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  1. Kawana A, Toyota E, Kobayashi N, Kudo K, Genka I, Aoki M, et al.
    Kansenshogaku Zasshi, 1998 Mar;72(3):238-44.
    PMID: 9585697
    The prevalence of mycobacterial infection in AIDS patients has increased in Japan. This report describes details of the clinical and radiological features of eight AIDS patients with mycobacterial disease (6 with M. tuberculosis infection and 2 with M. kansasii infection) in our hospital during the period from October 1995 through February 1997. Six of the 8 were men, and two were women. The mean age was 36.5 years. Six were Japanese, one was from Myanmar, and one was Malaysian. The median CD4 positive T lymphocyte counts (CD4 count) at the time of diagnosis of the M. tuberculosis was 75.5 (range 14-569/microliter, and the M. kansasii was 21.5 (range 19-24)/microliter. Clinical findings and symptoms of all patients were non-specific, but almost all patients had a cough and fever. In the radiographic findings, the patients of the M. tuberculosis group presented multiple hilar and mediastinal lymphadenopathy, miliary shadow, and obstructive pneumonia. Both M. kansasii patients showed a multiple infiltration shadow. There were no drug resistant strains in M. tuberculosis except on isolate with moderate resistant. to Streptomycin. These observations suggest that AIDS-associated mycobacterial disease shows atypical clinical and radiological features in some cases, especially in advanced stages of AIDS. Therefore, we need to recognize the characteristics of the clinical and radiological features of the patients with mycobacterial diseases and AIDS.
  2. Jagdagsuren D, Hayashida T, Takano M, Gombo E, Zayasaikhan S, Kanayama N, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(12):e0189605.
    PMID: 29244859 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189605
    OBJECTIVE: Our previous 2005-2009 molecular epidemiological study in Mongolia identified a hot spot of HIV-1 transmission in men who have sex with men (MSM). To control the infection, we collaborated with NGOs to promote safer sex and HIV testing since mid-2010. In this study, we carried out the second molecular epidemiological survey between 2010 and 2016 to determine the status of HIV-1 infection in Mongolia.

    METHODS: The study included 143 new cases of HIV-1 infection. Viral RNA was extracted from stocked plasma samples and sequenced for the pol and the env regions using the Sanger method. Near-full length sequencing using MiSeq was performed in 3 patients who were suspected to be infected with recombinant HIV-1. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the neighbor-joining method and Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method.

    RESULTS: MSM was the main transmission route in the previous and current studies. However, heterosexual route showed a significant increase in recent years. Phylogenetic analysis documented three taxa; Mongolian B, Korean B, and CRF51_01B, though the former two were also observed in the previous study. CRF51_01B, which originated from Singapore and Malaysia, was confirmed by near-full length sequencing. Although these strains were mainly detected in MSM, they were also found in increasing numbers of heterosexual males and females. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis estimated transmission of CRF51_01B into Mongolia around early 2000s. An extended Bayesian skyline plot showed a rapid increase in the effective population size of Mongolian B cluster around 2004 and that of CRF51_01B cluster around 2011.

    CONCLUSIONS: HIV-1 infection might expand to the general population in Mongolia. Our study documented a new cluster of HIV-1 transmission, enhancing our understanding of the epidemiological status of HIV-1 in Mongolia.

  3. Oyomopito RA, Li PC, Sungkanuparph S, Phanuphak P, Tee KK, Sirisanthana T, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2013 Mar 1;62(3):293-300.
    PMID: 23138836 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31827a2e8f
    HIV-1 group M viruses diverge 25%-35% in envelope, important for viral attachment during infection, and 10%-15% in the pol region, under selection pressure from common antiretrovirals. In Asia, subtypes B and CRF01_AE are common genotypes. Our objectives were to determine whether clinical, immunological, or virological treatment responses differed by genotype in treatment-naive patients initiating first-line therapy.
  4. Do TC, Boettiger D, Law M, Pujari S, Zhang F, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    HIV Med., 2016 08;17(7):542-9.
    PMID: 27430354 DOI: 10.1111/hiv.12358
    OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and characteristics associated with current smoking in an Asian HIV-positive cohort, to calculate the predictive risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD) and myocardial infarction (MI), and to identify the impact that simulated interventions may have.

