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  1. Kosalaraksa P, Boettiger DC, Bunupuradah T, Hansudewechakul R, Saramony S, Do VC, et al.
    J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc, 2017 Jun 01;6(2):173-177.
    PMID: 27295973 DOI: 10.1093/jpids/piw031
    Background.: Regular CD4 count testing is often used to monitor antiretroviral therapy efficacy. However, this practice may be redundant in children with a suppressed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral load.

    Methods: Study end points were as follows: (1) a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 followed by a CD4 count ≥200 cells/mm3 (transient CD4 <200); (2) CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 confirmed within 6 months (confirmed CD4 <200); and (3) a new or recurrent World Health Organization (WHO) stage 3 or 4 illness (clinical failure). Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression were used to evaluate rates and predictors of transient CD4 <200, confirmed CD4 <200, and clinical failure among virally suppressed children aged 5-15 years who were enrolled in the TREAT Asia Pediatric HIV Observational Database.

    Results: Data from 967 children were included in the analysis. At the time of confirmed viral suppression, median age was 10.2 years, 50.4% of children were female, and 95.4% were perinatally infected with HIV. Median CD4 cell count was 837 cells/mm3, and 54.8% of children were classified as having WHO stage 3 or 4 disease. In total, 18 transient CD4 <200 events, 2 confirmed CD4 <200 events, and10 clinical failures occurred at rates of 0.73 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.46-1.16), 0.08 (95% CI, 0.02-0.32), and 0.40 (95% CI, 0.22-0.75) events per 100 patient-years, respectively. CD4 <500 cells/mm3 at the time of viral suppression confirmation was associated with higher rates of both CD4 outcomes.

    Conclusions: Regular CD4 testing may be unnecessary for virally suppressed children aged 5-15 years with CD4 ≥500 cells/mm3.

  2. Boettiger DC, Sudjaritruk T, Nallusamy R, Lumbiganon P, Rungmaitree S, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    J Adolesc Health, 2016 Apr;58(4):451-459.
    PMID: 26803201 DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.11.006
    PURPOSE: About a third of untreated, perinatally HIV-infected children reach adolescence. We evaluated the durability and effectiveness of non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) in this population.

    METHODS: Data from perinatally HIV-infected, antiretroviral-naïve patients initiated on NNRTI-based ART aged 10-19 years who had ≥6 months of follow-up were analyzed. Competing risk regression was used to assess predictors of NNRTI substitution and clinical failure (World Health Organization Stage 3/4 event or death). Viral suppression was defined as a viral load <400 copies/mL.

    RESULTS: Data from 534 adolescents met our inclusion criteria (56.2% female; median age at treatment initiation 11.8 years). After 5 years of treatment, median height-for-age z score increased from -2.3 to -1.6, and median CD4+ cell count increased from 131 to 580 cells/mm(3). The proportion of patients with viral suppression after 6 months was 87.6% and remained >80% up to 5 years of follow-up. NNRTI substitution and clinical failure occurred at rates of 4.9 and 1.4 events per 100 patient-years, respectively. Not using cotrimoxazole prophylaxis at ART initiation was associated with NNRTI substitution (hazard ratio [HR], 1.5 vs. using; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0-2.2; p = .05). Baseline CD4+ count ≤200 cells/mm(3) (HR, 3.3 vs. >200; 95% CI = 1.2-8.9; p = .02) and not using cotrimoxazole prophylaxis at ART initiation (HR, 2.1 vs. using; 95% CI = 1.0-4.6; p = .05) were both associated with clinical failure.

    CONCLUSIONS: Despite late ART initiation, adolescents achieved good rates of catch-up growth, CD4+ count recovery, and virological suppression. Earlier ART initiation and routine cotrimoxazole prophylaxis in this population may help to reduce current rates of NNRTI substitution and clinical failure.

