ResearchPad - hiv-infections https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Adherence to antiretroviral therapy and associated factors among Human immunodeficiency virus positive patients accessing treatment at Nekemte referral hospital, west Ethiopia, 2019]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7637 Antiretroviral therapy has a remarkable clinical effect in reducing the progress of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. The clinical outcome of Anti-Retroviral therapy depends on strict adherence. Poor adherence reduces the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy and increases viral replication. With changes in service delivery over time and differences in socio-demographic status from region to region, it is essential to measure adherence. Therefore, this study aimed to assess adherence to antiretroviral therapy and its associated factors among HIV/AIDS patients accessing treatment at Nekemte referral hospital, West Ethiopia.MethodsInstitutional based cross-sectional study was conducted on 311 HIV/AIDS patients from March 01 to March 30, 2019. The study participants were selected by a simple random sampling method and interviewed using structured questionnaires. Bivariable logistic regression was conducted to find an association between each independent variable and adherence to antiretroviral medication. Multivariable logistic regression was used to find the independent variables which best predict adherence. The statistical significance was measured using odds ratio at a 95% confidence interval with a p-value of less than 0.05.ResultsOut of a total of 311 patients sampled, 305 were participated in the study, making a response rate of 98.07%. From these 305 study participants,73.1% (95% CI = 68.2, 78.0) were adherent to their medication. Having knowledge about HIV and its treatment (AOR = 8.24, 95% CI: 3.10, 21.92), having strong family/social support (AOR = 6.21, 95% CI: 1.39, 27.62), absence of adverse drug reaction (AOR = 5.33, 95% CI: 1.95, 14.57), absence of comorbidity of other chronic diseases (AOR = 5.72, 95% CI: 1.91, 17.16) and disclosing HIV status to the family (AOR = 5.08, 95% CI: 2.09, 12.34) were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of adherence to antiretroviral medication.ConclusionThe level of adherence to antiretroviral therapy was found low compared to WHO recommendation. The clinician should emphasize reducing adverse drug reaction, detecting and treating co-morbidities early, improving knowledge through health education, and encouraging the patients to disclose their HIV status to their families. ]]> <![CDATA[Barriers to linking high-risk jail detainees to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6cdd8894-eb56-44cf-b406-5a297c3ac14c

Individuals involved in the criminal justice (CJ) system continue to be at disproportionate risk for HIV infection, and often have a greater prevalence of substance use and sexual related risk behaviors relative to their non-CJ involved peers. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a once daily antiretroviral medicine, is an evidence-based approach for reducing the risk of contracting HIV but limited data exist regarding the use of PrEP among CJ populations, especially in the U.S. South. This study was conducted at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility (PCRDF) in Little Rock, Arkansas (AR), the largest county jail in the state. We explored knowledge about PrEP and HIV, perceptions about PrEP feasibility in both the jail and community settings and barriers to PrEP program implementation, through in-depth qualitative interviews with 21 jail detainees. We purposively sampled individuals based on specific self-reported risk behavior, including sexual risk (both heterosexual and same-sex) and drug related risk (e.g. IDU), among all eligible individuals. We identified five primary themes from the interviews: 1) accessing healthcare during community reentry was a low priority; 2) perception of risk and interaction with people with HIV was low; 3) there are many barriers to disclosing HIV risk behaviors in jail settings; 4) knowledge of PrEP is low but willingness to use is high; and 5) multiple barriers exist to PrEP uptake post-release. Our findings are contextually unique and therefore have important implications for future implementation of PrEP access either within jail settings or linkage to PrEP post release.

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<![CDATA[“It is always better for a man to know his HIV status” – A qualitative study exploring the context, barriers and facilitators of HIV testing among men in Nairobi, Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N633bb09e-858a-4016-b37a-13e5d588b21f

HIV testing services are an important component of HIV program and provide an entry point for clinical care for persons newly diagnosed with HIV. Although uptake of HIV testing has increased in Kenya, men are still less likely than women to get tested and access services. There is, however, limited understanding of the context, barriers and facilitators of HIV testing among men in the country. Data are from in-depth interviews with 30 men living with HIV and 8 HIV testing counsellors that were conducted to gain insights on motivations and drivers for HIV testing among men in the city of Nairobi. Men were identified retroactively by examining clinical CD4 registers on early and late diagnosis (e.g. CD4 of ≥500 cells/mm, early diagnosis and <500 cells/mm, late diagnosis). Analysis involved identifying broad themes and generating descriptive codes and categories. Timing for early testing is linked with strong social support systems and agency to test, while cost of testing, choice of facility to test and weak social support systems (especially poor inter-partner relations) resulted in late testing. Minimal discussions occurred prior to testing and whenever there was dialogue it happened with partners or other close relatives. Interrelated barriers at individual, health-care system, and interpersonal levels hindered access to testing services. Specifically, barriers to testing included perceived providers attitudes, facility location and set up, wait time/inconvenient clinic times, low perception of risk, limited HIV knowled ge, stigma, discrimination and fear of having a test. High risk perception, severe illness, awareness of partner’s status, confidentiality, quality of services and supplies, flexible/extended opening hours, and pre–and post–test counselling were facilitators. Experiences between early and late testers overlapped though there were minor differences. In order to achieve the desired impact nationally and to attain the 90-90-90 targets, multiple interventions addressing both barriers and facilitators to testing are needed to increase uptake of testing and to link the positive to care.