    METHODS: Logistic regression analysis was used to distinguish associated current smoking characteristics. Five-year predictive risks of CVD, CHD and MI and the impact of simulated interventions were calculated utilizing the Data Collection on Adverse Effects of Anti-HIV Drugs Study (D:A:D) algorithm.

    RESULTS: Smoking status data were collected from 4274 participants and 1496 of these had sufficient data for simulated intervention calculations. Current smoking prevalence in these two groups was similar (23.2% vs. 19.9%, respectively). Characteristics associated with current smoking included age > 50 years compared with 30-39 years [odds ratio (OR) 0.65; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.51-0.83], HIV exposure through injecting drug use compared with heterosexual exposure (OR 3.03; 95% CI 2.25-4.07), and receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) at study sites in Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan and Vietnam in comparison to Thailand (all OR > 2). Women were less likely to smoke than men (OR 0.11; 95% CI 0.08-0.14). In simulated interventions, smoking cessation demonstrated the greatest impact in reducing CVD and CHD risk and closely approximated the impact of switching from abacavir to an alternate antiretroviral in the reduction of 5-year MI risk.

    CONCLUSIONS: Multiple interventions could reduce CVD, CHD and MI risk in Asian HIV-positive patients, with smoking cessation potentially being the most influential.

  5. Jeong SJ, Italiano C, Chaiwarith R, Ng OT, Vanar S, Jiamsakul A, et al.
    AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses, 2016 Mar;32(3):255-61.
    PMID: 26414065 DOI: 10.1089/AID.2015.0058
    Many HIV-infected individuals do not enter health care until late in the infection course. Despite encouraging earlier testing, this situation has continued for several years. We investigated the prevalence of late presenters and factors associated with late presentation among HIV-infected patients in an Asian regional cohort. This cohort study included HIV-infected patients with their first positive HIV test during 2003-2012 and CD4 count and clinical status data within 3 months of that test. Factors associated with late presentation into care (CD4 count <200 cells/μl or an AIDS-defining event within ±3 months of first positive HIV test) were analyzed in a random effects logistic regression model. Among 3,744 patients, 2,681 (72%) were late presenters. In the multivariable model, older patients were more likely to be late presenters than younger (≤30 years) patients [31-40, 41-50, and ≥51 years: odds ratio (OR) = 1.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.31-1.88; OR = 2.01, 95% CI 1.58-2.56; and OR = 1.69, 95% CI 1.23-2.31, respectively; all p ≤ 0.001]. Injecting drug users (IDU) were more likely (OR = 2.15, 95% CI 1.42-3.27, p < 0.001) and those with homosexual HIV exposure were less likely (OR = 0.45, 95% CI 0.35-0.58, p < 0.001) to be late presenters compared to those with heterosexual HIV exposure. Females were less likely to be late presenters (OR = 0.44, 95% CI 0.36-0.53, p < 0.001). The year of first positive HIV test was not associated with late presentation. Efforts to reduce the patients who first seek HIV care at the late stage are needed. The identified risk factors associated with late presentation should be utilized in formulating targeted public health intervention to improve earlier entry into HIV care.
  6. Ahn JY, Boettiger D, Law M, Kumarasamy N, Yunihastuti E, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2015 Jul 1;69(3):e85-92.
    PMID: 25850606 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000634
    Current treatment guidelines for HIV infection recommend routine CD4 lymphocyte (CD4) count monitoring in patients with viral suppression. This may have a limited impact on influencing care as clinically meaningful CD4 decline rarely occurs during viral suppression.
  7. Jiamsakul A, Kerr SJ, Ng OT, Lee MP, Chaiwarith R, Yunihastuti E, et al.
    Trop. Med. Int. Health, 2016 May;21(5):662-74.
    PMID: 26950901 DOI: 10.1111/tmi.12690
    OBJECTIVES: Treatment interruptions (TIs) of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) are known to lead to unfavourable treatment outcomes but do still occur in resource-limited settings. We investigated the effects of TI associated with adverse events (AEs) and non-AE-related reasons, including their durations, on treatment failure after cART resumption in HIV-infected individuals in Asia.

