The impact of the 2013 WHO antiretroviral therapy guidelines on the feasibility of HIV population prevention trials.
ABSTRACT: Several cluster-randomized HIV prevention trials aim to demonstrate the population-level preventive impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART). 2013 World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines raising the ART initiation threshold to CD4 <500/µL could attenuate these trials' effect size by increasing ART usage in control clusters.We used a computational model to simulate strategies from a hypothetical cluster-randomized HIV prevention trial. The primary model outcome was the relative reduction in 24-month HIV incidence between control (ART offered with CD4 below threshold) and intervention (ART offered to all) strategies. We assessed this incidence reduction using the revised (CD4 <500/µL) and prior (CD4 <350/µL) control ART initiation thresholds. Additionally, we evaluated changes to trial characteristics that could bolster the incidence reduction.With a control ART initiation threshold of CD4 <350/µL, 24-month HIV incidence under control and intervention strategies was 2.46/100 person-years (PY) and 1.96/100 PY, a 21% reduction. Raising the threshold to CD4 <500/µL decreased the incidence reduction by more than one-third, to 12%. Using this higher threshold, moving to a 36-month horizon (vs 24-month), yearly control-strategy HIV screening (vs bian-nual), and intervention-strategy screening every 2 months (vs biannual), resulted in a 31% incidence reduction that was similar to effect size projections for ongoing trials. Alternate assumptions regarding cross-cluster contamination had the greatest influence on the incidence reduction.Implementing the 2013 WHO HIV treatment threshold could substantially diminish the incidence reduction in HIV population prevention trials. Alternative HIV testing frequencies and trial horizons can bolster this incidence reduction, but they could be logistically and ethically challenging. The feasibility of HIV population prevention trials should be reassessed as the implementation of treatment guidelines evolves.
Project description:Treatment outcomes of HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Rwanda are scarcely documented. HIV viral load (VL) and HIV drug-resistance (HIVDR) outcomes at month 12 were determined in a prospective cohort study of antiretroviral-naïve HIV patients initiating first-line therapy in Kigali. Treatment response was monitored clinically and by regular CD4 counts and targeted HIV viral load (VL) to confirm drug failure. VL measurements and HIVDR genotyping were performed retrospectively on baseline and month 12 samples. One hundred and fifty-eight participants who completed their month 12 follow-up visit had VL data available at month 12. Most of them (88%) were virologically suppressed (VL?1000 copies/mL) but 18 had virological failure (11%), which is in the range of WHO-suggested targets for HIVDR prevention. If only CD4 criteria had been used to classify treatment response, 26% of the participants would have been misclassified as treatment failure. Pre-therapy HIVDR was documented in 4 of 109 participants (3.6%) with an HIVDR genotyping results at baseline. Eight of 12 participants (66.7%) with virological failure and HIVDR genotyping results at month 12 were found to harbor mutation(s), mostly NNRTI resistance mutations, whereas 4 patients had no HIVDR mutations. Almost half (44%) of the participants initiated ART at CD4 count ?200 cell/µl and severe CD4 depletion at baseline (<50 cells/µl) was associated with virological treatment failure (p?=?0.008). Although the findings may not be generalizable to all HIV patients in Rwanda, our data suggest that first-line ART regimen changes are currently not warranted. However, the accumulation of acquired HIVDR mutations in some participants underscores the need to reinforce HIVDR prevention strategies, such as increasing the availability and appropriate use of VL testing to monitor ART response, ensuring high quality adherence counseling, and promoting earlier identification of HIV patients and enrollment into HIV care and treatment programs.
