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1.  HIV-1 transmitted drug resistance mutations among antiretroviral therapy-Naïve individuals in Surabaya, Indonesia 
The emergence of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) compromises the effect of antiretroviral therapy (ART), resulting in treatment failure of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease. Although more than a decade has passed since ART was introduced into Indonesia, information on TDR is limited. Here, a genotypic study of TDR among ART-naïve individuals was conducted in Surabaya, Indonesia.
HIV-1 seropositive participants were recruited from the communities of commercial sex workers and intravenous drug users as well as from the university teaching hospital in Surabaya. Protease (PR) and reverse transcriptase (RT) genes were sequenced in order to conduct HIV-1 subtyping and phylogenetic analysis and to detect TDR. TDR was defined as the presence of at least one surveillance drug resistance mutation on the WHO list or major drug resistance mutations in the International AIDS Society-USA panel.
Fifty two and 47 of the PR and RT genes, respectively, were successfully sequenced in the 58 samples. HIV-1 subtyping revealed that 86.3% (50/58) of the sequenced samples were classified as CRF01_AE, 8.6% as subtype B, 3.4% as B/CRF01_AE, and 1.7% as A/G/CRF01_AE. TDR of PR inhibitors was not detected in this study. In contrast, TDR of RT inhibitors was detected in 4.3% (2/47) of samples. In addition, minor drug resistance mutations were detected in 98.1% (51/52) and 12.8% (6/47) of PR and RT genes, respectively.
This study clarified the predominance of the CRF01_AE strain in Surabaya, Indonesia. The prevalence of TDR was below 5%, indicating that the currently available first-line regimen is still effective in Surabaya. However, the prevalence might be underestimated since we detected only major population of HIV-1 in individuals. Therefore, continuous surveillance is required in order to detect the emergence of TDR in the early phase.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12981-015-0046-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4336490
HIV-1; Antiretroviral therapy; Transmitted drug resistance; Indonesia
2.  Increased mortality after a first myocardial infarction in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients; a nested cohort study 
HIV infection may be associated with an increased recurrence rate of myocardial infarction. Our aim was to determine whether HIV infection is a risk factor for worse outcomes in patients with coronaray artery disease.
We compared data aggregated from two ongoing cohorts: (i) the Acute Myocardial Infarction in Switzerland (AMIS) registry, which includes patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and (ii) the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS), a prospective registry of HIV-positive (HIV+) patients. We included all patients who survived an incident AMI occurring on or after 1st January 2005. Our primary outcome measure was all-cause mortality at one year; secondary outcomes included AMI recurrence and cardiovascular-related hospitalisations. Comparisons used Cox and logistic regression analyses, respectively.
There were 133 HIV+, (SHCS) and 5,328 HIV-negative [HIV-] (AMIS) individuals with incident AMI. In the SHCS and AMIS registries, patients were predominantly male (72% and 85% male, respectively), with a median age of 51 years (interquartile range [IQR] 46–57) and 64 years (IQR 55–74), respectively. Nearly all (90%) of HIV+ individuals were on successful antiretroviral therapy. During the first year of follow-up, 5 (3.6%) HIV+ and 135 (2.5%) HIV- individuals died. At one year, HIV+ status after adjustment for age, sex, calendar year of AMI, smoking status, hypertension and diabetes was associated with a higher risk of death (HR 4.42, 95% CI 1.73-11.27). There were no significant differences in recurrent AMIs (4 [3.0%] HIV+ and 146 [3.0%] HIV- individuals, OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.41-3.27) or in hospitalization rates (OR 0.68 [95% CI 0.42-1.11]).
HIV infection was associated with a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality one year after incident AMI.
PMCID: PMC4336509
Coronary artery disease; Myocardial infarction; HIV infection; Fatal outcome
3.  Transmitted drug resistance in recently infected HIV-positive Individuals from four urban locations across Asia (2007–2010) – TASER-S 
The availability of HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been associated with the development of transmitted drug resistance-associated mutations (TDRM). TDRM can compromise treatment effectiveness in patients initiating ART and the prevalence can vary in different clinical settings. In this study, we investigated the proportion of TDRM in treatment-naïve, recently infected HIV-positive individuals sampled from four urban locations across Asia between 2007–2010.
Patients enrolled in the TREAT Asia Studies to Evaluate Resistance – Surveillance Study (TASER-S) were genotyped prior to ART initiation, with resulting resistance mutations analysed according to the WHO 2009 list.
Proportions of TDRM from recently infected individuals from TASER-S ranged from 0% to 8.7% - Hong Kong: 3/88 (3.4%, 95% CI (0.71%-9.64%)); Thailand: Bangkok: 13/277 (4.7%, 95% CI (2.5%-7.9%)), Chiang Mai: 0/17 (0%, 97.5% CI (0%-19.5%)); and the Philippines: 6/69 (8.7%, 95% CI (3.3%-18.0%)). There was no significant increase in TDRM over time across all four clinical settings.
The observed proportion of TDRM in TASER-S patients from Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines was low to moderate during the study period. Regular monitoring of TDRM should be encouraged, especially with the scale-up of ART at higher CD4 levels.