    METHODS: Patients initiating cART between 2006 and 2013 were included. TI was defined as stopping cART for >1 day. Treatment failure was defined as confirmed virological, immunological or clinical failure. Time to treatment failure during cART was analysed using Cox regression, not including periods off treatment. Covariables with P < 0.10 in univariable analyses were included in multivariable analyses, where P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

    RESULTS: Of 4549 patients from 13 countries in Asia, 3176 (69.8%) were male and the median age was 34 years. A total of 111 (2.4%) had TIs due to AEs and 135 (3.0%) had TIs for other reasons. Median interruption times were 22 days for AE and 148 days for non-AE TIs. In multivariable analyses, interruptions >30 days were associated with failure (31-180 days HR = 2.66, 95%CI (1.70-4.16); 181-365 days HR = 6.22, 95%CI (3.26-11.86); and >365 days HR = 9.10, 95% CI (4.27-19.38), all P < 0.001, compared to 0-14 days). Reasons for previous TI were not statistically significant (P = 0.158).

    CONCLUSIONS: Duration of interruptions of more than 30 days was the key factor associated with large increases in subsequent risk of treatment failure. If TI is unavoidable, its duration should be minimised to reduce the risk of failure after treatment resumption.

  8. 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.

  9. Boettiger DC, Kerr S, Ditangco R, Merati TP, Pham TT, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2014;9(9):e106525.
    PMID: 25184314 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106525
    Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has evolved rapidly since its beginnings. This analysis describes trends in first-line ART use in Asia and their impact on treatment outcomes.
  10. Ku NS, Jiamsakul A, Ng OT, Yunihastuti E, Cuong do D, Lee MP, et al.
    Medicine (Baltimore), 2016 Aug;95(32):e4570.
    PMID: 27512885 DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000004570
    Elevated CD8 counts with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) initiation may be an early warning indicator for future treatment failure. Thus, we investigated whether elevated CD8 counts were associated with virological failure (VF) in the first 4 years of cART in Asian HIV-infected patients in a multicenter regional cohort.We included patients from the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD). Patients were included in the analysis if they started cART between 1996 and 2013 with at least one CD8 measurement within 6 months prior to cART initiation and at least one CD8 and viral load (VL) measurement beyond 6 months after starting cART. We defined VF as VL ≥400 copies/mL after 6 months on cART. Elevated CD8 was defined as CD8 ≥1200 cells/μL. Time to VF was modeled using Cox regression analysis, stratified by site.In total, 2475 patients from 19 sites were included in this analysis, of whom 665 (27%) experienced VF in the first 4 years of cART. The overall rate of VF was 12.95 per 100 person-years. In the multivariate model, the most recent elevated CD8 was significantly associated with a greater hazard of VF (HR = 1.35, 95% CI 1.14-1.61; P = 0.001). However, the sensitivity analysis showed that time-lagged CD8 measured at least 6 months prior to our virological endpoint was not statistically significant (P = 0.420).This study indicates that the relationship between the most recent CD8 count and VF was possibly due to the CD8 cells reacting to the increase in VL rather than causing the VL increase itself. However, CD8 levels may be a useful indicator for VF in HIV-infected patients after starting cART.
  11. Jiamsakul A, Kerr SJ, Kiertiburanakul S, Azwa I, Zhang F, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    AIDS Care, 2018 12;30(12):1560-1566.
    PMID: 30021450 DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2018.1499859
    Missed clinic visits can lead to poorer treatment outcomes in HIV-infected patients. Suboptimal antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence has been linked to subsequent missed visits. Knowing the determinants of missed visits in Asian patients will allow for appropriate counselling and intervention strategies to ensure continuous engagement in care. A missed visit was defined as having no assessments within six months. Repeated measures logistic regression was used to analyse factors associated with missed visits. A total of 7100 patients were included from 12 countries in Asia with 2676 (37.7%) having at least one missed visit. Patients with early suboptimal self-reported adherence <95% were more likely to have a missed visit compared to those with adherence ≥95% (OR = 2.55, 95% CI(1.81-3.61)). Other factors associated with having a missed visit were homosexual (OR = 1.45, 95%CI(1.27-1.66)) and other modes of HIV exposure (OR = 1.48, 95%CI(1.27-1.74)) compared to heterosexual exposure; using PI-based (OR = 1.33, 95%CI(1.15-1.53) and other ART combinations (OR = 1.79, 95%CI(1.39-2.32)) compared to NRTI+NNRTI combinations; and being hepatitis C co-infected (OR = 1.27, 95%CI(1.06-1.52)). Patients aged >30 years (31-40 years OR = 0.81, 95%CI(0.73-0.89); 41-50 years OR = 0.73, 95%CI(0.64-0.83); and >50 years OR = 0.77, 95%CI(0.64-0.93)); female sex (OR = 0.81, 95%CI(0.72-0.90)); and being from upper middle (OR = 0.78, 95%CI(0.70-0.80)) or high-income countries (OR = 0.42, 95%CI(0.35-0.51)), were less likely to have missed visits. Almost 40% of our patients had a missed clinic visit. Early ART adherence was an indicator of subsequent clinic visits. Intensive counselling and adherence support should be provided at ART initiation in order to optimise long-term clinic attendance and maximise treatment outcomes.
  12. Kiertiburanakul S, Boettiger D, Ng OT, Van Kinh N, Merati TP, Avihingsanon A, et al.
    AIDS Res Ther, 2017;14:27.
    PMID: 28484509 DOI: 10.1186/s12981-017-0151-1
    BACKGROUND: Abacavir and rilpivirine are alternative antiretroviral drugs for treatment-naïve HIV-infected patients. However, both drugs are only recommended for the patients who have pre-treatment HIV RNA <100,000 copies/mL. In resource-limited settings, pre-treatment HIV RNA is not routinely performed and not widely available. The aims of this study are to determine factors associated with pre-treatment HIV RNA <100,000 copies/mL and to construct a model to predict this outcome.