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<![CDATA[The inhibitor of apoptosis proteins antagonist Debio 1143 promotes the PD-1 blockade-mediated HIV load reduction in blood and tissues of humanized mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N65563527-6ce7-4ff1-862d-df2c817374ce

The immune checkpoint programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) plays a major role in T cell exhaustion in cancer and chronic HIV infection. The inhibitor of apoptosis protein antagonist Debio 1143 (D1143) enhances tumor cell death and synergizes with anti-PD-1 agents to promote tumor immunity and displayed HIV latency reversal activity in vitro. We asked in this study whether D1143 would stimulate the potency of an anti-human PD-1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) to reduce HIV loads in humanized mice. Anti-PD-1 mAb treatment decreased PD-1+ CD8+ cell population by 32.3% after interruption of four weeks treatment, and D1143 co-treatment further reduced it from 32.3 to 73%. Anti-PD-1 mAb administration reduced HIV load in blood by 94%, and addition of D1143 further enhanced this reduction from 94 to 97%. D1143 also more profoundly promoted with the anti-PD-1-mediated reduction of HIV loads in all tissues analyzed including spleen (71 to 96.4%), lymph nodes (64.3 to 80%), liver (64.2 to 94.4), lung (64.3 to 80.1%) and thymic organoid (78.2 to 98.2%), achieving a >5 log reduction of HIV loads in CD4+ cells isolated from tissues 2 weeks after drug treatment interruption. Ex vivo anti-CD3/CD28 stimulation increased the ability to activate exhausted CD8+ T cells in infected mice having received in vivo anti-PD-1 treatment by 7.9-fold (5 to 39.6%), and an additional increase by 1.7-fold upon D1143 co-treatment (39.6 to 67.3%). These findings demonstrate for the first time that an inhibitor of apoptosis protein antagonist enhances in a statistically manner the effects of an immune check point inhibitor on antiviral immunity and on HIV load reduction in tissues of humanized mice, suggesting that the combination of two distinct classes of immunomodulatory agents constitutes a promising anti-HIV immunotherapeutic approach.

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<![CDATA[Food insecurity and violence in a prospective cohort of women at risk for or living with HIV in the U.S.]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89779fd5eed0c4847d31be

Background

Food insecurity and violence are two major public health issues facing U.S. women. The link between food insecurity and violence has received little attention, particularly regarding the temporal ordering of events. The present study used data from the Women’s Interagency Human Immunodeficiency Virus Study to investigate the longitudinal association of food insecurity and violence in a cohort of women at risk for or living with HIV.

Methods

Study participants completed six assessments from 2013–16 on food insecurity (operationalized as marginal, low, and very low food security) and violence (sexual or physical, and psychological). We used multi-level logistic regression, controlling for visits (level 1) nested within individuals (level 2), to estimate the association of experiencing violence.

Results

Among 2,343 women (8,528 visits), we found that victims of sexual or physical violence (odds ratio = 3.10; 95% confidence interval: 1.88, 5.19) and psychological violence (odds ratio = 3.00; 95% confidence interval: 1.67, 5.50) were more likely to report very low food security. The odds of experiencing violence were higher for women with very low food security at both the current and previous visit as compared to only the current visit. HIV status did not modify these associations.

Conclusions

Food insecurity was strongly associated with violence, and women exposed to persistent food insecurity were even more likely to experience violence. Food programs and policy must consider persistent exposure to food insecurity, and interpersonal harms faced by food insecure women, such as violence.

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<![CDATA[Effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy on semen parameters of a cohort of 770 HIV-1 infected men]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c78500cd5eed0c484007bb8

Background

HIV-1 infected patients show impaired semen parameters. Currently, it is not clear whether HIV-1 infection itself or antiretroviral therapy have an effect on semen parameters. We aim evaluate semen quality in a large cohort of fertile HIV-1 infected men under stable highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and to assess the effect of HAART type and duration on semen parameters.

