the Asia-Pacific region: results from the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD) 
Endocrine Journal  2011;58(6):475-484.
The prevalence of and risk factors for lipodystrophy (LD) among patients receiving combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) in the Asia-Pacific region are largely unknown. LD diagnosis was based on the adverse event definition from the US NIH Division of AIDS (2004 version), and only cases with a severity grade of ≥ 3 were included. TAHOD patients who had recently commenced cART with ≥ 3 drugs after 1996 from sites which had ever reported LD were included in the analysis. Covariates for the forward multivariate logistic regression model included demographic variables, CDC disease classification, baseline CD4 and viral load, hepatitis B/C virus co-infection, and regimen and duration of cART. LD was diagnosed in 217 (10.5%) of 2072 patients. The median duration of cART was 3.8 (interquartile range, 2.2–5.3) years (stavudine, 2.0 (1.0–3.5) years; zidovudine, 1.8 (0.6–3.9) years; and protease inhibitors (PI), 2.6 (1.3–4.5) years). In the multivariate model, factors independently associated with LD included use of stavudine (≤ 2 years vs. no experience: OR 25.46, p<0.001, > 2 years vs. no experience: OR 14.92, p<0.001), use of PI (> 2.6 years vs. no experience: OR 0.26, p<0.001), and total duration of cART (> vs. ≤ 3.8 years: OR 4.84, p<0.001). The use of stavudine was strongly associated with LD in our cohort. Stavudine-sparing cART strategies are warranted to prevent the occurrence of LD in the Asia-Pacific region.
PMCID: PMC3329967  PMID: 21521929
Lipodystrophy; HIV; Adverse effects; Combined antiretroviral therapy; Asia-Pacific
13.  HIV-1 Drug Resistance Mutations Among Antiretroviral-Naïve HIV-1–Infected Patients in Asia: Results From the TREAT Asia Studies to Evaluate Resistance-Monitoring Study 
Of 682 antiretroviral-na_ve patients initiating antiretroviral therapy in a prospective, multicenter HIV-1 drug resistance monitoring study involving eight sites in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand, the prevalence of patients with ≥1 drug resistance mutation(s) was 13.8%. Primary HIV drug resistance is emerging after rapid scaling-up of antiretroviral therapy in Asia.
(See editorial commentary by Jordan on pages 1058–1060.)
Of 682 antiretroviral-naïve patients initiating antiretroviral therapy in a prospective, multicenter human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) drug resistance monitoring study involving 8 sites in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand, the prevalence of patients with ≥1 drug resistance mutation was 13.8%. Primary HIV drug resistance is emerging after rapid scaling-up of antiretroviral therapy use in Asia.
PMCID: PMC3070033  PMID: 21460324
14.  Long-term treatment outcomes of ritonavir-boosted lopinavir monotherapy among HIV-infected patients who experienced NRTI and NNRTI failure 
We continue the previously described prospective cohort study of ritonovir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r) monotherapy for second-line therapy in HIV-infected patients with prior failure and extensive resistance to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), with the objective being to determine the three-year treatment responses.
There were 40 patients with a mean ± SD age of 37 ± 8 years. Median (IQR) baseline CD4 was 123 (37-245) cells/mm3 and median (IQR) HIV-1 RNA was 55,800 (9,670-100,000) copies/mL. All patients received twice daily LPV/r 400/100 mg and recycled lamivudine 150 mg. By intend-to-treat analysis at 144 weeks, 26 (65%) and 22 (56%) patients achieved HIV-1 RNA at < 400 and < 50 copies/mL, respectively. In as-treated analysis, the corresponding rates were 26 of 28 (93%) and 22 of 28 (78%), respectively. Low-level viral rebound (HIV-1 RNA 50-400 copies/mL) was found in 6 (15%), 6 (15%), and 4 (10%) patients at week 48, 96 and week 144, respectively. Medians CD4 at week 48, 96, and 144 were 351, 481, and 584 cells/mm3 and significantly changed from baseline (all, P < 0.05). There were increments of mean triglycerides at 48 weeks and 144 weeks from baseline (P < 0.05). No major protease resistance-associated mutations emerged after virologic failure.
LPV/r monotherapy with recycled lamivudine can maintain long-term virologic suppression in a relatively small proportion of patients failing NNRTI-based regimen and having limit option for active NRTI. More antiretroviral classes are needed be accessible in resource-limited countries.
PMCID: PMC3317876  PMID: 22409789
HIV; Lopinavir; Monotherapy; Lamivudine; Resistance; Thailand
15.  Emergence of HIV-1 drug resistance mutations among antiretroviral-naïve HIV-1-infected patients after rapid scaling up of antiretroviral therapy in Thailand 
After rapid scaling up of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-1-infected patients, the data of primary HIV-1 drug resistance in Thailand is still limited. This study aims to determine the prevalence and associated factors of primary HIV-1 drug resistance in Thailand.
