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  1. Sudjaritruk T, Teeraananchai S, Kariminia A, Lapphra K, Kumarasamy N, Fong MS, et al.
    J Int AIDS Soc, 2020 Jul;23(7):e25550.
    PMID: 32628816 DOI: 10.1002/jia2.25550
    INTRODUCTION: The clinical relevance of low-level viraemia (LLV) and virological outcomes among children living with HIV (CLHIV) remains controversial. This study aimed to determine the impact of LLV on virological failure (VF) among Asian CLHIV on first-line combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).

    METHODS: CLHIV aged <18 years, who were on first-line cART for ≥12 months, and had virological suppression (two consecutive plasma viral load [pVL] <50 copies/mL) were included. Those who started treatment with mono/dual antiretroviral therapy, had a history of treatment interruption >14 days, or received treatment and care at sites with a pVL lower limit of detection >50 copies/mL were excluded. LLV was defined as a pVL 50 to 1000 copies/mL, and VF as a single pVL >1000 copies/mL. Baseline was the time of the second pVL 

  2. Sudjaritruk T, Boettiger DC, Nguyen LV, Mohamed TJ, Wati DK, Bunupuradah T, et al.
    J Int AIDS Soc, 2019 06;22(6):e25312.
    PMID: 31179641 DOI: 10.1002/jia2.25312
    INTRODUCTION: Recommendations on the optimal frequency of plasma viral load (pVL) monitoring in children living with HIV (CLWH) who are stable on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) are inconsistent. This study aimed to determine the impact of annual versus semi-annual pVL monitoring on treatment outcomes in Asian CLWH.

    METHODS: Data on children with perinatally acquired HIV aged <18 years on first-line, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based cART with viral suppression (two consecutive pVL <400 copies/mL over a six-month period) were included from a regional cohort study; those exposed to prior mono- or dual antiretroviral treatment were excluded. Frequency of pVL monitoring was determined at the site-level based on the median rate of pVL measurement: annual 0.75 to 1.5, and semi-annual >1.5 tests/patient/year. Treatment failure was defined as virologic failure (two consecutive pVL >1000 copies/mL), change of antiretroviral drug class, or death. Baseline was the date of the second consecutive pVL <400 copies/mL. Competing risk regression models were used to identify predictors of treatment failure.

    RESULTS: During January 2008 to March 2015, there were 1220 eligible children from 10 sites that performed at least annual pVL monitoring, 1042 (85%) and 178 (15%) were from sites performing annual (n = 6) and semi-annual pVL monitoring (n = 4) respectively. Pre-cART, 675 children (55%) had World Health Organization clinical stage 3 or 4, the median nadir CD4 percentage was 9%, and the median pVL was 5.2 log10 copies/mL. At baseline, the median age was 9.2 years, 64% were on nevirapine-based regimens, the median cART duration was 1.6 years, and the median CD4 percentage was 26%. Over the follow-up period, 258 (25%) CLWH with annual and 40 (23%) with semi-annual pVL monitoring developed treatment failure, corresponding to incidence rates of 5.4 (95% CI: 4.8 to 6.1) and 4.3 (95% CI: 3.1 to 5.8) per 100 patient-years of follow-up respectively (p = 0.27). In multivariable analyses, the frequency of pVL monitoring was not associated with treatment failure (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.12; 95% CI: 0.80 to 1.59).

    CONCLUSIONS: Annual compared to semi-annual pVL monitoring was not associated with an increased risk of treatment failure in our cohort of virally suppressed children with perinatally acquired HIV on first-line NNRTI-based cART.

  3. Bartlett AW, Sudjaritruk T, Mohamed TJ, Anugulruengkitt S, Kumarasamy N, Phongsamart W, et al.
    Clin Infect Dis, 2020 Jun 26.
    PMID: 32589711 DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciaa872
    BACKGROUND: Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) failure is a major threat to HIV programs, with implications for individual- and population-level outcomes. Adolescents with perinatally-acquired HIV infection (PHIVA) should be a focus for treatment failure given their poorer outcomes compared to children and adults.

    METHODS: Data (2014-2018) from a regional cohort of Asian PHIVA who received at least 6 months of continuous cART were analyzed. Treatment failure was defined according to World Health Organization criteria. Descriptive analyses were used to report treatment failure and subsequent management and evaluate post-failure CD4 count and viral load trends. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses were used to compare the cumulative incidence of death and loss to follow-up (LTFU) by treatment failure status.

    RESULTS: A total 3,196 PHIVA were included in the analysis with a median follow-up period of 3.0 years, of whom 230 (7.2%) had experienced 292 treatment failure events (161 virologic, 128 immunologic, 11 clinical) at a rate of 3.78 per 100 person-years. Of the 292 treatment failure events, 31 (10.6%) had a subsequent cART switch within 6 months, which resulted in better immunologic and virologic outcomes compared to those who did not switch cART. The 5-year cumulative incidence of death and LTFU following treatment failure was 18.5% compared to 10.1% without treatment failure.

    CONCLUSIONS: Improved implementation of virologic monitoring is required to realize the benefits of virologic determination of cART failure. There is a need to address issues related to accessibility to subsequent cART regimens, poor adherence limiting scope to switch regimens, and the role of antiretroviral resistance testing.

  4. Bartlett AW, Mohamed TJ, Sudjaritruk T, Kurniati N, Nallusamy R, Hansudewechakul R, et al.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J, 2019 03;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.

    Matched MeSH terms: Asia/epidemiology
  5. Mu W, Bartlett AW, Bunupuradah T, Chokephaibulkit K, Kumarasamy N, Ly PS, et al.
    J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 2019 03 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.

  6. 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.

    Matched MeSH terms: Asia
  7. Bartlett AW, Lumbiganon P, Jamal Mohamed TA, Lapphra K, Muktiarti D, Du QT, et al.
    J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 2019 12 15;82(5):431-438.
    PMID: 31714422 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002184
    BACKGROUND: Perinatally HIV-infected adolescents (PHIVA) are an expanding population vulnerable to loss to follow-up (LTFU). Understanding the epidemiology and factors for LTFU is complicated by varying LTFU definitions.

    SETTING: Asian regional cohort incorporating 16 pediatric HIV services across 6 countries.

    METHODS: Data from PHIVA (aged 10-19 years) who received combination antiretroviral therapy 2007-2016 were used to analyze LTFU through (1) an International epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) method that determined LTFU as >90 days late for an estimated next scheduled appointment without returning to care and (2) the absence of patient-level data for >365 days before the last data transfer from clinic sites. Descriptive analyses and competing-risk survival and regression analyses were used to evaluate LTFU epidemiology and associated factors when analyzed using each method.

    RESULTS: Of 3509 included PHIVA, 275 (7.8%) met IeDEA and 149 (4.3%) met 365-day absence LTFU criteria. Cumulative incidence of LTFU was 19.9% and 11.8% using IeDEA and 365-day absence criteria, respectively. Risk factors for LTFU across both criteria included the following: age at combination antiretroviral therapy initiation <5 years compared with age ≥5 years, rural clinic settings compared with urban clinic settings, and high viral loads compared with undetectable viral loads. Age 10-14 years compared with age 15-19 years was another risk factor identified using 365-day absence criteria but not IeDEA LTFU criteria.

    CONCLUSIONS: Between 12% and 20% of PHIVA were determined LTFU with treatment fatigue and rural treatment settings consistent risk factors. Better tracking of adolescents is required to provide a definitive understanding of LTFU and optimize evidence-based models of care.

    Matched MeSH terms: Asia
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