PMCID: PMC4326480
Transmitted; Drug resistance; Asia; Resource-limited; Recent-infection
4.  Pharmacokinetics of chewed vs. swallowed raltegravir in a patient with AIDS and MAI infection: some new conflicting data 
While HIV, AIDS and atypical Mycobacterium infections are closely linked, the use of Integrase-Inhibitor based cART, notably raltegravir-based regimens is more widespread. RAL should be double-dosed to 800 mg semi-daily in situation of rifampicin co-medication, because RAL is more rapidly metabolized due to rifampicin-induced Uridine-5’-diphosph- gluronosyl-transferase (UGT1A1). Recently, it was speculated that chewed RAL might lead to increased absorption, which might compensate the inductive effect of rifampicin-rapid metabolized RAL, as part of cost-saving effects in countries with high-tuberculosis prevalence and less economic power.
We report measurement of raltegravir pharmacokinetics in a 34-year AIDS-patient suffering from disseminated Mycobacterium avium infection with necessity of parenteral rifampicin treatment. RAL levels were measured with HPLC (internal standard: carbamazepine, LLQ 11 ng/ml, validation with Valistat 2.0 program (Arvecon, Germany)). For statistical analysis, a two-sided Wilcoxon signed rank test for paired samples was used.
High intra-personal variability in raltegravir serum levels was seen. Comparable Cmax concentrations were found for 800 mg chewed and swallowed RAL, as well as for 400 mg chewed and swallowed RAL. While Cmax seems to be more dependent from overall RAL dosing than from swallowed or chewed tablets, increased AUC12 is clearly linked to higher RAL dosages per administration. Anyway, chewed raltegravir showed a rapid decrease in serum levels.
We found no evidence that chewed 400 mg semi-daily raltegravir in rifampicin co-medication leads to optimized pharmacokinetics. There is need for more data from randomized trials for further recommendations.
PMCID: PMC4297374  PMID: 25598834
HIV; Chewed; Raltegravir; Mycobacterium avium; Pharmacokinetic
5.  HIV Encephalopathy: pediatric case series description and insights from the clinic coalface 
The Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) can manifest neurologically in both adults and children. Early invasion of the central nervous system by the virus, affecting the developing brain, is believed to result in the most common primary HIV-related neurological complication, HIV Encephalopathy (HIVE). In countries such as South Africa where many children have not been initiated on antiretroviral treatment early, HIVE remains a significant clinical problem.
Children were selected from a clinic for children with neurologic complications of HIV, located at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, South Africa 2008–2012. Eligible subjects fulfilled the following inclusion criteria: aged 6 months-13 years; positive diagnosis of HIV infection, vertically infected and HIVE as defined by CDC criteria. Each participant was prospectively assessed by a Pediatric Neurologist using a standardized proforma which collated relevant details of background, clinical and immunological status.
The median age of the 87 children was 64 months (interquartile range 27–95 months). All except one child were on antiretroviral treatment, 45% had commenced treatment <12 months of age. Delayed early motor milestones were reported in 80% and delayed early speech in 75% of children in whom we had the information. Twenty percent had a history of one or more seizures and 41% had a history of behavior problems. Forty-eight percent had microcephaly and 63% a spastic diplegia. CD4 percentages followed a normal distribution with mean of 30.3% (SD 8.69). Viral loads were undetectable (
Amongst the cohort of children referred to this clinic, the diagnosis of HIVE was unrecognized in the general medical services, even in its most severe form. Developmental delay and school failure were major presenting problems. Co-morbidities are a frequent finding and should be sought actively in order to optimize management and promote best possible outcomes for this vulnerable group of children.
PMCID: PMC4297380  PMID: 25598835
HIV encephalopathy; Children; MRI; Brain; Developmental delay
Treatments in patients with multidrug resistance often involve the use of multiple agents with partial antiviral activity and overlapping metabolic toxicities. Enfuvirtide is therefore a welcome addition to the antiretroviral management of patients with multiclass resistant virus, given the low risk of systemic toxicities and novel mechanism of action relative to existing drug classes.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of ENF plus optimized background regimen (OBR) in a Mexican cohort of highly HIV-1 ARV-experienced patients.
Prospective cohort of treatment-experienced HIV-1-infected adults with virological failure who started therapy with an ENF-containing regimen. The effectiveness of ENF treatment was evaluated with percentages of undetectable HIV-1 RNA viral load after 24 and 48 weeks of treatment, and changes in CD4+ cell counts.
Forty patients >18 years were included. After 24 weeks of treatment, 91% of patients had HIV-1 RNA viral load <400 copies/mL and 65.8% had <50 copies/mL. At week 48 of treatment, 81.4% of the patients had HIV-1 RNA <400 copies/mL and 55.5% had <50 copies/mL; in both cases p <0.0001 compared to baseline. Increase CD4+ cells were also statistically significant at weeks 24 and 48 with respect to the baseline. Pain at the site of injection was the main adverse event in 100% of patients.
Our study provides clinically important evidence of the effectiveness and safety of ENF in highly ARV-experienced HIV-1-infected patients. These findings strengthen the results of previous randomized controlled trials with this agent.