A prospective observational study was conducted among antiretroviral-naïve HIV-1-infected Thai patients from 2007 to 2010. HIV-1 subtypes and mutations were assayed by sequencing a region of HIV-1 pol gene. Surveillance drug resistance mutations recommended by the World Health Organization for surveillance of transmitted HIV-1 drug resistance in 2009 were used in all analyses. Primary HIV-1 drug resistance was defined as the presence of one or more surveillance drug resistance mutations.
Of 466 patients with a mean age of 38.8 years, 58.6% were males. Risks of HIV-1 infection included heterosexual (77.7%), homosexual (16.7%), and intravenous drug use (5.6%). Median (IQR) CD4 cell count and HIV-1 RNA were 176 (42-317) cells/mm3 and 68,600 (19,515-220,330) copies/mL, respectively. HIV-1 subtypes were CRF01_AE (86.9%), B (8.6) and other recombinants (4.5%). The prevalence of primary HIV-1 drug resistance was 4.9%; most of these (73.9%) had surveillance drug resistance mutations to only one class of antiretroviral drugs. The prevalence of patients with NRTI, NNRTI, and PI surveillance drug resistance mutations was 1.9%, 2.8% and 1.7%, respectively. From logistic regression analysis, there was no factor significantly associated with primary HIV-1 drug resistance. There was a trend toward higher prevalence in females [odds ratio 2.18; 95% confidence interval 0.896-5.304; p = 0.086].
There is a significant emergence of primary HIV-1 drug resistance in Thailand after rapid scaling up of antiretroviral therapy. Although HIV-1 genotyping prior to antiretroviral therapy initiation is not routinely recommended in Thailand, our results raise concerns about the risk of early treatment failure in patients with primary HIV-1 drug resistance. Interventions to prevent the transmission of HIV-1 drug resistance and continuation of surveillance for primary HIV-1 drug resistance in Thailand are indicated.
PMCID: PMC3334685  PMID: 22410286
16.  Failure to prescribe pneumocystis prophylaxis is associated with increased mortality, even in the cART era: results from the Treat Asia HIV observational database 
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis is recommended for patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3. This study examines the proportion of patients in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD) receiving PCP prophylaxis, and its effect on PCP and mortality.
TAHOD patients with prospective follow up had data extracted for prophylaxis using co-trimoxazole, dapsone or pentamidine. The proportion of patients on prophylaxis was calculated for each calendar year since 2003 among patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3. The effect of prophylaxis on PCP and survival were assessed using random-effect Poisson regression models.
There were a total of 4050 patients on prospective follow up, and 90% of them were receiving combination antiretroviral therapy. Of those with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3, 58% to 72% in any given year received PCP prophylaxis, predominantly co-trimoxazole. During follow up, 62 patients developed PCP (0.5 per 100 person-years) and 169 died from all causes (1.36/100 person-years). After stratifying by site and adjusting for age, CD4 count, CDC stage and antiretroviral treatment, those without prophylaxis had no higher risk of PCP, but had a significantly higher risk of death (incident rate ratio 10.8, p < 0.001). PCP prophylaxis had greatest absolute benefit in patients with CD4 counts of less than 50 cells/mm3, lowering mortality rates from 33.5 to 6.3 per 100 person-years.
Approximately two-thirds of TAHOD patients with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3 received PCP prophylaxis. Patients without prophylaxis had significantly higher mortality, even in the era of combination ART. Although PCP may be under-diagnosed, these data suggest that prophylaxis is associated with important survival benefits.
PMCID: PMC3354658  PMID: 22281054
17.  Cryptococcal Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome in HIV-1–infected individuals: Literature Review and Proposed Clinical Case Definitions 
The Lancet infectious diseases  2010;10(11):791-802.
Cryptococcal immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (C-IRIS) may present as a clinical deterioration or new presentation of cryptococcal disease following initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and is believed to be caused by recovery of cryptococcus-specific immune responses. We have reviewed the existing literature on C-IRIS to inform the development of a consensus case definition specific for paradoxical cryptococcal IRIS in patients with known cryptococcal disease prior to ART, and a second definition for incident cases of cryptococcosis developing during ART (here termed ART-associated cryptococcosis), a proportion of which are likely to be “unmasking” C-IRIS. These structured case definitions are intended for use in future clinical, epidemiologic and immunopathologic studies of C-IRIS, harmonizing diagnostic criteria, and facilitating comparisons between studies. As with tuberculosis-associated IRIS, these proposed definitions should be regarded as preliminary until further insights into the immunopathology of IRIS permit their refinement.