  3. Aurpibul L, Bunupuradah T, Sophan S, Boettiger D, Wati DK, Nguyen LV, et al.
    Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J., 2015 Jun;34(6):e153-8.
    PMID: 25970117 DOI: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000693
    We determined the prevalence and incidence of liver dysfunction before and after initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in the TREAT Asia Pediatric HIV Observational Database.
  4. Wittawatmongkol O, Mohamed TJ, Le TP, Ung V, Maleesatharn A, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    J Virus Erad, 2015;1(3):192-195.
    PMID: 27076917
    After a median of 115.9 months of follow-up, 90% of 206 HIV-1-infected children in a cohort in Asia who initiated antiretroviral treatment (ART) with mono or dual nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were alive and had comparable immunological and virological outcomes as compared to the 1,915 children who had started with highly active antiretroviral regimens. However, these children had higher rates of treatment-related adverse events, opportunistic infections, and cumulative mortality, and were more likely to require protease inhibitor-containing regimens or other more novel ART-based regimens.
  5. Chokephaibulkit K, Kariminia A, Oberdorfer P, Nallusamy R, Bunupuradah T, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J., 2014 Mar;33(3):291-4.
    PMID: 23942457 DOI: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3182a18223
    More perinatally HIV-infected children in Asia are reaching adolescence.
  6. Jamal Mohamed T, Teeraananchai S, Kerr S, Phongsamart W, Nik Yusoff NK, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses, 2017 03;33(3):230-233.
    PMID: 27758114 DOI: 10.1089/AID.2016.0039
    We sought to assess the impact of routine HIV viral load (VL) monitoring on the incidence of switching from a first- to a second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen, and to describe factors associated with switch. Data from a regional cohort of 16 clinical programs in six Asian countries were analyzed. Second-line switch was defined as a change from a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) to a protease inhibitor (PI) or vice versa, and ≥1 of the following: (1) reported treatment failure by local criteria, (2) switch of ≥1 additional drug, or (3) a preceding HIV VL ≥1,000 copies/ml. Routine VL was having ≥1 test after ≥24 weeks of ART and ≥1 time/year thereafter. Factors associated with time to switch were evaluated with death and loss to follow-up as competing risks. A total of 2,398 children were included in this analysis. At ART initiation, the median (interquartile range) age was 6.0 (3.3-8.9) years, more than half had WHO stage 3 or 4, the median CD4 was 189 (47-456) cells/mm3, 93% were on NNRTI-based first-line ART, and 34% had routine VL monitoring. Treatment switch occurred in 17.6% of patients, at a median of 35 (22-49) months. After adjusting for country, sex, first ART regimen, and CD4% at ART initiation, children with routine VL monitoring were 1.46 (95% confidence interval 1.11-1.93) times more likely to be switched (p = .007). Scale-up of VL testing will lead to earlier identification of treatment failure, and it can help guide earlier switches to prevent resistance.
  7. Lumbiganon P, Kosalaraksa P, Bunupuradah T, Boettiger D, Saphonn V, Truong KH, et al.
    Asian Biomed (Res Rev News), 2016 Jun;10(3):229-234.
    PMID: 28239430
    BACKGROUND: Severe anemia is common among children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The choice of antiretroviral (ART) regimen needs careful consideration. No information is available regarding the initial ART regimens used in the Asia-Pacific region and the rate of switch of ART regimens in HIV-infected children with severe anemia.

    OBJECTIVES: To study the initial ART regimens and the rate of switch of ART regimens used during the first 36 months in HIV-infected children with severe anemia and to evaluate their clinical and laboratory outcomes.

    METHODS: We analyzed regional cohort data of 130 Asian children aged <18 years with baseline severe anemia (hemoglobin <7.5 g/dl) who started antiretroviral therapy (ART) between January 2003 and September 2013.

    RESULTS: At ART initiation, median age was 3.5 years old (interquartile range (IQR) 1.7 to 6.3) and median hemoglobin was 6.7 g/dL (IQR 5.9-7.1, range 3.0-7.4). Initial ART regimens included stavudine (85.4%), zidovudine (13.8%), and abacavir (0.8%). In 81 children with available hemoglobin data after 6 months of ART, 90% recovered from severe anemia with a median hemoglobin of 10.7 g/dL (IQR 9.6-11.7, range 4.4-13.5). Those starting AZT-based ART had a mortality rate of 10.8 (95% confidence interval (CI) 4.8-23.9) per 100 patient-years compared to 2.7 (95% CI 1.6-4.6) per 100 patient-years among those who started d4T-based ART.

    CONCLUSIONS: With the phase-out of stavudine, age-appropriate non-zidovudine options are needed for younger Asian children with severe anemia.

  8. Sudjaritruk T, Aurpibul L, Ly PS, Le TPK, Bunupuradah T, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    J Adolesc Health, 2017 Jul;61(1):91-98.
    PMID: 28343759 DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.01.014
    PURPOSE: To assess the incidence and predictors of postsuppression virologic rebound (VR) among adolescents on stable combination antiretroviral therapy in Asia.

    METHODS: Perinatally HIV-infected Asian adolescents (10-19 years) with documented virologic suppression (two consecutive viral loads [VLs] <400 copies/mL ≥6 months apart) were included. Baseline was the date of the first VL <400 copies/mL at age ≥10 years or the 10th birthday for those with prior suppression. Cox proportional hazards models were used to identify predictors of postsuppression VR (VL >1,000 copies/mL).