PMCID: PMC4280743  PMID: 25553058
Drug tolerability; Enfuvirtide; HIV; Treatment- experienced; Virologic suppression
AIDS Research and Therapy  2014;11(1):33.
Ongoing HIV-1 replication in lymphoid cells is one explanation of the persistence of HIV-1 reservoirs despite highly active antiretroviral therapy (cART). We tested the potential of cART intensification by Maraviroc plus Raltegravir to decrease proviral HIV-1 DNA levels in lymphoid cells during a randomized trial.
Patients and methods
We randomly assigned for 48 weeks 22 patients to continue their current first line regimen of Truvada® plus Kaletra® or intensify it with Maraviroc and Raltegravir. The primary objective was to obtain a 50% decrease in proviral HIV-1 DNA levels in lymphoid cells with intensification. Blood samples were drawn at W-2, W0, W2, W4, W12, W24 and W48. Plasma viremia, cellular proviral DNA and cellular RNA, 2-LTR circles and lymphocytes subsets were assayed using validated methods. Patients in the intensified group underwent a gut biopsy at baseline and W48 to measure proviral DNA levels. Statistical analysis used parametric and non-parametric tests.
Ten patients in each arm completed the trial. The 2 populations were comparable at baseline. No change in the reservoir size was observed in the intensified arm compared to the control arm measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). No change in the reservoir size was observed in gut proviral DNA in the intensified arm. In this group, no increase in 2-LTR circles was observed as early as 2 weeks after intensification and no change was found in residual plasma RNA levels measured by the single copy assay. However, a decrease in CD8+ T cells activation was observed at 24 and 48 weeks, as well as in PBMCs HIV-1 RNA levels.
We conclude that the intensification of a Protease Inhibitor regimen with Maraviroc and Raltegravir does not impact the blood proviral DNA reservoir of HIV but can decrease the cell-associated HIV RNA, the CD8 activation and has a possible impact on rectal proviral HIV DNA in some patients.
Trial registration identifier number NCT00935480
PMCID: PMC4197239  PMID: 25320633
HIV intensification; cART Intensification; HIV reservoirs; HIV DNA; HIV remission; Maraviroc; Raltegravir
AIDS Research and Therapy  2014;11(1):32.
Increasing numbers of HIV-infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa are exposed to antiretroviral therapy (ART), but there are few data on lipid changes on first-line ART, and even fewer on second-line.
DART was a randomized trial comparing monitoring strategies in Ugandan/Zimbabwean adults initiating first-line ART and switching to second-line at clinical/immunological failure. We evaluated fasting lipid profiles at second-line initiation and ≥48 weeks subsequently in stored samples from Zimbabwean patients switching before 18 September 2006.
Of 91 patients switched to second-line ART, 65(73%) had fasting samples at switch and ≥48 weeks, 14(15%) died or were lost <48 weeks, 10(11%) interrupted ART for >14 days and 2(2%) had no samples available. 56/65(86%) received ZDV/d4T + 3TC + TDF first-line, 6(9%) ZDV/d4T + 3TC + NVP and 3(5%) ZDV + 3TC with TDF and NVP. Initial second-line regimens were LPV/r + NNRTI in 27(41%), LPV/r + NNRTI + ddI in 33(50%) and LPV/r + TDF + ddI/3TC/ZDV in 6(9%). At second-line initiation median (IQR) TC, LDL-C, HDL-C and TG (mmol/L) were 3.3(2.8-4.0), 1.7(1.3-2.2), 0.7(0.6-0.9) and 1.1(0.8-1.9) respectively. Levels were significantly increased 48 weeks later, by mean (SE) +2.0(0.1), +1.1(0.1), +0.5(0.05) and +0.4(0.2) respectively (p < 0.001; TG p = 0.01). 3% at switch vs 25% 48 weeks later had TC >5.2 mmol/L; 3% vs 25% LDL-C >3.4 mmol/L and 91% vs 41% HDL-C <1.1 mmol/L (p < 0.001). Similar proportions had TG >1.8 mmol/L (0 vs 3%) and TC/HDL-C ≥5 (40% vs 33%) (p > 0.15).
Modest lipid elevations were observed in African patients on predominantly LPV/r + NNRTI-based second-line regimens. Routine lipid monitoring during second-line ART regimens may not be warranted in this setting but individual cardiovascular risk assessment should guide practice.
PMCID: PMC4197260  PMID: 25320632
Antiretroviral therapy; Lipid profile changes; Protease inhibitors; Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors; African setting
The CD5 protein antagonizes phosphorylation events downstream of T cell receptor (TCR) engagement to decrease T cell responsiveness. CD5-negative T cell clones respond preferentially over their CD5+ counterparts against cells with low human histocompatibility-linked leukocyte antigen (HLA) levels. In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, CD5-CD8+ T cells increase in prevalence with disease progression.
To investigate potential causes of this expansion of CD5-CD8+ T cells in HIV-1 infection, we compared CD5 expression on CD8+ T cells reactive against HIV-1 peptides, common viral peptides and a self peptide that together span a broad range of TCR avidities in the context of the common HLA-A2 class I restriction molecule. Following stimulation, CD5 expression on peptide-specific CD8+ T cells was assessed by flow cytometry.