PMCID: PMC3026057  PMID: 21029993
HIV; cryptococcosis; diagnosis; immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome; HAART
18.  GM-CSF Fails to Improve Immune Responses to Booster Hepatitis B Vaccination in HIV-Infected Individuals 
The Open Virology Journal  2011;5:109-113.
Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination is an important preventive intervention for HIV-infected population. Data regarding booster HBV vaccine for persons with low HBV surface antibody (sAb) titers after vaccination in this immunocompromised population is lacking.
We randomized 60 HIV-infected subjects lacking HBV protection after completion of 3 doses of HBV vaccine to receive a booster dose of HBV vaccine with 250mcg GM-CSF as an adjuvant or booster vaccine alone.
GM-CSF was safe with expected side effects. However, only 35% of persons receiving GM-CSF developed protective sAb while 50% in vaccine only arm developed protection (P = 0.47). Overall, only 28% of subjects maintained protective sAb 1 year after vaccination.
GM-CSF failed to improve responses to the booster HBV vaccination. Overall, response was poor with only 42% of persons responding at one month post-vaccination confirming booster vaccination with the current HBV vaccine has poor immunogenicity among HIV-infected persons. Further research is needed to develop optimal vaccination strategies in HIV-infected persons.
PMCID: PMC3201215  PMID: 22043256
HIV; HBV vaccination; GM-CSF; adjuvant.
19.  Cancers in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD): a retrospective analysis of risk factors 
This retrospective survey describes types of cancers diagnosed in HIV-infected subjects in Asia, and assesses risk factors for cancer in HIV-infected subjects using contemporaneous HIV-infected controls without cancer.
TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD) sites retrospectively reviewed clinic medical records to determine cancer diagnoses since 2000. For each diagnosis, the following data were recorded: date, type, stage, method of diagnosis, demographic data, medical history, and HIV-related information. For risk factor analyses, two HIV-infected control subjects without cancer diagnoses were also selected. Cancers were grouped as AIDS-defining cancers (ADCs), and non-ADCs. Non-ADCs were further categorized as being infection related (NADC-IR) and unrelated (NADC-IUR).
A total of 617 patients were included in this study: 215 cancer cases and 402 controls from 13 sites. The majority of cancer cases were male (71%). The mean age (SD) for cases was 39 (10.6), 46 (11.5) and 44 (13.7) for ADCs, NADC-IURs and NADCs-IR, respectively. The majority (66%) of cancers were ADCs (16% Kaposi sarcoma, 40% non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and 9% cervical cancer). The most common NADCs were lung (6%), breast (5%) and hepatocellular carcinoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma (2% each). There were also three (1.4%) cases of leiomyosarcoma reported in this study. In multivariate analyses, individuals with CD4 counts above 200 cells/mm3 were approximately 80% less likely to be diagnosed with an ADC (p < 0.001). Older age (OR: 1.39, p = 0.001) and currently not receiving antiretroviral treatment (OR: 0.29, p = 0.006) were independent predictors of NADCs overall, and similarly for NADCs-IUR. Lower CD4 cell count and higher CDC stage (p = 0.041) were the only independent predictors of NADCs-IR.
The spectrum of cancer diagnoses in the Asia region currently does not appear dissimilar to that observed in non-Asian HIV populations. One interesting finding was the cases of leiomyosarcoma, a smooth-muscle tumour, usually seen in children and young adults with AIDS, yet overall quite rare. Further detailed studies are required to better describe the range of cancers in this region, and to help guide the development of screening programmes.
PMCID: PMC3019126  PMID: 21143940
22.  Renal impairment after switching from stavudine/lamivudine to tenofovir/lamivudine in NNRTI-based antiretroviral regimens 
During stavudine phase-out plan in developing countries, tenofovir is used to substitute stavudine. However, knowledge regarding whether there is any difference of the frequency of renal injury between tenofovir/lamivudine/efavirenz and tenofovir/lamivudine/nevirapine is lacking.
This prospective study was conducted among HIV-infected patients who were switched NRTI from stavudine/lamivudine to tenofovir/lamivudine in efavirenz-based (EFV group) and nevirapine-based regimen (NVP group) after two years of an ongoing randomized trial. All patients were assessed for serum phosphorus, uric acid, creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and urinalysis at time of switching, 12 and 24 weeks.
Of 62 patients, 28 were in EFV group and 34 were in NVP group. Baseline characteristics and eGFR were not different between two groups. At 12 weeks, comparing mean ± SD measures between EFV group and NVP group were: phosphorus of 3.16 ± 0.53 vs. 2.81 ± 0.42 mg/dL (P = 0.005), %patients with proteinuria were 15% vs. 38% (P = 0.050). At 24 weeks, mean ± SD phosphorus and median (IQR) eGFR between the corresponding groups were 3.26 ± 0.78 vs. 2.84 ± 0.47 mg/dL (P = 0.011) and 110 (99-121) vs. 98 (83-112) mL/min (P = 0.008). In NVP group, comparing week 12 to time of switching, there was a decrement of phosphorus (P = 0.007) and eGFR (P = 0.034). By multivariate analysis, 'receiving nevirapine', 'old age' and 'low baseline serum phosphorus' were associated with hypophosphatemia at 24 weeks (P < 0.05). Receiving nevirapine and low baseline eGFR were associated with lower eGFR at 24 weeks (P < 0.05).