    RESULTS: Of 1,379 eligible adolescents, 47% were males. At baseline, 22% were receiving protease inhibitor-containing regimens; median CD4 cell count (interquartile range [IQR]) was 685 (448-937) cells/mm3; 2% had preadolescent virologic failure (VF) before subsequent suppression. During adolescence, 180 individuals (13%) experienced postsuppression VR at a rate of 3.4 (95% confidence interval: 2.9-3.9) per 100 person-years, which was consistent over time. Median time to VR during adolescence (IQR) was 3.3 (2.1-4.8) years. Wasting (weight-for-age z-score

  9. Kariminia A, Durier N, Jourdain G, Saghayam S, Do CV, Nguyen LV, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2014 Sep 1;67(1):71-6.
    PMID: 24872132 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000227
    To evaluate the value of time-updated weight and height in predicting clinical progression, and immunological and virological failure in children receiving combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).
  10. 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.

  11. Aurpibul L, Kariminia A, Vibol U, Fong MS, Le ON, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J., 2018 08;37(8):788-793.
    PMID: 29846357 DOI: 10.1097/INF.0000000000001901
    BACKGROUND: Hepatitis B (HBV)-HIV coinfection is associated with liver inflammation, which can progress to liver fibrosis/cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We determined HBV seroprevalence in children and adolescents participating in the TREAT Asia Pediatric HIV Observational Database.

    METHODS: A multisite cross-sectional study was conducted in HIV-infected patients currently <25 years old receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) who had HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), or HBV surface antibody (anti-HBs) or HBV core antibody (anti-HBc) tested during 2012-2013. HBV coinfection was defined as having either a positive HBsAg test or being anti-HBc positive and anti-HBs negative, reflective of past HBV infection. HBV seroprotection was defined as having a positive anti-HBs test.

    RESULTS: A total of 3380 patients from 6 countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and India) were included. The current median (interquartile range) age was 11.2 (7.8-15.1) years. Of the 2755 patients (81.5%) with HBsAg testing, 130 (4.7%) were positive. Of 1558 (46%) with anti-HBc testing, 77 (4.9%) were positive. Thirteen of 1037 patients with all 3 tests were anti-HBc positive and HBsAg and anti-HBs negative. One child was positive for anti-HBc and negative for anti-HBs but did not have HBsAg tested. The prevalence of HBV coinfection was 144/2759 (5.2%) (95% confidence interval: 4.4-6.1). Of 1093 patients (32%) with anti-HBs testing, 257 (23.5%; confidence interval: 21.0-26.0) had positive tests representing HBV seroprotection.

    CONCLUSIONS: The estimated prevalence of HBV coinfection in this cohort of Asian HIV-infected children and adolescents on ART was 5.2%. The majority of children and adolescents tested in this cohort (76.5%) did not have protective HBV antibody. The finding supports HBV screening of HIV-infected children and adolescents to guide revaccination, the use of ART with anti-HBV activity and future monitoring.

  12. Bartlett AW, Mohamed TJ, Sudjaritruk T, Kurniati N, Nallusamy R, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J., 2019 Mar;38(3):287-292.
    PMID: 30281549 DOI: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002208
    BACKGROUND: Perinatally HIV-infected adolescents (PHIVA) are exposed to a chronic systemic infection and long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART), leaving them susceptible to morbidities associated with inflammation, immunodeficiency and drug toxicity.

    METHODS: Data collected 2001 to 2016 from PHIVA 10-19 years of age within a regional Asian cohort were analyzed using competing risk time-to-event and Poisson regression analyses to describe the nature and incidence of morbidity events and hospitalizations and identify factors associated with disease-related, treatment-related and overall morbidity. Morbidity was defined according to World Health Organization clinical staging criteria and U.S. National Institutes of Health Division of AIDS criteria.

    RESULTS: A total 3,448 PHIVA contributed 17,778 person-years. Median age at HIV diagnosis was 5.5 years, and ART initiation was 6.9 years. There were 2,562 morbidity events and 307 hospitalizations. Cumulative incidence for any morbidity was 51.7%, and hospitalization was 10.0%. Early adolescence was dominated by disease-related infectious morbidity, with a trend toward noninfectious and treatment-related morbidity in later adolescence. Higher overall morbidity rates were associated with a CD4 count <350 cells/µL, HIV viral load ≥10,000 copies/mL and experiencing prior morbidity at age <10 years. Lower overall morbidity rates were found for those 15-19 years of age compared with 10-14 years and those who initiated ART at age 5-9 years compared with <5 or ≥10 years.

    CONCLUSIONS: Half of our PHIVA cohort experienced a morbidity event, with a trend from disease-related infectious events to treatment-related and noninfectious events as PHIVA age. ART initiation to prevent immune system damage, optimize virologic control and minimize childhood morbidity are key to limiting adolescent morbidity.
  13. Boettiger DC, Muktiarti D, Kurniati N, Truong KH, Saghayam S, Ly PS, et al.
    Clin. Infect. Dis., 2016 Nov 01;63(9):1236-1244.
    PMID: 27470239
    BACKGROUND:  The growth benefits of cotrimoxazole during early antiretroviral therapy (ART) are not well characterized.