Materials and methods

Between January 2010 and June 2014, we enrolled in a retrospective case-control study 770 HIV-1 patients under stable HAART asking a reproductive counselling with their HIV negative partner. Co-infections with HBV or HCV, genital tract infections and known causes of infertility represented exclusion criteria. Semen samples were analysed and compared with the WHO reference values. A multivariate analysis including HAART type and duration, age, viral load and CD4 count, was performed on 600 patients out of 770.

Results

The median values of all semen parameters were significantly lower among HIV-1 infected patients compared to the WHO reference group, with a significant proportion of patients having values below the 5th percentile of the WHO reference value. In a multivariate analysis, only age and viral load negatively impacted progressive motility (β -0.3 (95% CI: -0.5; -0.0) %, p<0.05) and semen morphology (β -0.00 (95% CI: -0.00; -0.00) %, p≤0.01), while no associations were detected as regards HAART type and duration.

Conclusions

HIV-1 infected patients showed a significant impairment of semen parameters compared to the reference values. HAART type and duration showed no associations with semen quality. Further research is needed to investigate implications for clinical care of HIV infected men desiring a child.

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<![CDATA[Magnitude and associated factors of cytopenias among antiretroviral therapy naïve Human Immunodeficiency Virus infected adults in Dessie, Northeast Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc997d5eed0c484529e80

Background

Hematologic abnormalities involving peripheral blood cell cytopenias are strong predictors of morbidity, mortality and poor antiretroviral therapy (ART) outcomes of HIV infected individuals. However, limited studies are conducted in resource-limited settings of sub-Saharan Africa that have addressed the magnitude and associated factors of cytopenias. This study aimed to investigate the magnitude and associated factors of cytopenias among ART naïve HIV infected adult Ethiopians.

Materials and methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted among ART naïve HIV infected individuals attending at ART unit of Dessie Referral Hospital between November 01, 2015 and April 30, 2016. A total of 402 adults were included using consecutive sampling. Socio-demographic, clinical and laboratory data of patients were collected. The data were entered to Epi Info version 3.4.3 and analyzed using SPSS version 20 software (SPSS INC, Chicago, IL, USA). Factors associated with cytopenias were analyzed first using bivariate and then multivariate logistic regression models. An odds ratio with 95% confidence interval was used to measure the strength of association. For all statistical significant tests, the cut-off value was set at P<0.05.

Results

In this study, the overall magnitude of any cytopenia, anemia, leucopenia and thrombocytopenia were 63.4%, 43.5%, 24.4% and 18.7%, respectively. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, severe immunosuppression and WHO clinical stage IV HIV disease were significantly associated with increased prevalence of cytopenias. In addition, older age and younger age showed significant association with increased prevalence of anemia and leucopenia, respectively.

Conclusion

Frequent occurrence of cytopenias was independently associated with severe immunosuppression and WHO clinical stage IV HIV disease. Further longitudinal multicenter studies are recommended to bolster the findings of this study in order to suggest the need of routine assessment and management of hematological abnormalities for optimal choice of initial antiretroviral agents and prevention of further morbidities.

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<![CDATA[The dynamic association between Frailty, CD4 and CD4/CD8 ratio in people aging with HIV]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1532d5eed0c48467aeb2

Objective

To investigate the association between current CD4+ T-cell count and CD4/CD8+ ratio with severity of frailty among people aging with HIV.

Methods

Cross-sectional observational study analysing data from all study visits in the ongoing prospective Modena HIV Metabolic Clinic Cohort between 2006 and 2015. Frailty severity was assessed using a frailty index (FI). We visualized the relationships between frailty index score and current CD4 cell count and CD4/CD8 ratio on two different curves adjusted for age, sex, and duration of HIV infection.

Results

Frailty index scores exhibited an inverse relationship with current CD4 count, up to 900 cells/μL. The CD4/CD8 ratio was inversely correlated with frailty index both below and above the cut-off of 900 CD4 cells/μL.

Conclusions

Frailty in PLWH is inversely associated with both immune-activation, depicted by CD4/CD8 ratio and immune-deficit depicted by CD4 count. The first association shows a linear shape while the second shows a hook-shape with a turning point at 900 cells. Above this cut off level CD4 do not represent a significant risk factor for frailty.

