METHODS: Surveys were conducted in April 2009. Analysis data from the Asia cohort were collected in March 2009 from 12 centres in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Data from the IeDEA Southern Africa cohort were finalized in February 2008 from 10 centres in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
RESULTS: Survey responses reflected inter-regional variations in drug access and national guidelines. A total of 1301 children in the TREAT Asia and 4561 children in the IeDEA Southern Africa cohorts met inclusion criteria for the cross-sectional analysis. Ten percent of Asian and 3.3% of African children were on second-line ART at the time of data transfer. Median age (interquartile range) in months at second-line initiation was 120 (78-145) months in the Asian cohort and 66 (29-112) months in the southern African cohort. Regimens varied, and the then current World Health Organization-recommended nucleoside reverse transcriptase combination of abacavir and didanosine was used in less than 5% of children in each region.
CONCLUSIONS: In order to provide life-long ART for children, better use of current first-line regimens and broader access to heat-stable, paediatric second-line and salvage formulations are needed. There will be limited benefit to earlier diagnosis of treatment failure unless providers and patients have access to appropriate drugs for children to switch to.
METHODS: As part of a larger mixed-methods study exploring acceptability and willingness to use PrEP among MSM in Malaysia, 19 men took part in audio-recorded focus group discussions hosted by a community-based HIV organization and facilitated by a trained researcher. Discussions focussed on awareness and potential information management, general perceptions of PrEP and potential motivations or barriers to the use of PrEP, including those at the personal, social, health system or structural level. Data were transcribed verbatim and underwent a detailed thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Rather than perceiving PrEP as a replacement for condoms in terms of having safer sex, many participants viewed it as an additional layer protection, serving as a crucial barrier to infection on occasions where condom use was intended, but did not occur. It was also perceived as more valuable to "at-risk" men, such as those in HIV sero-discordant relationships or those with a higher number of sexual partners. Elements of discussion tended to suggest that some men taking PrEP may be subject to stigma from others, on the assumption they may be promiscuous or engage in high-risk sexual behaviours.
CONCLUSIONS: This qualitative study indicates that, broadly speaking, PrEP may be acceptable to MSM in Malaysia. However, in order for its potential to be realized, and uptake achieved, educative interventions are required to inform the target population as to the efficacy and potential, positive impact of PrEP. Given concerns for how those taking it may be stigmatized, it is crucial that the use of PrEP is presented as a responsible course of action, and one of a range of strategies that men can use to keep themselves safe from HIV.
METHODS: We conducted 35 in-depth interviews to examine the acceptability of a microfinance-based HIV prevention intervention, focusing on: (1) participants' readiness to engage in other occupations and the types of jobs in which they were interested in; (2) their level of interest in the components of the potential intervention, including training on financial literacy and vocational education; and (3) possible barriers and facilitators to the successful completion of the intervention. Using grounded theory as a framework of analysis, transcripts were analysed through Nvivo 11.
RESULTS: Participants were on average 41 years old, slightly less than half (48%) were married, and more than half (52%) identified as Muslim. Participants express high motivation to seek employment in other professions as they perceived sex work as not a "proper job" with opportunities for career growth but rather as a short-term option offering an unstable form of income. Participants wanted to develop their own small enterprise. Most participants expressed a high level of interest in microfinance intervention and training to enable them to enter a new profession. Possible barriers to intervention participation included time, stigma, and a lack of resources.
CONCLUSION: Findings indicate that a microfinance intervention is acceptable and desirable for CWSWs and TWSWs in urban Malaysian contexts as participants reported that they were ready to engage in alternative forms of income generation.
METHODS: In a nationally representative cross-sectional study, soon-to-be released prisoners in Kyrgyzstan (N=368) and Azerbaijan (N=510) completed standardized health assessment surveys. After identifying correlated variables through bivariate testing, we built multi-group path models with pre-incarceration official and unofficial detention as exogenous variables and pre-incarceration composite HIV risk as an endogenous variable, controlling for potential confounders and estimating indirect effects.
RESULTS: Overall, 463 (51%) prisoners reported at least one detention in the year before incarceration with an average of 1.3 detentions in that period. Unofficial detentions (13%) were less common than official detentions (41%). Optimal model fit was achieved (X (2)=5.83, p=0.44; Goodness of Fit Index (GFI) GFI=0.99; Comparative Fit Index (CFI) CFI=1.00; Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) RMSEA=0.00; PCLOSE=0.98) when unofficial detention had an indirect effect on HIV risk, mediated by drug addiction severity, with more detentions associated with higher addiction severity, which in turn correlated with increased HIV risk. The final model explained 35% of the variance in the outcome. The effect was maintained for both countries, but stronger for Kyrgyzstan. The model also holds for Kyrgyzstan using unique data on within-prison drug injection as the outcome, which was frequent in prisoners there.
CONCLUSIONS: Detention by police is a strong correlate of addiction severity, which mediates its effect on HIV risk behaviour. This pattern suggests that police may target drug users and that such harassment may result in an increase in HIV risk-taking behaviours, primarily because of the continued drug use within prisons. These findings highlight the important negative role that police play in the HIV epidemic response and point to the urgent need for interventions to reduce police harassment, in parallel with interventions to reduce HIV transmission within and outside of prison.
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.
METHODS: HCV elimination initiatives and studies in HIV co-infected populations that are currently underway were identified. Context, intervention characteristics and cascade of care data were synthesized in the context of implementation science frameworks.