In healthy controls, there was no significant difference in the CD5+ percentage of CD8+ T cells specific for common viral peptides, but a lower percentage of those responding against a common self peptide expressed CD5. The same relationship occurred in HIV-infected individuals, however, a lower percentage of HIV peptide-specific CD8+ T cells than other viral peptide-specific CD8+ T cells expressed CD5. In terms of overall CD5 expression level at the peptide-specific responder population level, HIV-specific CD8+ T cells resembled those responsive against the self peptide, despite much higher avidity TCR/HLA/peptide interactions.
This deficit in CD5 expression selective for HIV-specific CD8+ T cells is consistent with in vivo adaptation to low avidity HIV peptide variants and has potential consequences for CD8+ T cell expansion, cross-reactivity and autoreactivity.
PMCID: PMC4167305  PMID: 25237383
CD5; CD8+ T cell; HIV; T cell receptor; Peptide; Avidity; HLA class I
Background and objectives
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) contribute largely to the burden of health in South Africa and are recognized as major contributors to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic. Young women are particularly vulnerable to STIs. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to examine the risk factors associated with prevalent and incident STIs among women who had participated in three clinical trials.
A total of 5,748 women were screened and 2293 sexually active, HIV negative, non-pregnant women were enrolled in three clinical trials in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. The prevalence of individual STIs Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhea (NG), syphilis, and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) was assessed at screening; and incident infections were evaluated over a 24 month period.
Overall, the combined study population of all three trials had a median age of 28 years (inter-quartile range (IQR):22–37), and a median duration of follow-up of 12 months. Prevalence of STIs (CT, NG, TV, or syphilis) was 13% at screening. The STI incidence was estimated to be 20/100 women years. Younger women (<25 years, p < 0.001), women who were unmarried (p < 0.001) and non-cohabiting women (p < 0.001) were shown to be at highest risk for incident STIs.
These results confirm the extremely high prevalence and incidence of STIs among women living in rural and urban communities of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where the HIV epidemic is also particularly severe. These findings strongly suggest an urgent need to allocate resources for STI and HIV prevention that mainly target younger women.
Trial registration
Clinical, NCT00121459.
PMCID: PMC4168991  PMID: 25243015
Sexually transmitted infections; HIV; Kwa-Zulu Natal; Women; Prevalence; Incidence; Risk factors
While Brazil has had a long-standing policy of free access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all in need, the epidemiological impact of ART on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA suppression in this middle-income country has not been well evaluated. We estimate first-line ART effectiveness in a large Brazilian cohort and examine the socio-demographic, behavioral, clinical and structural factors associated with virologic suppression.
Virologic suppression on first-line ART at 6, 12, and 24 months from start of ART was defined as having a viral load measurement ≤400 copies/mL without drug class modification and/or discontinuation. Drug class modification and/or discontinuation were defined based on the class of a particular drug. Quasi-Poisson regression was used to quantify the association of factors with virologic suppression.
From January 2000 through June 2010, 1311 patients started first-line ART; 987 (75%) patients used NNRTI-based regimens. Virologic suppression was achieved by 77%, 76% and 68% of patients at 6, 12 and 24 months, respectively. Factors associated with virologic suppression at 12 months were: >8 years of formal education (compared to <4 years, risk ratio (RR) 1.13, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.03-1.24), starting ART in 2005-2010 (compared to 2000-2004, RR 1.25 95% CI 1.15-1.35), and clinical trial participation (compared to no participation, RR 1.08 95% CI 1.01-1.16). Also at 12 months, women showed less virologic suppression compared to heterosexual men (RR 0.90 95% CI 0.82-0.99). For the 24-month endpoint, in addition to higher education, starting ART in the later period, and clinical trial participation, older age and an NNRTI-based regimen were also independently associated with virologic suppression.
Our results show that in Brazil, a middle-income country with free access to treatment, over three-quarters of patients receiving routine care reached virologic suppression on first-line ART by the end of the first year. Higher education, more recent ART initiation and clinical trial participation were associated with improved outcomes both for the 12-month and the 24-month endpoints, suggesting that further studies are needed to understand what aspects relating to these factors lead to higher virologic suppression.
PMCID: PMC4158765  PMID: 25206924
HIV/AIDS; Antiretroviral treatment; Effectiveness; Cohort study; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The 2014 International Symposium on HIV and Emerging Infectious Diseases (ISHEID) provided a forum for investigators to hear the latest research developments in the clinical management of HIV and HCV infections as well as HIV cure research. Combined anti-retroviral therapy (c-ART) has had a profound impact on the disease prognosis and transformed this infection into a chronic disease. However, HIV is able to persist within the infected host and the pandemic is still growing. The main 2014 ISHEID theme was, hence “Together for a world without HIV and AIDS”. In this report we not only give details on this main topic but also summarize what has been discussed in the areas of HCV coinfection and present a short summary on currently emerging viral diseases.