    METHODS: HIV-infected adults enrolled in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database were eligible if they had an HIV RNA measurement documented at the time of ART initiation. The dataset was randomly split into a derivation data set (75% of patients) and a validation data set (25%). Factors associated with pre-treatment HIV RNA <100,000 copies/mL were evaluated by logistic regression adjusted for study site. A prediction model and prediction scores were created.

    RESULTS: A total of 2592 patients were enrolled for the analysis. Median [interquartile range (IQR)] age was 35.8 (29.9-42.5) years; CD4 count was 147 (50-248) cells/mm3; and pre-treatment HIV RNA was 100,000 (34,045-301,075) copies/mL. Factors associated with pre-treatment HIV RNA <100,000 copies/mL were age <30 years [OR 1.40 vs. 41-50 years; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10-1.80, p = 0.01], body mass index >30 kg/m2(OR 2.4 vs. <18.5 kg/m2; 95% CI 1.1-5.1, p = 0.02), anemia (OR 1.70; 95% CI 1.40-2.10, p 350 cells/mm3(OR 3.9 vs. <100 cells/mm3; 95% CI 2.0-4.1, p 2000 cells/mm3(OR 1.7 vs. <1000 cells/mm3; 95% CI 1.3-2.3, p 25 yielded the sensitivity of 46.7%, specificity of 79.1%, positive predictive value of 67.7%, and negative predictive value of 61.2% for prediction of pre-treatment HIV RNA <100,000 copies/mL among derivation patients.

    CONCLUSION: A model prediction for pre-treatment HIV RNA <100,000 copies/mL produced an area under the ROC curve of 0.70. A larger sample size for prediction model development as well as for model validation is warranted.

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