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  1. Jung IY, Boettiger D, Wong WW, Lee MP, Kiertiburanakul S, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    J Int AIDS Soc, 2017 Dec;20(4).
    PMID: 29243388 DOI: 10.1002/jia2.25016
    INTRODUCTION: Although substitutions of antiretroviral regimen are generally safe, most data on substitutions are based on results from clinical trials. The objective of this study was to evaluate the treatment outcomes of substituting antiretroviral regimen in virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients in non-clinical trial settings in Asian countries.

    METHODS: The study population consisted of HIV-infected patients enrolled in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD). Individuals were included in this analysis if they started combination antiretroviral treatment (cART) after 2002, were being treated at a centre that documented a median rate of viral load monitoring ≥0.8 tests/patient/year among TAHOD enrolees, and experienced a minor or major treatment substitution while on virally suppressive cART. The primary endpoint to evaluate outcomes was clinical or virological failure (VF), followed by an ART class change. Clinical failure was defined as death or an AIDS diagnosis. VF was defined as confirmed viral load measurements ≥400 copies/mL followed by an ART class change within six months. Minor regimen substitutions were defined as within-class changes and major regimen substitutions were defined as changes to a drug class. The patterns of substitutions and rate of clinical or VF after substitutions were analyzed.

    RESULTS: Of 3994 adults who started ART after 2002, 3119 (78.1%) had at least one period of virological suppression. Among these, 1170 (37.5%) underwent a minor regimen substitution, and 296 (9.5%) underwent a major regimen substitution during suppression. The rates of clinical or VF were 1.48/100 person years (95% CI 1.14 to 1.91) in the minor substitution group, 2.85/100 person years (95% CI 1.88 to 4.33) in the major substitution group and 2.53/100 person years (95% CI 2.20 to 2.92) among patients that did not undergo a treatment substitution.

    CONCLUSIONS: The rate of clinical or VF was low in both major and minor substitution groups, showing that regimen substitution is generally effective in non-clinical trial settings in Asian countries.

  2. Bijker R, Jiamsakul A, Uy E, Kumarasamy N, Ditango R, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    HIV Med., 2019 Mar;20(3):183-191.
    PMID: 30620108 DOI: 10.1111/hiv.12687
    OBJECTIVES: With aging of the HIV-positive population, cardiovascular disease (CVD) increasingly contributes to morbidity and mortality. We investigated CVD-related and other causes of death (CODs) and factors associated with CVD in a multi-country Asian HIV-positive cohort.

    METHODS: Patient data from 2003-2017 were obtained from the Therapeutics, Research, Education and AIDS Training in Asia (TREAT Asia) HIV Observational Database (TAHOD). We included patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with > 1 day of follow-up. Cumulative incidences were plotted for CVD-related, AIDS-related, non-AIDS-related, and unknown CODs, and any CVD (i.e. fatal and nonfatal). Competing risk regression was used to assess risk factors of any CVD.

    RESULTS: Of 8069 patients with a median follow-up of 7.3 years [interquartile range (IQR) 4.4-10.7 years], 378 patients died [incidence rate (IR) 6.2 per 1000 person-years (PY)], and this total included 22 CVD-related deaths (IR 0.36 per 1000 PY). Factors significantly associated with any CVD event (IR 2.2 per 1000 PY) were older age [sub-hazard ratio (sHR) 2.21; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.36-3.58 for age 41-50 years; sHR 5.52; 95% CI 3.43-8.91 for ≥ 51 years, compared with < 40 years], high blood pressure (sHR 1.62; 95% CI 1.04-2.52), high total cholesterol (sHR 1.89; 95% CI 1.27-2.82), high triglycerides (sHR 1.55; 95% CI 1.02-2.37) and high body mass index (BMI) (sHR 1.66; 95% CI 1.12-2.46). CVD crude IRs were lower in the later ART initiation period and in lower middle- and upper middle-income countries.