PMCID: PMC4145833  PMID: 25165483
HIV; HCV; Hepatitis E; Antiretroviral drugs; HIV vaccine; HIV cure; HIV reservoirs
The level (or frequency) of circulating monocyte subpopulations such as classical (CD14hiCD16-) and non-classical (CD14dimCD16+) monocytes varies during the course of HIV disease progression and antiretroviral therapy (ART). We hypothesized that such variation and/or differences in the degree to which these cells expressed the immunoregulatory enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), would be associated with CD4+ T cell recovery after the initiation of ART. This hypothesis was tested in a cross-sectional study of four groups of HIV-infected subjects, including those who were seronegative, untreated virologic controllers [detectable viral load (VL) of <1000 copies/mL], untreated virologic non-controllers [VL > 10,000 copies/mL], and ART-mediated virologic controllers [VL < 75 copies/mL]. A longitudinal analysis of ART-treated subjects was also performed along with regression analysis to determine which biomarkers were associated with and/or predictive of CD4+ T cell recovery. Suppressive ART was associated with increased levels of classical monocyte subpopulations (CD14hiCD16-) and decreased levels of non-classical monocyte populations (CD14dimCD16+). Among peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), HO-1 was found to be most highly up-regulated in CD14+ monocytes after ex vivo stimulation. Neither the levels of monocyte subpopulations nor of HO-1 expression in CD14+ monocytes were significantly associated with the degree of CD4+ T cell recovery. Monocyte subpopulations and HO-1 gene expression were, however, restored to normal levels by suppressive ART. These results suggest that the level of circulating monocyte subpopulations and their expression of HO-1 have no evident relationship to CD4+ T cell recovery after the initiation of ART.
PMCID: PMC4150425  PMID: 25180041
HIV; HO-1; Immune activation; Monocytes; CD4+ T cell recovery
Voriconazole is metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C19 and CYP 3A4. Drug-drug interactions and genetic polymorphisms modulate their activities.
Case presentation
A 35-year old African female patient with resistant HIV and a cerebral mass of unknown origin was treated with voriconazole for a suspicion of disseminated Aspergillosis infection. Voriconazole trough concentrations (C0) were within target range while the patient was under esomeprazole, a CYP2C19 inhibitor. Phenotyping showed decreased CYP2C19 activity, whereas genotyping showed a variant allele associated with increased enzyme activity. The patient was switched to ranitidine because of the introduction of atazanavir. CYP3A4 inhibition by atazanavir combined with uninhibited CYP2C19 activity resulted in subtherapeutic voriconazole C0. The reintroduction of esomeprazole allowed restoring voriconazole C0 back to target range.
The integration of drug-drug interactions and pharmacogenetics data is crucial to interpret drug concentrations correctly, thus preventing suboptimal exposure to voriconazole.
PMCID: PMC4130425  PMID: 25120580
Drug interaction; Pharmacogenetics; Individualization; Therapeutic drug monitoring; CYP; antifungal
Despite recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that all adults be offered non-targeted HIV screening in all care settings, screening in acute-care settings remains unacceptably low. We performed an observational study to evaluate an HIV screening pilot in an academic-community partnership health center urgent care clinic.
We collected visit data via encounter forms and demographic and laboratory data from electronic medical records. A post-pilot survey of perceptions of HIV screening was administered to providers and nurses. Multivariable analysis was used to identify factors associated with completion of testing.
Visit provider and triage nurse were highly associated with both acceptance of screening and completion of testing, as were younger age, male gender, and race/ethnicity. 23.5% of patients completed tests, although 36.0% requested screening; time constraints as well as risk perceptions by both the provider and patient were cited as limiting completion of screening. Post-pilot surveys showed mixed support for ongoing HIV screening in this setting by providers and little support by nurses.
Visit provider and triage nurse were strongly associated with acceptance of testing, which may reflect variable opinions of HIV screening in this setting by clinical staff. Among patients accepting screening, visit provider remained strongly associated with completion of testing. Despite longstanding recommendations for non-targeted HIV screening, further changes to improve the testing and results process, as well as provider education and buy-in, are needed to improve screening rates.
PMCID: PMC4130435  PMID: 25120579
HIV; Screening; Patient care; Urgent care
Lipohypertrophy does not appear to be an adverse ART reaction while lipoatrophy is clearly associated with the use of stavudine (d4T) and zidovudine (AZT). In low and middle income countries d4T has only recently been phased out and AZT is still widely being used. Several case definitions have been developed to diagnose lipodystrophy, but none of them are generalizable to sub-Saharan Africa where black women have less visceral adipose tissue and more subcutaneous adipose tissue than white women. We aimed to develop a simple, objective measure to define lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy by comparing patient report to anthropometric and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) -derived variables.
DXA and anthropometric measures were obtained in a cross sectional sample of black HIV-infected South African men (n = 116) and women (n = 434) on ART. Self-reported information on fat gain or fat loss was collected using a standard questionnaire. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to describe the performance of anthropometric and DXA-derived variables using patient reported lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy as the reference standard.
Lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy were more common in women (25% and 33% respectively) than in men (10% and 13% respectively). There were insufficient numbers of men with DXA scans for meaningful analysis. The best predictors of lipoatrophy in women were the anthropometric variables tricep (AUC = 0.725) and thigh skinfold (AUC =0.720) thicknesses; and the DXA-derived variables percentage lower limb fat (AUC = 0.705) and percentage lower limb fat/height (AUC = 0.713). The best predictors of lipohypertrophy in women were the anthropometric variable waist/hip ratio (AUC = 0.645) and the DXA-derived variable percentage trunk fat/percentage limb fat (AUC = 0.647).
We were able to develop simple, anthropometric measures for defining lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy, using a sample of black HIV-infected South African women with DXA scans. This is of particular relevance in resource limited settings, where health professionals need simple and inexpensive methods of diagnosing patients with lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy.
PMCID: PMC4138415  PMID: 25143778
HIV; Lipoatrophy; Lipohypertrophy; Lipodystrophy; DXA; Anthropometry; Sub-Saharan africa; Antiretroviral therapy
HIV-1 entry into host cells is mediated by interactions between the virus envelope glycoprotein (gp120/gp41) and host-cell receptors. N-glycans represent approximately 50% of the molecular mass of gp120 and serve as potential antigenic determinants and/or as a shield against immune recognition. We previously reported that N-glycosylation of recombinant gp120 varied, depending on the producer cells, and the glycosylation variability affected gp120 recognition by serum antibodies from persons infected with HIV-1 subtype B. However, the impact of gp120 differential glycosylation on recognition by broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies or by polyclonal antibodies of individuals infected with other HIV-1 subtypes is unknown.
Recombinant multimerizing gp120 antigens were expressed in different cells, HEK 293T, T-cell, rhabdomyosarcoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and Chinese hamster ovary cell lines. Binding of broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies from sera of subtype A/C HIV-1-infected subjects with individual gp120 glycoforms was assessed by ELISA. In addition, immunodetection was performed using Western and dot blot assays. Recombinant gp120 glycoforms were tested for inhibition of infection of reporter cells by SF162 and YU.2 Env-pseudotyped R5 viruses.
We demonstrated, using ELISA, that gp120 glycans sterically adjacent to the V3 loop only moderately contribute to differential recognition of a short apex motif GPGRA and GPGR by monoclonal antibodies F425 B4e8 and 447-52D, respectively. The binding of antibodies recognizing longer peptide motifs overlapping with GPGR epitope (268 D4, 257 D4, 19b) was significantly altered. Recognition of gp120 glycoforms by monoclonal antibodies specific for other than V3-loop epitopes was significantly affected by cell types used for gp120 expression. These epitopes included CD4-binding site (VRC03, VRC01, b12), discontinuous epitope involving V1/V2 loop with the associated glycans (PG9, PG16), and an epitope including V3-base-, N332 oligomannose-, and surrounding glycans-containing epitope (PGT 121). Moreover, the different gp120 glycoforms variably inhibited HIV-1 infection of reporter cells.
Our data support the hypothesis that the glycosylation machinery of different cells shapes gp120 glycosylation and, consequently, impacts envelope recognition by specific antibodies as well as the interaction of HIV-1 gp120 with cellular receptors. These findings underscore the importance of selection of appropriately glycosylated HIV-1 envelope as a vaccine antigen.
PMCID: PMC4130436  PMID: 25120578
gp120 glycosylation; Glycan-specific antibody; Deglycosylation resistance; Neutralization inhibition
The role of DCs in primary HIV-1 infection remains uncertain. In this study, we enrolled two different groups of subjects with acute HIV-1 infection. One group progressed to CD4 counts below 200 cells/μl within 2 years of HIV-1 infection (CD4 Low Group), while the other group maintained CD4 counts above 500 cells/μl (CD4 High Group). We did not find statistical difference in the pDC number between the two groups during acute HIV-1 infection. However, the mDC number was significantly lower in the CD4 Low Group than in the CD4 High Group.
PMCID: PMC4124773  PMID: 25104967
Acute HIV-1 infection; DCs; Rapid disease progression
HCV RNA viral load is an important predictor of sustained virological response and, recently, a significant correlation with liver fibrosis was described. We investigated on possible influence of clinical and viro-immunological variables on HCV viral load in HIV-HCV co-infected patients over a study time of three years (2009-2012).
We retrospectively enrolled 98 adult patients with a diagnosis of chronic HIV infection in 2009, a diagnosis of chronic HCV infection with a detectable plasma HCV RNA in 2009 and 2012, HCV therapy-naïve or with failed and stopped antiviral treatment before June 2008. The following variables were recorded: age, gender, HCV genotype, IL28B rs12979860 CC genotype, HCV treatment status, advanced liver fibrosis diagnosis, antiretroviral therapy, CD4+ cell count, HCV viral load, HIV RNA (plasma HIV-1 RNA levels were measured from blood samples every three months at least). The correlation was established using linear regression analysis, analysis of variance and Fisher’s exact test. Comparisons between groups were performed using Fisher’s exact test, the independent samples t-test and the t-test for paired data, as appropriate, for continuous variables. A mixed mode (ME) maximum likelihood linear regression model was constructed to evaluate the dependence of HCV viral load.
