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  1. Jiamsakul A, Lee MP, Nguyen KV, Merati TP, Cuong DD, Ditangco R, et al.
    Int. J. Tuberc. Lung Dis., 2018 02 01;22(2):179-186.
    PMID: 29506614 DOI: 10.5588/ijtld.17.0348
    SETTING: Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) related opportunistic infection and cause of acquired immune-deficiency syndrome related death. TB often affects those from a low socio-economic background.

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the socio-economic determinants of TB in HIV-infected patients in Asia.

    DESIGN: This was a matched case-control study. HIV-positive, TB-positive cases were matched to HIV-positive, TB-negative controls according to age, sex and CD4 cell count. A socio-economic questionnaire comprising 23 questions, including education level, employment, housing and substance use, was distributed. Socio-economic risk factors for TB were analysed using conditional logistic regression analysis.

    RESULTS: A total of 340 patients (170 matched pairs) were recruited, with 262 (77.1%) matched for all three criteria. Pulmonary TB was the predominant type (n = 115, 67.6%). The main risk factor for TB was not having a university level education (OR 4.45, 95%CI 1.50-13.17, P = 0.007). Burning wood or coal regularly inside the house and living in the same place of origin were weakly associated with TB diagnosis.

    CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that lower socio-economic status is associated with an increased risk of TB in Asia. Integrating clinical and socio-economic factors into HIV treatment may help in the prevention of opportunistic infections and disease progression.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.
  7. 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 

  8. 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.

  9. Joshi K, Boettiger D, Kerr S, Nishijima T, Van Nguyen K, Ly PS, et al.
    Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf, 2018 11;27(11):1209-1216.
    PMID: 30246898 DOI: 10.1002/pds.4657
    PURPOSE: Renal disease is common among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, there is limited information on the incidence and risk factors associated with renal dysfunction among this population in Asia.

    METHODS: We used data from the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database. Patients were included if they started antiretroviral therapy during or after 2003, had a serum creatinine measurement at antiretroviral therapy initiation (baseline), and had at least 2 follow-up creatinine measurements taken ≥3 months apart. Patients with a baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≤60 mL/min/1.73 m2 were excluded. Chronic kidney disease was defined as 2 consecutive eGFR values ≤60 mL/min/1.73 m2 taken ≥3 months apart. Generalized estimating equations were used to identify factors associated with eGFR change. Competing risk regression adjusted for study site, age and sex, and cumulative incidence plots were used to evaluate factors associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

    RESULTS: Of 2547 patients eligible for this analysis, tenofovir was being used by 703 (27.6%) at baseline. Tenofovir use, high baseline eGFR, advanced HIV disease stage, and low nadir CD4 were associated with a decrease in eGFR during follow-up. Chronic kidney disease occurred at a rate of 3.4 per 1000 patient/years. Factors associated with CKD were tenofovir use, old age, low baseline eGFR, low nadir CD4, and protease inhibitor use.

    CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need to enhance renal monitoring and management capacity among at-risk groups in Asia and improve access to less nephrotoxic antiretrovirals.

  10. Jiamsakul A, Polizzotto M, Wen-Wei Ku S, Tanuma J, Hui E, Chaiwarith R, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2019 03 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.

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