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  1. Boettiger DC, Law MG, Ross J, Huy BV, Heng B, Ditangco R, et al.
    J Virus Erad, 2020 Feb 20;6(1):11-18.
    PMID: 32175086
    Objectives: Integration of HIV and non-communicable disease services improves the quality and efficiency of care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We aimed to describe current practices for the screening and management of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) among adult HIV clinics in Asia.

    Methods: Sixteen LMIC sites included in the International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS - Asia-Pacific network were surveyed.

    Results: Sites were mostly (81%) based in urban public referral hospitals. Half had protocols to assess tobacco and alcohol use. Protocols for assessing physical inactivity and obesity were in place at 31% and 38% of sites, respectively. Most sites provided educational material on ASCVD risk factors (between 56% and 75% depending on risk factors). A total of 94% reported performing routine screening for hypertension, 100% for hyperlipidaemia and 88% for diabetes. Routine ASCVD risk assessment was reported by 94% of sites. Protocols for the management of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, high ASCVD risk and chronic ischaemic stroke were in place at 50%, 69%, 56%, 19% and 38% of sites, respectively. Blood pressure monitoring was free for patients at 69% of sites; however, most required patients to pay some or all the costs for other ASCVD-related procedures. Medications available in the clinic or within the same facility included angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (81%), statins (94%) and sulphonylureas (94%).

    Conclusion: The consistent availability of clinical screening, diagnostic testing and procedures and the availability of ASCVD medications in the Asian LMIC clinics surveyed are strengths that should be leveraged to improve the implementation of cardiovascular care protocols.

  2. Bartlett AW, Lumbiganon P, Kurniati N, Sudjaritruk T, Mohamed TJ, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    J Adolesc Health, 2019 11;65(5):651-659.
    PMID: 31395514 DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.05.025
    PURPOSE: Antiretroviral monotherapy and treatment interruption are potential strategies for perinatally HIV-infected adolescents (PHIVA) who face challenges maintaining effective combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). We assessed the use and outcomes for adolescents receiving monotherapy or undergoing treatment interruption in a regional Asian cohort.

    METHODS: Regional Asian data (2001-2016) were analyzed to describe PHIVA who experienced ≥2 weeks of lamivudine or emtricitabine monotherapy or treatment interruption and trends in CD4 count and HIV viral load during and after episodes. Survival analyses were used for World Health Organization (WHO) stage III/IV clinical and immunologic event-free survival during monotherapy or treatment interruption, and a Poisson regression to determine factors associated with monotherapy or treatment interruption.

    RESULTS: Of 3,448 PHIVA, 84 (2.4%) experienced 94 monotherapy episodes, and 147 (4.3%) experienced 174 treatment interruptions. Monotherapy was associated with older age, HIV RNA >400 copies/mL, younger age at ART initiation, and exposure to ≥2 combination ART regimens. Treatment interruption was associated with CD4 count <350 cells/μL, HIV RNA ≥1,000 copies/mL, ART adverse event, and commencing ART age ≥10 years compared with age <3 years. WHO clinical stage III/IV 1-year event-free survival was 96% and 85% for monotherapy and treatment interruption cohorts, respectively. WHO immunologic stage III/IV 1-year event-free survival was 52% for both cohorts. Those who experienced monotherapy or treatment interruption for more than 6 months had worse immunologic and virologic outcomes.

    CONCLUSIONS: Until challenges of treatment adherence, engagement in care, and combination ART durability/tolerability are met, monotherapy and treatment interruption will lead to poor long-term outcomes.

  3. Kawaguchi-Suzuki M, Hogue MD, Khanfar NM, Lahoz MR, Law MG, Parekh J, et al.
    Am J Pharm Educ, 2019 05;83(4):7215.
    PMID: 31223162 DOI: 10.5688/ajpe7215
    Schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States increasingly interact with those in Asian countries for various purposes such as education and research. For both those visiting and those hosting, it is important to understand and respect the culture of the other's country to enrich these interactions. This paper, the second of two manuscripts on Asian countries, focuses on India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam. For each country, the following information is provided: general introduction, health care system, pharmacy practice, and pharmacy education, stereotypes and misconceptions, recommendations for US-based health care professionals, faculty members, and students who visit these Asian countries, and recommendations for them to host visitors from these Asian countries. The aim of this paper is to assist US health care professionals, faculty members, and students in initiating and promoting a culturally sensitive engagement.
  4. Bartlett AW, Truong KH, Songtaweesin WN, Chokephaibulkit K, Hansudewechakul R, Ly PS, et al.
    AIDS, 2018 07 31;32(12):1689-1697.
    PMID: 29794827 DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000001883
    OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to describe characteristics of perinatally HIV-infected adolescents (PHIVAs), factors associated with mortality, and outcomes at transition.

