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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. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  8. 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.
  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 

  13. 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.

  14. 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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