RESULTS: Seven HCV elimination initiatives and studies were identified in HIV co-infected populations, mainly operating in high-income countries. Four were focused mainly on HCV elimination in HIV-infected gay and bisexual men (GBM), and three included a combination of people who inject drugs (PWID), GBM and other HIV-infected populations. None were evaluating treatment delivery in incarcerated populations. Overall, HCV RNA was detected in 4894 HIV-infected participants (range within studies: 297 to 994): 48% of these initiated HCV treatment (range: 21% to 85%; within studies from a period where DAAs were broadly available the total is 57%, range: 36% to 74%). Among studies with treatment completion data, 96% of 1109 initiating treatment completed treatment (range: 94% to 99%). Among those who could be assessed for sustained virological response at 12 weeks (SVR12), 1631 of 1757 attained SVR12 (93%, range: 86% to 98%).
CONCLUSIONS: Early results from emerging research on HCV elimination in HIV-infected populations suggest that HCV treatment uptake is higher than reported levels prior to DAA treatment availability, but approximately half of patients remain untreated. These results are among diagnosed populations and additional effort is required to increase diagnosis rates. Among those who have initiated treatment, completion and SVR rates are promising. More data are required in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these elimination programmes in the long term, assess which intervention components are effective, and whether they need to be tailored to particular population groups.
METHODS: An online site assessment survey was conducted across the paediatric HIV care sites within six global regions of IeDEA. A standardized questionnaire was administered to the sites through the REDCap platform.
RESULTS: From June 2014 to March 2015, all 180 sites of the IeDEA consortium in 31 countries completed the online survey: 57% were urban, 43% were health centres and 86% were integrated clinics (serving both adults and children). Almost all the sites (98%) reported offering disclosure counselling services. Disclosure counselling was most often provided by counsellors (87% of sites), but also by nurses (77%), physicians (74%), social workers (68%), or other clinicians (65%). It was offered to both caregivers and children in 92% of 177 sites with disclosure counselling. Disclosure resources and procedures varied across geographical regions. Most sites in each region reported performing staff members' training on disclosure (72% to 96% of sites per region), routinely collecting HIV disclosure status (50% to 91%) and involving caregivers in the disclosure process (71% to 100%). A disclosure protocol was available in 14% to 71% of sites. Among the 143 sites (79%) routinely collecting disclosure status process, the main collection method was by asking the caregiver or child (85%) about the child's knowledge of his/her HIV status. Frequency of disclosure status assessment was every three months in 63% of the sites, and 71% stored disclosure status data electronically.
CONCLUSION: The majority of the sites reported offering disclosure counselling services, but educational and social support resources and capacities for data collection varied across regions. Paediatric HIV care sites worldwide still need specific staff members' training on disclosure, development and implementation of guidelines for HIV disclosure, and standardized data collection on this key issue to ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of HIV-infected youth.
DISCUSSION: Twenty scientists from regions across the world developed this Expert Consensus Statement to address the use of HIV science by the criminal justice system. A detailed analysis of the best available scientific and medical research data on HIV transmission, treatment effectiveness and forensic phylogenetic evidence was performed and described so it may be better understood in criminal law contexts. Description of the possibility of HIV transmission was limited to acts most often at issue in criminal cases. The possibility of HIV transmission during a single, specific act was positioned along a continuum of risk, noting that the possibility of HIV transmission varies according to a range of intersecting factors including viral load, condom use, and other risk reduction practices. Current evidence suggests the possibility of HIV transmission during a single episode of sex, biting or spitting ranges from no possibility to low possibility. Further research considered the positive health impact of modern antiretroviral therapies that have improved the life expectancy of most people living with HIV to a point similar to their HIV-negative counterparts, transforming HIV infection into a chronic, manageable health condition. Lastly, consideration of the use of scientific evidence in court found that phylogenetic analysis alone cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that one person infected another although it can be used to exonerate a defendant.
CONCLUSIONS: The application of up-to-date scientific evidence in criminal cases has the potential to limit unjust prosecutions and convictions. The authors recommend that caution be exercised when considering prosecution, and encourage governments and those working in legal and judicial systems to pay close attention to the significant advances in HIV science that have occurred over the last three decades to ensure current scientific knowledge informs application of the law in cases related to HIV.
METHODS: Patients from the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD) and Australian HIV Observational Database (AHOD) receiving cART between 1999 and 2017 were included. Causes of death verification were based on review of the standardized Cause of Death (CoDe) form designed by the D:A:D group. Cohorts were grouped as AHOD (all high-income sites), TAHOD-high (high/upper-middle income countries) and TAHOD-low (lower-middle income countries). TAHOD sites were split into high/upper-middle income and lower-middle income country settings based on World Bank classifications. Competing risk regression was used to analyse factors associated with AIDS and non-AIDS-related mortality.
RESULTS: Of 10,386 patients, 522 died; 187 from AIDS-related and 335 from non-AIDS-related causes. The overall incidence rate of deaths during follow-up was 0.28 per 100 person-years (/100 PYS) for AIDS and 0.51/100 PYS for non-AIDS. Analysis indicated that the incidence rate of non-AIDS mortality decreased from 0.78/100 PYS to 0.37/100 PYS from year groups 2003 to 2007 to 2013 to 2017 (p
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.
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.
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
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.