Project description:The incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients remains high despite treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART).We evaluated NHL incidence in HIV-infected patients followed in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems who started combination ART and achieved suppression of HIV. We estimated the hazard ratio for NHL by time-varying HIV viremia categories, accounting for time-varying CD4 cell count using marginal structural models.We observed 37 incident NHL diagnoses during 21 607 person-years of follow-up in 6036 patients (incidence rate, 171 per 100 000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 124-236). NHL incidence was high even among patients with nadir CD4 cell count >200 cells/µL (140 per 100 000 person-years [95% CI, 80-247]). Compared with ?50 copies/mL, hazard ratios (HRs) for NHL were higher among those with HIV viremia of 51-500 copies/mL (HR current = 1.66 [95% CI, .70-3.94]; HR 3-month lagged = 2.10 [95% CI, .84-5.22]; and HR 6-month lagged = 1.46 [95% CI, .60-3.60]) and >500 copies/mL (HR current = 2.39 [95% CI, .92-6.21]; HR 3-month lagged = 3.56 [95% CI, 1.21-10.49]; and HR 6-month lagged = 2.50 [95% CI, .91-6.84]). Current HIV RNA as a continuous variable was also associated with NHL (HR = 1.42 per log10 copies/mL [95% CI, 1.05-1.92]).Our findings demonstrate a high incidence of NHL among HIV-infected patients on ART and suggest a role of HIV viremia in the pathogenesis of NHL. Earlier initiation of potent ART and maximal continuous suppression of HIV viremia may further reduce NHL risk.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is the strongest risk factor for developing tuberculosis and has fuelled its resurgence, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2010, there were an estimated 1.1 million incident cases of tuberculosis among the 34 million people living with HIV worldwide. Antiretroviral therapy has substantial potential to prevent HIV-associated tuberculosis. We conducted a systematic review of studies that analysed the impact of antiretroviral therapy on the incidence of tuberculosis in adults with HIV infection.PubMed, Embase, African Index Medicus, LILACS, and clinical trial registries were systematically searched. Randomised controlled trials, prospective cohort studies, and retrospective cohort studies were included if they compared tuberculosis incidence by antiretroviral therapy status in HIV-infected adults for a median of over 6 mo in developing countries. For the meta-analyses there were four categories based on CD4 counts at antiretroviral therapy initiation: (1) less than 200 cells/µl, (2) 200 to 350 cells/µl, (3) greater than 350 cells/µl, and (4) any CD4 count. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. Antiretroviral therapy is strongly associated with a reduction in the incidence of tuberculosis in all baseline CD4 count categories: (1) less than 200 cells/µl (hazard ratio [HR] 0.16, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.07 to 0.36), (2) 200 to 350 cells/µl (HR 0.34, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.60), (3) greater than 350 cells/µl (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.63), and (4) any CD4 count (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.44). There was no evidence of hazard ratio modification with respect to baseline CD4 count category (p?=?0.20).Antiretroviral therapy is strongly associated with a reduction in the incidence of tuberculosis across all CD4 count strata. Earlier initiation of antiretroviral therapy may be a key component of global and national strategies to control the HIV-associated tuberculosis syndemic.International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews CRD42011001209 Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Project description:Background: Cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) screening for antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve adults with advanced HIV/AIDS can reduce the incidence of cryptococcal meningitis (CM) and all-cause mortality. We modeled the cost-effectiveness of laboratory-based "reflex" CrAg screening for ART-naïve CrAg-positive patients with CD4<100 cells/µL (those currently targeted in guidelines) and ART-experienced CrAg-positive patients with CD4<100 cells/µL (who make up an increasingly large proportion of individuals with advanced HIV/AIDS). Methods: A decision analytic model was developed to evaluate CrAg screening and treatment based on local CD4 count and CrAg prevalence data, and realistic assumptions regarding programmatic implementation of the CrAg screening intervention. We modeled the number of CrAg tests performed, the number of CrAg positives stratified by prior ART experience, the proportion of patients started on pre-emptive antifungal treatment, and the number of incident CM cases and CM-related deaths. Screening and treatment costs were evaluated, and cost