    DESIGN: Ongoing observational database collating clinical data on HIV-infected children and adolescents in Asia.

    METHODS: Data from 2001 to 2016 relating to adolescents (10-19 years) with perinatal HIV infection were analysed to describe characteristics at adolescent entry and transition and combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) regimens across adolescence. A competing risk regression analysis was used to determine characteristics at adolescent entry associated with mortality. Outcomes at transition were compared on the basis of age at cART initiation.

    RESULTS: Of 3448 PHIVA, 644 had reached transition. Median age at HIV diagnosis was 5.5 years, cART initiation 7.2 years and transition 17.9 years. At adolescent entry, 35.0% had CD4+ cell count less than 500 cells/μl and 51.1% had experienced a WHO stage III/IV clinical event. At transition, 38.9% had CD4+ cell count less than 500 copies/ml, and 53.4% had experienced a WHO stage III/IV clinical event. Mortality rate was 0.71 per 100 person-years, with HIV RNA ≥1000 copies/ml, CD4+ cell count less than 500 cells/μl, height-for-age or weight-for-age z-score less than -2, history of a WHO stage III/IV clinical event or hospitalization and at least second cART associated with mortality. For transitioning PHIVA, those who commenced cART age less than 5 years had better virologic and immunologic outcomes, though were more likely to be on at least second cART.

    CONCLUSION: Delayed HIV diagnosis and cART initiation resulted in considerable morbidity and poor immune status by adolescent entry. Durable first-line cART regimens to optimize disease control are key to minimizing mortality. Early cART initiation provides the best virologic and immunologic outcomes at transition.

  5. Chen M, Wong WW, Law MG, Kiertiburanakul S, Yunihastuti E, Merati TP, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0150512.
    PMID: 26933963 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150512
    BACKGROUND: We assessed the effects of hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection on outcomes of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV-infected patients enrolled in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD), a multi-center cohort of HIV-infected patients in the Asia-Pacific region.

    METHODS: Patients testing HBs antigen (Ag) or HCV antibody (Ab) positive within enrollment into TAHOD were considered HBV or HCV co-infected. Factors associated with HBV and/or HCV co-infection were assessed by logistic regression models. Factors associated with post-ART HIV immunological response (CD4 change after six months) and virological response (HIV RNA <400 copies/ml after 12 months) were also determined. Survival was assessed by the Kaplan-Meier method and log rank test.

    RESULTS: A total of 7,455 subjects were recruited by December 2012. Of patients tested, 591/5656 (10.4%) were HBsAg positive, 794/5215 (15.2%) were HCVAb positive, and 88/4966 (1.8%) were positive for both markers. In multivariate analysis, HCV co-infection, age, route of HIV infection, baseline CD4 count, baseline HIV RNA, and HIV-1 subtype were associated with immunological recovery. Age, route of HIV infection, baseline CD4 count, baseline HIV RNA, ART regimen, prior ART and HIV-1 subtype, but not HBV or HCV co-infection, affected HIV RNA suppression. Risk factors affecting mortality included HCV co-infection, age, CDC stage, baseline CD4 count, baseline HIV RNA and prior mono/dual ART. Shortest survival was seen in subjects who were both HBV- and HCV-positive.

    CONCLUSION: In this Asian cohort of HIV-infected patients, HCV co-infection, but not HBV co-infection, was associated with lower CD4 cell recovery after ART and increased mortality.

  6. Sungkanuparph S, Oyomopito R, Sirivichayakul S, Sirisanthana T, Li PC, Kantipong P, et al.
    Clin. Infect. Dis., 2011 Apr 15;52(8):1053-7.
    PMID: 21460324 DOI: 10.1093/cid/cir107
    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.
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