HCV RNA levels did not change significantly from 2009 to 2012 (from 3924650 ± 5320177 IU/ml to 3085128 ± 3372347 IU/ml, p = 0.13); the CD4+ count increased significantly (from a mean of 576 to a mean of 654, p = 0.003). Using linear regression, a positive correlation was observed for HCV load and genotype 1 (p = 0.002), nonresponder status (p = 0.04) and with interleukin 28B CC allele (p = 0.05). Other studied covariates failed to reach a significant correlation.
The HCV RNA load, a known pretreatment predictor of response to antiviral therapy, was independent of the two main parameters of HIV disease, plasma HIV RNA and CD4 cell count, over an observation time of 3 years in patients with recovered or spontaneously maintained immunocompetence.
PMCID: PMC4124775  PMID: 25104966
HIV RNA; HCV RNA; Follow-up; Interleukin 28B CC allele; HCV genotype 1
Microsporidia have become increasingly recognized as opportunistic pathogens since the genesis of the AIDS epidemic. The incidence of microsporidiosis has decreased with the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy but it is frequently reported in non-HIV immunosuppressed patients and as a latent infection in immunocompetent individuals. Herein, we describe an HIV-infected male (46 years) with suspected progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy that has not responded to optimal antiretroviral therapy, steroids, or cidofovir. Post-mortem examination revealed cerebral microsporidiosis. No diagnostic clue however, was found when the patient was alive. This report underscores the need for physicians to consider microsporidiosis (potentially affecting the brain) when no other etiology is established both in HIV, non-HIV immunosuppressed patients and in immunocompetent individuals.
PMCID: PMC4107492  PMID: 25057277
Microsporidiosis; Cerebral lesions; HIV; Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
To optimize treatment regimens, we assessed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diversity and the prevalence of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Anhui province, China.
A total of 139 MSM who were newly diagnosed and antiretroviral treatment-naive were enrolled in Anhui in 2011. A partial pol fragment was amplified and sequenced, and HIV subtypes were determined by phylogenetic analyses. Surveillance/transmitted drug resistance mutations (SDRMs) were identified according to the 2009 World Health Organization (WHO) list.
A total of 133 (95.7%) samples were successfully amplified and sequenced. Based on phylogenetic analyses of the pol fragment, CRF01_AE accounted for 55.6% (74/133) of the infections, followed by CRF07_BC with 32.3% (43/133), B with 5.3% (7/133), and unique recombinant forms with 6.8% (9/133). A total of 3.0% (4/133) of the subjects were found to harbor HIV variants with SDRMs, including 1.5% with NRTI-related mutations and 1.5% with NNRTI-related mutations. PI-related mutations were absent. The SDRMs included L210W (1.5%), Y181C (0.8%), and G190A (0.8%).
In Anhui, CRF01_AE strains contributed to most of the HIV infections among MSM, and the prevalence of TDR was relatively low in this population. Further studies should be performed to evaluate the trend of TDR among MSM in Anhui and to inform first-line antiretroviral treatment.
PMCID: PMC4102087  PMID: 25035709
HIV; Prevalence; Transmitted drug resistance; Treatment-naive; MSM
Data on the effectiveness of second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-limited countries of Eastern Europe is limited. Objective of this study was to evaluate virological outcomes of second-line ART in Georgia.
We conducted retrospective analysis using routinely available program data. Study included adult HIV-infected patients with confirmed HIV drug resistance, who were switched to second-line ART from August 2005 to December 2010. Patients were followed until July 1, 2011. Primary outcome was achievement of viral suppression. Demographic, clinical, laboratory and adherence data were abstracted from medical and program records. Adherence was expressed as percentage based on medication refill data, and was calculated as days supply of medications dispensed divided by days between prescription fills. Predictors of primary outcome were assessed in modified Poisson regression analysis.
A total of 84 patients were included in the study. Among them 71.4% were men and 62% had history of IDU. All patients were receiving non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase based regimen as initial ART. The mean 6-month adherence prior to virologic failure was 75%, with 31% of patients showing 100% adherence. All patients were switched to protease inhibitor based regimens. Patients were followed for median 27 months. Over this period 9 (10.7%) patients died. Among 80 patients remaining alive at least 6 month after ART regimen switch, 72 (90%) patients ever reached undetectable viral load. The mean first 6-month adherence on second-line treatment was 81%, with 47.5% of patients showing 100% adherence. The proportion of patients achieving viral suppression after 6, 12, 24 and 36 months of second-line ART did not vary significantly ranging from 79 to 83%. Percentage of IDUs achieving viral suppression ranged from 75% and 83%. Factors associated with failure to achieve viral suppression at 6-months of second-line ART were: adherence <80% (Risk ratio [RR] 5.09, 95% CI: 1.89-13.70) and viral load >100,000 at the time of treatment failure (RR 3.39, 95% CI: 1.46-7.89).
The study demonstrated favourable virological outcomes of the second-line ART in Georgia. Majority of patients, including IDUs, achieved sustained virological response over 36 month period. The findings highlight the need of improving adherence.