per death or disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted estimated. Results: We estimated that of 650,000 samples undergoing CD4 testing annually in Botswana, 16,364 would have a CD4<100 cells/µL and receive a CrAg test, with 70% of patients ART-experienced at the time of screening. Under base model assumptions, CrAg screening and pre-emptive treatment restricted to ART-naïve patients with a CD4<100 cells/µL prevented 20% (39/196) of CM-related deaths in patients undergoing CD4 testing at a cost of US$2 per DALY averted. Expansion of preemptive treatment to include ART-experienced patients with a CD4<100 cells/µL resulted in 55 additional deaths averted (a total of 48% [94/196]) and was cost-saving compared to no screening. Findings were robust across a range of model assumptions. Conclusions: Reflex laboratory-based CrAg screening for patients with CD4<100 cells/µL is a cost-effective strategy in Botswana, even in the context of a relatively low proportion of advanced HIV/AIDS in the overall HIV-infected population, the majority of whom are ART-experienced.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Retinal cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a common opportunistic infection and remains a significant contributor to visual loss in patients with AIDS. We highlight the poor outcomes of CMV retinitis in three HIV-infected patients who were initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART). We conducted a retrospective chart review of advanced stage HIV-infected patients with known CMV retinitis.Case 1. A 37-year-old man, with a CD4+ cell count of 35 cells/µL, presented for ART initiation with a 5-month history of visual loss in his left eye. Fundoscopy showed left eye CMV retinitis and right eye HIV retinopathy. ART and 5 months of weekly intravitreal ganciclovir injections (left eye) were commenced. Six-month outcomes included virological suppression, and visual acuity in the right eye of 6/6 and in the left eye of 3/60.Case 2. A 31-year-old woman, with a CD4+ cell count of 39 cells/µL and on tuberculosis therapy, presented for ART initiation. She presented with a 2-month history of decreased visual acuity. Fundoscopy showed bilateral CMV retinitis, which was more pronounced in the left eye. ART and 8 months of intravitreal ganciclovir injections were commenced. Six-month outcomes included virological suppression and visual acuity in the right eye of 6/9, and in the left eye of 6/24.Case 3. A 29-year-old woman, with a CD4+ cell count of 24 cells/µL, who was on tuberculosis therapy and ART, complained of blurred vision at her 2-month ART follow-up visit. Fundoscopy showed bilateral retinal detachment secondary to CMV retinitis. While silicone oil tamponade and subsequent retinectomy successfully repaired the right eye, extensive damage rendered the left eye irreparable. Six-month outcomes included virological suppression, with 6/120 visual acuity in the right eye and complete blindness in the left eye. CONCLUSION:CMV retinitis causes debilitating, permanent sequelae, which is preventable by ART initiation at higher CD4+ cell counts. Despite achieving virological suppression, vision could not be completely restored in these patients, irrespective of the severity of CMV retinitis.
Project description:Background. ?Cryptococcal meningitis is a leading cause of death in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The World Health Organizations recommends pre-antiretroviral treatment (ART) cryptococcal antigen (CRAG) screening in persons with CD4 below 100 cells/µL. We assessed the prevalence and outcome of cryptococcal antigenemia in rural southern Tanzania. Methods. ?We conducted a retrospective study including all ART-naive adults with CD4 <150 cells/µL prospectively enrolled in the Kilombero and Ulanga Antiretroviral Cohort between 2008 and 2012. Cryptococcal antigen was assessed in cryopreserved pre-ART plasma. Cox regression estimated the composite outcome of death or loss to follow-up (LFU) by CRAG status and fluconazole use. Results. ?Of 750 ART-naive adults, 28 (3.7%) were CRAG-positive, corresponding to a prevalence of 4.4% (23 of 520) in CD4 <100 and 2.2% (5 of 230) in CD4 100-150 cells/µL. Within 1 year, 75% (21 of 28) of CRAG-positive and 42% (302 of 722) of CRAG-negative patients were dead or LFU (P<.001), with no differences across CD4 strata. Cryptococcal antigen positivity was an independent predictor of death or LFU after adjusting for relevant confounders (hazard ratio [HR], 2.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.29-4.83; P = .006). Cryptococcal meningitis occurred in 39% (11 of 28) of CRAG-positive patients, with similar retention-in-care regardless of meningitis diagnosis (P = .8). Cryptococcal antigen titer >1:160 was associated with meningitis development (odds ratio, 4.83; 95% CI, 1.24-8.41; P = .008). Fluconazole receipt decreased death or LFU in CRAG-positive patients (HR, 0.18; 95% CI, .04-.78; P = .022). Conclusions. ?Cryptococcal antigenemia predicted mortality or LFU among ART-naive HIV-infected persons with CD4 <150 cells/µL, and fluconazole increased survival or retention-in-care, suggesting that targeted pre-ART CRAG screening may decrease early mortality or LFU. A CRAG screening threshold of CD4 <100 cells/µL missed 18% of CRAG-positive patients, suggesting guidelines should consider a higher threshold.