    CONCLUSIONS: The development of fatal and nonfatal CVD events in our cohort was associated with older age, and treatable risk factors such as high blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol and BMI. Lower CVD event rates in middle-income countries may indicate under-diagnosis of CVD in Asian-Pacific resource-limited settings.

  3. Jiamsakul A, Kiertiburanakul S, Ng OT, Chaiwarith R, Wong W, Ditangco R, et al.
    HIV Med., 2019 Aug;20(7):439-449.
    PMID: 30980495 DOI: 10.1111/hiv.12734
    OBJECTIVES: With earlier antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, time spent in HIV care is expected to increase. We aimed to investigate loss to follow-up (LTFU) in Asian patients who remained in care 5 years after ART initiation.

    METHODS: Long-term LTFU was defined as LTFU occurring after 5 years on ART. LTFU was defined as (1) patients not seen in the previous 12 months; and (2) patients not seen in the previous 6 months. Factors associated with LTFU were analysed using competing risk regression.

    RESULTS: Under the 12-month definition, the LTFU rate was 2.0 per 100 person-years (PY) [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8-2.2 among 4889 patients included in the study. LTFU was associated with age > 50 years [sub-hazard ratio (SHR) 1.64; 95% CI 1.17-2.31] compared with 31-40 years, viral load ≥ 1000 copies/mL (SHR 1.86; 95% CI 1.16-2.97) compared with viral load < 1000 copies/mL, and hepatitis C coinfection (SHR 1.48; 95% CI 1.06-2.05). LTFU was less likely to occur in females, in individuals with higher CD4 counts, in those with self-reported adherence ≥ 95%, and in those living in high-income countries. The 6-month LTFU definition produced an incidence rate of 3.2 per 100 PY (95% CI 2.9-3.4 and had similar associations but with greater risks of LTFU for ART initiation in later years (2006-2009: SHR 2.38; 95% CI 1.93-2.94; and 2010-2011: SHR 4.26; 95% CI 3.17-5.73) compared with 2003-2005.

    CONCLUSIONS: The long-term LTFU rate in our cohort was low, with older age being associated with LTFU. The increased risk of LTFU with later years of ART initiation in the 6-month analysis, but not the 12-month analysis, implies that there was a possible move towards longer HIV clinic scheduling in Asia.

  4. Kiertiburanakul S, Boettiger D, Lee MP, Omar SF, Tanuma J, Ng OT, et al.
    J Int AIDS Soc, 2014;17:18804.
    PMID: 24598459 DOI: 10.7448/IAS.17.1.18804
    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.
  5. Tanuma J, Jiamsakul A, Makane A, Avihingsanon A, Ng OT, Kiertiburanakul S, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(8):e0161562.
    PMID: 27560968 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161562
    BACKGROUND: In resource-limited settings, routine monitoring of renal function during antiretroviral therapy (ART) has not been recommended. However, concerns for tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)-related nephrotoxicity persist with increased use.

    METHODS: We investigated serum creatinine (S-Cr) monitoring rates before and during ART and the incidence and prevalence of renal dysfunction after starting TDF by using data from a regional cohort of HIV-infected individuals in the Asia-Pacific. Time to renal dysfunction was defined as time from TDF initiation to the decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) to <60 ml/min/1.73m2 with >30% reduction from baseline using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation or the decision to stop TDF for reported TDF-nephrotoxicity. Predictors of S-Cr monitoring rates were assessed by Poisson regression and risk factors for developing renal dysfunction were assessed by Cox regression.

    RESULTS: Among 2,425 patients who received TDF, S-Cr monitoring rates increased from 1.01 to 1.84 per person per year after starting TDF (incidence rate ratio 1.68, 95%CI 1.62-1.74, p <0.001). Renal dysfunction on TDF occurred in 103 patients over 5,368 person-years of TDF use (4.2%; incidence 1.75 per 100 person-years). Risk factors for developing renal dysfunction included older age (>50 vs. ≤30, hazard ratio [HR] 5.39, 95%CI 2.52-11.50, p <0.001; and using PI-based regimen (HR 1.93, 95%CI 1.22-3.07, p = 0.005). Having an eGFR prior to TDF (pre-TDF eGFR) of ≥60 ml/min/1.73m2 showed a protective effect (HR 0.38, 95%CI, 0.17-0.85, p = 0.018).