PMCID: PMC4102034  PMID: 25035708
HIV; Antiretroviral therapy; Second-line ART; Eastern Europe
Opioids may have effects on susceptibility to HIV-infection, viral replication and disease progression. Injecting drug users (IDU), as well as anyone receiving opioids for anesthesia and analgesia may suffer the clinical consequences of such interactions. There is conflicting data between in vitro experiments showing an enhancing effect of opioids on HIV replication and clinical data, mostly showing no such effect. For clarification we studied the effects of the opioids heroin and morphine on HIV replication in cultured CD4-positive T cells at several concentrations and we related the observed effects with the relevant reached plasma concentrations found in IDUs.
Latently-infected ACH-2 T lymphoblasts were incubated with different concentrations of morphine and heroine. Reactivation of HIV was assessed by intracellular staining of viral Gag p24 protein and subsequent flow cytometric quantification of p24-positive cells. The influence of the opioid antagonist naloxone and the antioxidants N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) and glutathione (GSH) on HIV reactivation was determined. Cell viability was investigated by 7-AAD staining and flow cytometric quantification.
Morphine and heroine triggered reactivation of HIV replication in ACH-2 cells in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations above 1 mM (EC50 morphine 2.82 mM; EC50 morphine 1.96 mM). Naloxone did not interfere with heroine-mediated HIV reactivation, even at high concentrations (1 mM). Opioids also triggered necrotic cell death at similar concentrations at which HIV reactivation was observed. Both opioid-mediated reactivation of HIV and opioid-triggered cell death could be inhibited by the antioxidants GSH and NAC.
Opioids reactivate HIV in vitro but at concentrations that are far above the plasma levels of analgesic regimes or drug concentrations found in IDUs. HIV reactivation was mediated by effects unrelated to opioid-receptor activation and was tightly linked to the cytotoxic activity of the substances at millimolar concentrations, suggesting that opioid-mediated reactivation of HIV was due to accompanying effects of cellular necrosis such as activation of reactive oxygen species and NF-κB.
PMCID: PMC4091651  PMID: 25013451
HIV; Reactivation; Opioids; Heroine; Morphine; Naloxone; ACH-2
Current German and European HIV guidelines recommend early evaluation of HCV treatment in all HIV/HCV co-infected patients. However, there are still considerable barriers to initiate HCV therapy in everyday clinical practice. This study evaluates baseline characteristics, “intention-to-treat” pattern and outcome of therapy of HCV/HIV co-infected patients in direct comparison to HCV mono-infected patients in a “real-life” setting.
A large, single-center cohort of 172 unselected HCV patients seen at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf from 2000–2011, 88 of whom HCV/HIV co-infected, was retrospectively analyzed by chart review with special focus on demographic, clinical and virologic aspects as well as treatment outcome.
Antiviral HCV combination therapy with PEG-interferon plus weight-adapted ribavirin was initiated in 88/172 (52%) patients of the entire cohort and in n = 36 (40%) of all HCV/HIV co-infected patients (group A) compared to n = 52 (61%) of the HCV mono-infected group (group B) (p = 0.006). There were no significant differences of the demographics or severity of the liver disease between the two groups with the exception of slightly higher baseline viral loads in group A. A sustained virologic response (SVR) was observed in 50% (n = 18) of all treated HIV/HCV co-infected patients versus 52% (n = 27) of all treated HCV mono-infected patients (p = 0.859). Genotype 1 was the most frequent genotype in both groups (group A: n = 37, group B: n = 49) and the SVR rates for these patients were only slightly lower in the group of co-infected patients (group A: n = 33%, group B: 40% p = 0.626). During the course of treatment HCV/HIV co-infected patients received less ribavirin than mono-infected patients.
Overall, treatment was only initiated in half of the patients of the entire cohort and in an even smaller proportion of HCV/HIV co-infected patients despite comparable outcome (SVR) and similar baseline characteristics. In the light of newer treatment options, greater efforts to remove the barriers to treatment that still exist for a great proportion of patients especially with HIV/HCV co-infection have to be undertaken.
PMCID: PMC4086688  PMID: 25006340
HCV/HIV co-infection; Hepatitis C; PEG interferon/ribavirin treatment
In response to an article published in 2012 by officials at the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), an independent analysis of state-based federal resource allocation for HIV was conducted to determine if the funding accurately reflected diagnosis and prevalence rates.
Total state-based federal funding for HIV, state-based funding for HIV prevention, and state-based funding for HIV treatment were compared to state-based HIV diagnosis and prevalence rates from 2006-2009.
Total state-based federal funding for HIV and funding for HIV prevention and treatment were highly correlated with HIV diagnosis and prevalence rates during the time horizon of the study; however, correlations between state-based HIV prevention funding and state-based HIV diagnosis rates were lower than the correlations between state-based HIV treatment funding and HIV prevalence.
Our findings suggest that state-based federal resource allocation for HIV prevention and treatment may be better aligned with HIV diagnosis and prevalence rates than previously reported; however resource allocation for HIV prevention is less aligned than funding for HIV treatment signaling the need to reexamine state-based federal funding for HIV prevention.
PMCID: PMC4061532  PMID: 24944562
HIV; Resource allocation; Economic evaluation; HIV treatment; HIV prevention; United States

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