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although antiretroviral therapy (ART) is known to be associated with time-dependent reductions in tuberculosis (TB) incidence, the long-term impact of ART on incidence remains imprecisely defined due to limited duration of follow-up and incomplete CD4 cell count recovery in existing studies. We determined TB incidence in a South African ART cohort with up to 8 years of follow-up and stratified rates according to CD4 cell count recovery. We compared these rates with those of HIV-uninfected individuals living in the same community. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Prospectively collected clinical data on patients receiving ART in a community-based cohort in Cape Town were analysed. 1544 patients with a median follow-up of 5.0 years (IQR 2.4-5.8) were included in the analysis. 484 episodes of incident TB (73.6% culture-confirmed) were diagnosed in 424 patients during 6506 person-years (PYs) of follow-up. The TB incidence rate during the first year of ART was 12.4 (95% CI 10.8-14.4) cases/100PYs and decreased to 4.92 (95% CI 3.64-8.62) cases/100PYs between 5 and 8 years of ART. During person-time accrued within CD4 cell strata 0-100, 101-200, 201-300, 301-400, 401-500, 501-700 and ?700 cells/µL, TB incidence rates (95% CI) were 25.5 (21.6-30.3), 11.2 (9.4-13.5), 7.9 (6.4-9.7), 5.0 (3.9-6.6), 5.1 (3.8-6.8), 4.1 (3.1-5.4) and 2.7 (1.7-4.5) cases/100PYs, respectively. Overall, 75% (95% CI 70.9-78.8) of TB episodes were recurrent cases. Updated CD4 cell count and viral load measurements were independently associated with long-term TB risk. TB rates during person-time accrued in the highest CD4 cell count stratum (>700 cells/µL) were 4.4-fold higher that the rate in HIV uninfected individuals living in the same community (2.7 versus 0.62 cases/100PYs; 95%CI 0.58-0.65). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:TB rates during long-term ART remained substantially greater than rates in the local HIV uninfected populations regardless of duration of ART or attainment of CD4 cell counts exceeding 700 cells/µL.
Project description:Adding an immune-enhancing agent to initial antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV is a potential strategy to ensure that patients achieve optimal immune response.Using a mathematical model of HIV disease and treatment, we evaluated the treatment benefits and cost-effectiveness of adding a hypothetical immune-enhancing agent to the initial 6 months of ART. We assumed that the additional agent would result in a higher CD4 increase that would provide clinical benefit. The additional cost ($1,900/month) was based on the cost of a drug currently under investigation for immune enhancement. Outcomes included projected life expectancy and cost-effectiveness in 2009 US dollars/quality-adjusted life year (QALY) with costs and QALYs discounted at 3% annually.Compared to standard ART, immune-enhanced ART resulting in an additional 40 CD4 cell/µL increase at 6 months yields a 2.4 month projected undiscounted life expectancy increase with a cost-effectiveness ratio of $107,600/QALY. Achieving a cost-effectiveness ratio <$100,000/QALY requires a >43 CD4 cell/µL improvement, or >19 cells/µL if immune-enhancing agent costs are halved.In addition to showing clinical efficacy, investigational immune enhancement agents need to increase CD4 counts more than has been previously observed or have a lower cost to be considered cost-effective in the United States.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Loss to follow-up is high among HIV patients not yet receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Clinical trials have demonstrated the clinical efficacy of early ART; however, these trials may miss an important real-world consequence of providing ART at diagnosis: its impact on retention in care. METHODS AND FINDINGS:We examined the effect of immediate (versus deferred) ART on retention in care using a regression discontinuity design. The analysis included all patients (N = 11,306) entering clinical HIV care with a first CD4 count between 12 August 2011 and 31 December 2012 in a public-sector HIV care and treatment program in rural South Africa. Patients were assigned to immediate versus deferred ART eligibility, as determined by a CD4 count < 350 cells/?l, per South African national guidelines. Patients referred to pre-ART care were instructed to return every 6 months for CD4 monitoring. Patients initiated on ART were instructed to return at 6 and 12 months