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  1. Ross JL, Teeraananchai S, Lumbiganon P, Hansudewechakul R, Chokephaibulkit K, Khanh TH, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2019 Jun 01;81(2):e28-e38.
    PMID: 30865173 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002008
    BACKGROUND: Adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) have poorer adherence and clinical outcomes than adults. We conducted a study to assess behavioral risks and antiretroviral therapy outcomes among ALHIV in Asia.

    METHODS: A prospective cohort study among ALHIV and matched HIV-uninfected controls aged 12-18 years was conducted at 9 sites in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam from July 2013 to March 2017. Participants completed an audio computer-assisted self-interview at weeks 0, 48, 96, and 144. Virologic failure (VF) was defined as ≥1 viral load (VL) measurement >1000 copies/mL. Generalized estimating equations were used to identify predictors for VF.

    RESULTS: Of 250 ALHIV and 59 HIV-uninfected controls, 58% were Thai and 51% females. The median age was 14 years at enrollment; 93% of ALHIV were perinatally infected. At week 144, 66% of ALHIV were orphans vs. 28% of controls (P < 0.01); similar proportions of ALHIV and controls drank alcohol (58% vs. 65%), used inhalants (1% vs. 2%), had been sexually active (31% vs. 21%), and consistently used condoms (42% vs. 44%). Of the 73% of ALHIV with week 144 VL testing, median log VL was 1.60 (interquartile range 1.30-1.70) and 19% had VF. Over 70% of ALHIV had not disclosed their HIV status. Self-reported adherence ≥95% was 60% at week 144. Smoking cigarettes, >1 sexual partner, and living with nonparent relatives, a partner or alone, were associated with VF at any time.

    CONCLUSIONS: The subset of ALHIV with poorer adherence and VF require comprehensive interventions that address sexual risk, substance use, and HIV-status disclosure.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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