    CONCLUSIONS: Renal dysfunction on commencing TDF use was not common, however, older age, lower baseline eGFR and PI-based ART were associated with higher risk of renal dysfunction during TDF use in adult HIV-infected individuals in the Asia-Pacific region.

  6. Jiamsakul A, Polizzotto M, Wen-Wei Ku S, Tanuma J, Hui E, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2019 Mar 01;80(3):301-307.
    PMID: 30531303 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001918
    BACKGROUND: Hematological malignancies have continued to be highly prevalent among people living with HIV (PLHIV). This study assessed the occurrence of, risk factors for, and outcomes of hematological and nonhematological malignancies in PLHIV in Asia.

    METHODS: Incidence of malignancy after cohort enrollment was evaluated. Factors associated with development of hematological and nonhematological malignancy were analyzed using competing risk regression and survival time using Kaplan-Meier.

    RESULTS: Of 7455 patients, 107 patients (1%) developed a malignancy: 34 (0.5%) hematological [0.08 per 100 person-years (/100PY)] and 73 (1%) nonhematological (0.17/100PY). Of the hematological malignancies, non-Hodgkin lymphoma was predominant (n = 26, 76%): immunoblastic (n = 6, 18%), Burkitt (n = 5, 15%), diffuse large B-cell (n = 5, 15%), and unspecified (n = 10, 30%). Others include central nervous system lymphoma (n = 7, 21%) and myelodysplastic syndrome (n = 1, 3%). Nonhematological malignancies were mostly Kaposi sarcoma (n = 12, 16%) and cervical cancer (n = 10, 14%). Risk factors for hematological malignancy included age >50 vs. ≤30 years [subhazard ratio (SHR) = 6.48, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.79 to 23.43] and being from a high-income vs. a lower-middle-income country (SHR = 3.97, 95% CI: 1.45 to 10.84). Risk was reduced with CD4 351-500 cells/µL (SHR = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.05 to 0.74) and CD4 >500 cells/µL (SHR = 0.14, 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.78), compared to CD4 ≤200 cells/µL. Similar risk factors were seen for nonhematological malignancy, with prior AIDS diagnosis showing a weak association. Patients diagnosed with a hematological malignancy had shorter survival time compared to patients diagnosed with a nonhematological malignancy.

    CONCLUSIONS: Nonhematological malignancies were common but non-Hodgkin lymphoma was more predominant in our cohort. PLHIV from high-income countries were more likely to be diagnosed, indicating a potential underdiagnosis of cancer in low-income settings.

  7. Pasayan MKU, S Mationg ML, Boettiger D, Lam W, Zhang F, Ku SW, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2019 Apr 01;80(4):436-443.
    PMID: 30550488 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001933
    BACKGROUND: Mycobacterium avium complex prophylaxis is recommended for patients with advanced HIV infection. With the decrease in incidence of disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex infection and the availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART), the benefits of macrolide prophylaxis were investigated. This study examined the impact of macrolide prophylaxis on AIDS-defining conditions and HIV-associated mortality in a cohort of HIV-infected patients on ART.

    METHODS: Patients from TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (September 2015 data transfer) aged 18 years and older with a CD4 count <50 cells/mm at ART initiation were included. The effect of macrolide prophylaxis on HIV-associated mortality or AIDS-defining conditions (as a combined outcome) and HIV-associated mortality alone were evaluated using competing risk regression. Sensitivity analysis was conducted in patients with a CD4 <100 cells/mm at ART initiation.