post-initiation and annually thereafter for CD4 and viral load monitoring. We assessed retention in HIV care at 12 months, as measured by the presence of a clinic visit, lab test, or ART initiation 6 to 18 months after initial CD4 test. Differences in retention between patients presenting with CD4 counts just above versus just below the 350-cells/?l threshold were estimated using local linear regression models with a data-driven bandwidth and with the algorithm for selecting the bandwidth chosen ex ante. Among patients with CD4 counts close to the 350-cells/?l threshold, having an ART-eligible CD4 count (<350 cells/?l) was associated with higher 12-month retention than not having an ART-eligible CD4 count (50% versus 32%), an intention-to-treat risk difference of 18 percentage points (95% CI 11 to 23; p < 0.001). The decision to start ART was determined by CD4 count for one in four patients (25%) presenting close to the eligibility threshold (95% CI 20% to 31%; p < 0.001). In this subpopulation, having an ART-eligible CD4 count was associated with higher 12-month retention than not having an ART-eligible CD4 count (91% versus 21%), a complier causal risk difference of 70 percentage points (95% CI 42 to 98; p < 0.001). The major limitations of the study are the potential for limited generalizability, the potential for outcome misclassification, and the absence of data on longer-term health outcomes. CONCLUSIONS:Patients who were eligible for immediate ART had dramatically higher retention in HIV care than patients who just missed the CD4-count eligibility cutoff. The clinical and population health benefits of offering immediate ART regardless of CD4 count may be larger than suggested by clinical trials.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Antiretroviral drugs have been shown to reduce risk of mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and are also widely used for post-exposure prophylaxis for parenteral and sexual exposures. Sexual transmission may be lower in couples in which one partner is infected with HIV and the other is not and the infected partner is on antiretroviral therapy (ART). OBJECTIVES:To determine if ART use in an HIV-infected member of an HIV-discordant couple is associated with lower risk of HIV transmission to the uninfected partner compared to untreated discordant couples. SEARCH METHODS:We used standard Cochrane methods to search electronic databases and conference proceedings with relevant search terms without limits to language. SELECTION CRITERIA:Randomised controlled trials (RCT), cohort studies and case-control studies of HIV-discordant couples in which the HIV-infected member of the couple was being treated or not treated with ART DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Abstracts of all trials identified by electronic or bibliographic scanning were examined independently by two authors. We initially identified 3,833 references and examined 87 in detail for study eligibility. Data were abstracted independently using a standardised abstraction form. MAIN RESULTS:One RCT and nine observational studies were included in the review. These ten studies identified 2,112 episodes of HIV transmission, 1,016 among treated couples and 1,096 among untreated couples. The rate ratio for the single randomised controlled trial was 0.04 [95% CI 0.00, 0.27]. All index partners in this study had CD4 cell counts at baseline of 350-550 cells/µL. Similarly, the summary rate ratio for the nine observational studies was 0.58 [95% CI 0.35, 0.96], with substantial heterogeneity (I(2)=64%). After excluding two studies with inadequate person-time data, we estimated a summary rate ratio of 0.36 [95% CI 0.17, 0.75] with substantial heterogeneity (I(2)=62%). We also performed subgroup analyses among the observational studies to see if the effect of ART on prevention of HIV differed by the index partner's CD4 cell count. Among couples in which the infected partner had ?350 CD4 cells/µL, we estimated a rate ratio of 0.12 [95% CI 0.01, 1.99]. In this subgroup, there were 247 transmissions in untreated couples and 30 in treated couples. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:ART is a potent intervention for prevention of HIV in discordant couples in which the index partner has ?550 CD4 cells/µL. A recent multicentre RCT confirms the suspected benefit seen in earlier observational studies and reported in more recent ones. Questions remain about durability of protection, the balance of benefits and adverse events associated with earlier therapy, long-term adherence and transmission of ART-resistant strains to partners. Resource limitations and implementation challenges must also be addressed.Counselling, support, and follow up, as well as mutual disclosure, may have a role in supporting adherence, so programmes should be designed with these components. In addition to ART provision, the operational aspects of delivering such programmes must be considered.