The frequency of tenofovir-associated renal impairment was higher in patients receiving tenofovir/lamivudine/nevirapine compared to tenofovir/lamivudine/efavirenz. Further studies regarding patho-physiology are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3020664  PMID: 20937122
23.  Patient Characteristics and Treatment Outcome Associated with Protease Inhibitor (PI) use in the Asia-Pacific Region 
Regimens containing protease inhibitors (PI) are less commonly used in developing countries due to high cost and less availability. We evaluated characteristics of patients initiating PI-based therapy according to previous antiretroviral (ARV) exposure; factors associated with initiating a PI-containing regimen using newer versus older PIs, and proportion of patients with detectable viral loads (VL) after initiating a PI-based regimen.
This analysis includes all patients who have initiated a PI-based regimen. ARV exposure was categorised: naïve (no previous ARV), 1st, 2nd, ≥ 3rd switches; a switch was defined as starting or stopping any drug in a regimen. Newer PIs were defined as those approved by the US FDA after 1 January 2000. Detectable VL at 12 months was defined as VL ≥ 400 copies/mL. Characteristics at PI initiation were evaluated. Logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with initiating a newer PI and detectable VL at 12 months after PI initiation.
1106 patients initiated PI-based therapy; of these, 618 (56%) were naïve patients. Overall, 22% (176) of patients had detectable VL at 12 months following the PI initiation. Being from a high income country (vs. mid/low income, OR = 1.80, p = 0.034) were more likely to be associated with detectable VL.
The use of PIs in this cohort is dictated by accessibility and affordability issues particularly for the newer PIs. Short-term virological outcomes following PI-therapy in our cohort were good, and were associated with CD4 count at time of initiation.
PMCID: PMC2875551  PMID: 20505782
HIV; HAART; Disease progression; Protease inhibitor
24.  Long-term patterns in CD4 response is determined by an interaction between baseline CD4 cell count, viral load and time: the Asia Pacific HIV Observational Database (APHOD) 
Random effects models were used to explore how the shape of CD4 cell count responses after commencing combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) develop over time, and in particular the role of baseline and follow-up covariates.
Patients in APHOD who first commenced cART after January 1, 1997, and who had a baseline CD4 cell count and viral load measure and at least one follow-up measure between 6 and 24 months, were included. CD4 cell counts were determined at every 6-month period following the commencement of cART for up to 6 years.
1638 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria with a median follow up time of 58 months. Lower post-cART mean CD4 cell counts were found to be associated with increasing age (p<0.001), pre-cART hepatitis C co-infection (p=0.038), prior AIDS (p=0.019), baseline viral load ≤ 100,000 copies/ml (p<0.001), and the Asia-Pacific region compared with Australia (p=0.005). A highly significant 3-way interaction between the effects of time, baseline CD4 cell count and post-cART viral burden (p<0.0001) was demonstrated. Higher long-term mean CD4 cell counts were associated with lower baseline CD4 cell count and consistently undetectable viral loads. Among patients with consistently detectable viral load CD4 cell counts appeared to converge for all baseline CD4 levels.
Our analyses suggest that the long-term shape of post-cART CD4 cell count changes depends only on a 3-way interaction between baseline CD4 cell count, viral load response and time.
PMCID: PMC2752681  PMID: 19408354
antiretroviral therapy; long-term CD4 response; viral load response
25.  Body Weight Cutoff for Daily Dosage of Efavirenz and 60-Week Efficacy of Efavirenz-Based Regimen in Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Tuberculosis Coinfected Patients Receiving Rifampin ▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2009;53(10):4545-4548.
Seventy-one human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with tuberculosis who were receiving a rifampin (rifampicin)-containing regimen were initiated on treatment with efavirenz at 600 mg/day plus stavudine-lamivudine. Fasting efavirenz concentrations at 12 h after dosing (C12) were monitored. The mean ± standard deviation efavirenz C12 at weeks 6 and 12 and after rifampin discontinuation were 4.5 ± 4.3, 3.8 ± 3.5, and 3.5 ± 2.7 mg/liter, respectively. High body weight was associated with a low efavirenz C12 at weeks 6 and 12 (P = 0.003, r = −0.255). The efavirenz C12 regression prediction line at 1 mg/liter intercepted a mean body weight of 57.5 kg.
PMCID: PMC2764182  PMID: 19667281

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