    METHODS:  Individuals enrolled in the Therapeutics Research, Education, and AIDS Training in Asia Pediatric HIV Observational Database were included if they started ART at ages 1 month-14 years and had both height and weight measurements available at ART initiation (baseline). Generalized estimating equations were used to identify factors associated with change in height-for-age z-score (HAZ), follow-up HAZ ≥ -2, change in weight-for-age z-score (WAZ), and follow-up WAZ ≥ -2.

    RESULTS:  A total of 3217 children were eligible for analysis. The adjusted mean change in HAZ among cotrimoxazole and non-cotrimoxazole users did not differ significantly over the first 24 months of ART. In children who were stunted (HAZ < -2) at baseline, cotrimoxazole use was not associated with a follow-up HAZ ≥ -2. The adjusted mean change in WAZ among children with a baseline CD4 percentage (CD4%) >25% became significantly different between cotrimoxazole and non-cotrimoxazole users after 6 months of ART and remained significant after 24 months (overall P < .01). Similar changes in WAZ were observed in those with a baseline CD4% between 10% and 24% (overall P < .01). Cotrimoxazole use was not associated with a significant difference in follow-up WAZ in children with a baseline CD4% <10%. In those underweight (WAZ < -2) at baseline, cotrimoxazole use was associated with a follow-up WAZ ≥ -2 (adjusted odds ratio, 1.70 vs not using cotrimoxazole [95% confidence interval, 1.28-2.25], P < .01). This association was driven by children with a baseline CD4% ≥10%.

    CONCLUSIONS:  Cotrimoxazole use is associated with benefits to WAZ but not HAZ during early ART in Asian children.

  14. Huy BV, Teeraananchai S, Oanh LN, Tucker J, Kurniati N, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    J Virus Erad, 2016 Oct 05;2(4):227-231.
    PMID: 27781105
    An analysis of the impact of orphanhood at antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation on HIV outcomes in Asia included 4300 children; 51% were male. At ART initiation, 1805 (42%) were non-orphans (median age: 3 years), 1437 (33%) were single orphans (6 years) and 1058 (25%) were double orphans (7 years). Ten-year post-ART survival was 93.4-95.2% across orphan categories. Clinic transfers were higher among single and double orphans than non-orphans (41% vs 11%, P<0.001). On multivariate analysis, children ≥3 years at ART initiation (hazard ratio 1.58 vs <3 years, 95% confidence interval: 1.11-2.24) were more likely to be lost to follow-up. Although post-ART mortality and retention did not differ by orphan status, orphans were at greater risk of starting ART at older ages, and with more severe immunosuppression and poorer growth.
  15. Bartlett AW, Lumbiganon P, Kurniati N, Sudjaritruk T, Mohamed TJ, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    J Adolesc Health, 2019 Aug 05.
    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.

  16. Mu W, Bartlett AW, Bunupuradah T, Chokephaibulkit K, Kumarasamy N, Ly PS, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2019 Mar 01;80(3):308-315.
    PMID: 30531299 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001921
    BACKGROUND: Virologic failure is a major threat to maintaining effective combination antiretroviral therapy, especially for children in need of lifelong treatment. With efforts to expand access to HIV viral load testing, our understanding of pediatric virologic failure is evolving.

    SETTING: An Asian cohort in 16 pediatric HIV services across 6 countries.

    METHODS: From 2005 to 2014, patients younger than 20 years who achieved virologic suppression and had subsequent viral load testing were included. Early virologic failure was defined as a HIV RNA ≥1000 copies per milliliter within 12 months of virologic suppression, and late virologic as a HIV RNA ≥1000 copies per milliliter after 12 months following virologic suppression. Characteristics at combination antiretroviral therapy initiation and virologic suppression were described, and a competing risk time-to-event analysis was used to determine cumulative incidence of virologic failure and factors at virologic suppression associated with early and late virologic failure.

    RESULTS: Of 1105 included in the analysis, 182 (17.9%) experienced virologic failure. The median age at virologic suppression was 6.9 years, and the median time to virologic failure was 24.6 months after virologic suppression. The incidence rate for a first virologic failure event was 3.3 per 100 person-years. Factors at virologic suppression associated with late virologic failure included older age, mostly rural clinic setting, tuberculosis, protease inhibitor-based regimens, and early virologic failure. No risk factors were identified for early virologic failure.

    CONCLUSIONS: Around 1 in 5 experienced virologic failure in our cohort after achieving virologic suppression. Targeted interventions to manage complex treatment scenarios, including adolescents, tuberculosis coinfection, and those with poor virologic control are required.

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