    RESULTS: Of 1345 eligible patients, 10.6% received macrolide prophylaxis. The rate of the combined outcome was 7.35 [95% confidence interval (CI): 6.04 to 8.95] per 100 patient-years, whereas the rate of HIV-associated mortality was 3.14 (95% CI: 2.35 to 4.19) per 100 patient-years. Macrolide use was associated with a significantly decreased risk of HIV-associated mortality (hazard ratio 0.10, 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.80, P = 0.031) but not with the combined outcome (hazard ratio 0.86, 95% CI: 0.32 to 2.229, P = 0.764). Sensitivity analyses showed consistent results among patients with a CD4 <100 cells/mm at ART initiation.

    CONCLUSIONS: Macrolide prophylaxis is associated with improved survival among Asian HIV-infected patients with low CD4 cell counts and on ART. This study suggests the increased usage and coverage of macrolide prophylaxis among people living with HIV in Asia.

  8. Han WM, Jiamsakul A, Kiertiburanakul S, Ng OT, Sim BL, Sun LP, et al.
    J Int AIDS Soc, 2019 Jan;22(1):e25236.
    PMID: 30697944 DOI: 10.1002/jia2.25236
    INTRODUCTION: Comorbidities including diabetes mellitus (DM) among people living with HIV (PLHIV) are of increasing clinical concerns in combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) era. We aimed to determine the incidence and risk factors of new-onset DM among PLHIV in Asian settings.

    METHODS: PLHIV from a regional observational cohort without DM prior to antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation were included in the analysis. DM was defined as having a fasting blood glucose ≥126 mg/dL, glycated haemoglobin ≥6.5%, a two-hour plasma glucose ≥200 mg/dL, or a random plasma glucose ≥200 mg/dL. A Cox regression model, stratified by site, was used to identify risk factors associated with DM.

    RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Of the 1927 participants included, 127 were diagnosed with DM after ART initiation. Median follow-up time from ART initiation to DM diagnosis was 5.9 years (interquartile range (IQR): 2.8 to 8.9 years). The crude incidence rate of DM was 1.08 per 100 person-years (100 PYS), 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.9 to 1.3). In the multivariate analysis, later years of follow-up (2011 to 2013: HR = 2.34, 95% CI 1.14 to 4.79, p = 0.02; and 2014 to 2017: HR = 7.20, 95% CI 3.27 to 15.87, p 50 years: HR = 4.19, 95% CI 2.12 to 8.28, p 30 kg/m2 (HR = 4.3, 95% CI 1.53 to 12.09, p = 0.006) compared to BMI <18.5 kg/m2 , and high blood pressure (HR = 2.05, 95% CI 1.16 to 3.63, p = 0.013) compared to those without high blood pressure, were associated with developing DM. The hazard was reduced for females (HR = 0.47, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.80, p = 0.006).

    CONCLUSIONS: Type 2 DM in HIV-infected Asians was associated with later years of follow-up, high blood pressure, obesity and older age. This highlights the importance of monitoring and routine screening for non-communicable diseases including DM as PLHIV age.

  9. Ahn MY, Jiamsakul A, Khusuwan S, Khol V, Pham TT, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    J Int AIDS Soc, 2019 Feb;22(2):e25228.
    PMID: 30803162 DOI: 10.1002/jia2.25228
    INTRODUCTION: Multiple comorbidities among HIV-positive individuals may increase the potential for polypharmacy causing drug-to-drug interactions and older individuals with comorbidities, particularly those with cognitive impairment, may have difficulty in adhering to complex medications. However, the effects of age-associated comorbidities on the treatment outcomes of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) are not well known. In this study, we investigated the effects of age-associated comorbidities on therapeutic outcomes of cART in HIV-positive adults in Asian countries.

