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1.  A Pilot Study Assessing the Safety and Latency-Reversing Activity of Disulfiram in HIV-1–Infected Adults on Antiretroviral Therapy 
In this pilot clinical trial, disulfiram was administered to HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy to determine the drug's effect on the latent reservoir. Reservoir size did not change; however, some participants experienced transient increases in viremia. Disulfiram deserves further study as an antilatency agent.
Background. Transcriptionally silent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) DNA persists in resting memory CD4+ T cells despite antiretroviral therapy. In a primary cell model, the antialcoholism drug disulfiram has been shown to induce HIV-1 transcription in latently infected resting memory CD4+ T cells at concentrations achieved in vivo.
Methods. We conducted a single-arm pilot study to evaluate whether 500 mg of disulfiram administered daily for 14 days to HIV-1–infected individuals on stable suppressive antiretroviral therapy would result in reversal of HIV-1 latency with a concomitant transient increase in residual viremia or depletion of the latent reservoir in resting memory CD4+ T cells.
Results. Disulfiram was safe and well tolerated. There was a high level of subject-to-subject variability in plasma disulfiram levels. The latent reservoir did not change significantly (1.16-fold change; 95% confidence interval [CI], .70- to 1.92-fold; P = .56). During disulfiram administration, residual viremia did not change significantly compared to baseline (1.53-fold; 95% CI, .88- to 2.69-fold; P = .13), although residual viremia was estimated to increase by 1.88-fold compared to baseline during the postdosing period (95% CI, 1.03- to 3.43-fold; P = .04). In a post hoc analysis, a rapid and transient increase in viremia was noted in a subset of individuals (n = 6) with immediate postdose sampling (HIV-1 RNA increase, 2.96-fold; 95% CI, 1.29- to 6.81-fold; P = .01).
Conclusions. Administration of disulfiram to patients on antiretroviral therapy does not reduce the size of the latent reservoir. A possible dose-related effect on residual viremia supports future studies assessing the impact of higher doses on HIV-1 production. Disulfiram affects relevant signaling pathways and can be safely administered, supporting future studies of this drug.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit813
PMCID: PMC3935499  PMID: 24336828
HIV-1 latent reservoir; disulfiram; latency-reversing agents
2.  Atazanavir Concentration in Hair Is the Strongest Predictor of Outcomes on Antiretroviral Therapy 
In a longitudinal study of outcomes on atazanavir-based therapy in a large cohort of HIV-infected women, hair levels of atazanavir were the strongest independent predictor of virologic suppression. Hair antiretroviral concentrations may serve as a useful tool in HIV care.
Background. Adequate exposure to antiretrovirals is important to maintain durable responses, but methods to assess exposure (eg, querying adherence and single plasma drug level measurements) are limited. Hair concentrations of antiretrovirals can integrate adherence and pharmacokinetics into a single assay.
Methods. Small hair samples were collected from participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a large cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected (and at-risk noninfected) women. From 2003 through 2008, we analyzed atazanavir hair concentrations longitudinally for women reporting receipt of atazanavir-based therapy. Multivariate random effects logistic regression models for repeated measures were used to estimate the association of hair drug levels with the primary outcome of virologic suppression (HIV RNA level, <80 copies/mL).
Results. 424 WIHS participants (51% African-American, 31% Hispanic) contributed 1443 person-visits to the analysis. After adjusting for age, race, treatment experience, pretreatment viral load, CD4 count and AIDS status, and self-reported adherence, hair levels were the strongest predictor of suppression. Categorized hair antiretroviral levels revealed a monotonic relationship to suppression; women with atazanavir levels in the highest quintile had odds ratios (ORs) of 59.8 (95% confidence ratio, 29.0–123.2) for virologic suppression. Hair atazanavir concentrations were even more strongly associated with resuppression of viral loads in subgroups in which there had been previous lapses in adherence (OR, 210.2 [95% CI, 46.0–961.1]), low hair levels (OR, 132.8 [95% CI, 26.5–666.0]), or detectable viremia (OR, 400.7 [95% CI, 52.3–3069.7]).
Conclusions. Antiretroviral hair levels surpassed any other predictor of virologic outcomes to HIV treatment in a large cohort. Low antiretroviral exposure in hair may trigger interventions prior to failure or herald virologic failure in settings where measurement of viral loads is unavailable. Monitoring hair antiretroviral concentrations may be useful for prolonging regimen durability.
doi:10.1093/cid/cir131
PMCID: PMC3079399  PMID: 21507924

Results 1-2 (2)