    METHODS: Patients enrolled in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database cohort and on cART for more than six months were analysed. Comorbidities included hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia and impaired renal function. Treatment outcomes of patients ≥50 years of age with comorbidities were compared with those <50 years and those ≥50 years without comorbidities. We analysed 5411 patients with virological failure and 5621 with immunologic failure. Our failure outcomes were defined to be in-line with the World Health Organization 2016 guidelines. Cox regression analysis was used to analyse time to first virological and immunological failure.

    RESULTS: The incidence of virologic failure was 7.72/100 person-years. Virological failure was less likely in patients with better adherence and higher CD4 count at cART initiation. Those acquiring HIV through intravenous drug use were more likely to have virological failure compared to those infected through heterosexual contact. On univariate analysis, patients aged <50 years without comorbidities were more likely to experience virological failure than those aged ≥50 years with comorbidities (hazard ratio 1.75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.31 to 2.33, p 

  10. Ku SW, Jiamsakul A, Joshi K, Pasayan MKU, Widhani A, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    J Int AIDS Soc, 2019 Mar;22(3):e25264.
    PMID: 30924281 DOI: 10.1002/jia2.25264
    INTRODUCTION: Cotrimoxazole (CTX) is recommended as prophylaxis against Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, malaria and other serious bacterial infections in HIV-infected patients. Despite its in vitro activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the effects of CTX preventive therapy on tuberculosis (TB) remain unclear.

    METHODS: Adults living with HIV enrolled in a regional observational cohort in Asia who had initiated combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) were included in the analysis. Factors associated with new TB diagnoses after cohort entry and survival after cART initiation were analysed using Cox regression, stratified by site.

    RESULTS: A total of 7355 patients from 12 countries enrolled into the cohort between 2003 and 2016 were included in the study. There were 368 reported cases of TB after cohort entry with an incidence rate of 0.99 per 100 person-years (/100 pys). Multivariate analyses adjusted for viral load (VL), CD4 count, body mass index (BMI) and cART duration showed that CTX reduced the hazard for new TB infection by 28% (HR 0.72, 95% CI l 0.56, 0.93). Mortality after cART initiation was 0.85/100 pys, with a median follow-up time of 4.63 years. Predictors of survival included age, female sex, hepatitis C co-infection, TB diagnosis, HIV VL, CD4 count and BMI.

    CONCLUSIONS: CTX was associated with a reduction in the hazard for new TB infection but did not impact survival in our Asian cohort. The potential preventive effect of CTX against TB during periods of severe immunosuppression should be further explored.

  11. Bijker R, Kumarasamy N, Kiertiburanakul S, Pujari S, Lam W, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    PMID: 30833516 DOI: 10.3851/IMP3298
    BACKGROUND: We aimed to project the 10-year future incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and model several intervention scenarios based on a multi-site Asian HIV-positive cohort.

    METHODS: Analyses were based on patients recruited to the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD), consisting of 21 sites in 12 countries. Patients on triple antiretroviral therapy (ART) were included if they were alive, without previous CVD, and had data on CVD risk factors. Annual new CVD events for 2019-2028 were estimated with the D:A:D equation, accounting for age- and sex-adjusted mortality. Modelled intervention scenarios were treatment of high total cholesterol, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) or high blood pressure, abacavir or lopinavir substitution, and smoking cessation.

    RESULTS: Of 3,703 included patients, 69% were male, median age was 46 (IQR 40-53) years and median time since ART initiation was 9.8 years (IQR 7.5-14.1). Cohort incidence rates of CVD were projected to increase from 730 per 100,000 person-years (pys) in 2019 to 1,432 per 100,000 pys in 2028. In the modelled intervention scenarios, most events can be avoided by smoking cessation, abacavir substitution, lopinavir substitution, decreasing total cholesterol, treating high blood pressure and increasing HDL.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our projections suggest a doubling of CVD incidence rates in Asian HIV-positive adults in our cohort. An increase in CVD can be expected in any ageing population, however, according to our models, this can be close to averted by interventions. Thus, there is an urgent need for risk screening and integration of HIV and CVD programmes to reduce the future CVD burden.

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