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<![CDATA[Mucosal cell populations may contribute to peripheral immune abnormalities in HIV-infected subjects introducing cART with moderate immune-suppression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f153bd5eed0c48467af19

HIV infection causes the progressive depletion of CD4+ T-lymphocytes and profound modifications of T-cell homeostasis, which persist despite virologically-suppressive treatment and have been linked to a worse clinical outcome. Enduring alterations of the gastrointestinal tract may represent the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of these phenomena. Twenty-six HIV-infected subjects were assessed over a 12-month period following the introduction of antiretroviral therapy. 18 uninfected individuals were enrolled as controls. Parameters of peripheral T-cell homeostasis (activation, maturation), gastrointestinal function (microbial translocation, gut inflammation, fecal microbiota composition) and mucosal immunity (CD4+CCR6+CD161+, CD4+CCR9+α4β7+, stem cell memory CD4+/CD8+ T-cells) were assessed. CD4+CCR6+CD161+ cells were depleted in HIV-infected untreated subjects and maintained significantly lower levels compared to controls, despite the introduction of effective antiviral treatment. The frequency of gut-homing CD4+CCR9+α4β7+ cells was also impaired in untreated infection and correlated with the HIV RNA load and CD4+HLADR+CD38+; during therapy, we observed a contraction of this pool in the peripheral blood and the loss of its correlation with antigenic exposure/immune activation. A partial correction of the balance between stem cell memory pools and T-cell homeostasis was registered following treatment. In HIV-infected subjects with moderate immune-suppression, antiretroviral therapy has a marginal impact on mucosal immune populations which feature distinctive kinetics in the periphery, possibly reflecting their diverse recruitment from the blood to the mucosa. The persistent defects in mucosal immunity may fuel peripheral T-cell abnormalities through diverse mechanisms, including the production of IL-17/IL-22, cellular permissiveness to infection and regulation of T-lymphocyte maturation.

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<![CDATA[Integrating hypertension screening at the time of voluntary HIV testing among adults in South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730e3d5eed0c484f382ac

Background

Guidelines recommend integrating hypertension screening for HIV-infected adults, but blood pressure measurements may be dynamic around the time of HIV testing.

Methods

We measured a seated resting blood pressure in adults (≥18 years) prior to HIV testing, and again after receiving HIV test results, in an ambulatory HIV clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We assessed sociodemographics, smoking, body mass index, diabetes, substance abuse, and anxiety/depression. We used blood pressure categories defined by the Seventh Joint National Committee (JNC 7) classifications, which includes normal, pre-hypertension, stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension.

Results

Among 5,428 adults, mean age was 31 years, 51% were male, and 35% tested HIV-positive. Before HIV testing, 47% (2,634) had a normal blood pressure, 40% (2,225) had prehypertension, and 10% (569) had stage 1 or 2 hypertension. HIV-infected adults had significantly lower blood pressure measurements and less hypertension, as compared to HIV-negative adults before HIV testing; while also having significantly elevated blood pressures after HIV testing. In a multivariable model, HIV-infected adults had a 30% lower odds of hypertension, compared to HIV-uninfected adults (aOR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.57–0.85). In a separate multivariable model, HIV-infected adults with CD4 ≤200 cells/mm3 had a 44% lower odds of hypertension (aOR = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.38–0.83), as compared to adults with CD4 >200 cells/mm3. The mean arterial blood pressure was 6.5 mmHg higher among HIV-infected adults after HIV testing (p <0.001).

Conclusions

HIV-infected adults experienced a transient blood pressure increase after receiving HIV results. Blood pressure measurements may be more accurate before HIV testing and repeated blood pressure measurements are recommended after ART initiation before formally diagnosing hypertension in HIV-infected adults.

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<![CDATA[An outbreak of HIV infection among people who inject drugs linked to injection of propofol in Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730e4d5eed0c484f382b9

Introduction

The aim of this study was to report an HIV outbreak related to propofol-injection and the impact of regulating propofol on the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs (PWID).

Methods

A retrospective cohort study of 252 PWID who were diagnosed with an HIV infection between 2014 and 2017 in Taiwan. The propofol information was collected by routine epidemic surveillance and interviews. We linked several national databases to collect other related factors, including methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) attendance and incarceration. The serums were tested for recent infection by the LAg‐avidity EIA assay and relationship of the trains by the Phylogenetic tree analysis. Analyses were conducted using the R Surveillance package for retrospective modeling for outbreak detection. A multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between propofol-injection and other related factors.

Results

There were 28 cases reported with propofol-injection, all of which were reported in Central Taiwan. A total of 11 (50%) cases among 22 propofol-injectors with serums were recent infections, which were higher than that 33 (23.4%) of non-propofol group. The phylogenetic tree indicated that 6 propofol-injectors were grouped together with the same cluster in circular. The HIV epidemic curve among PWID revealed an outbreak of 82 in 2015, which then decreased to 43 in 2016 after propofol began to be regulated as a Schedule 4 controlled drug in August 2015. In a multiple logistic regression, attendance at methadone clinics was associated with a significantly higher risk for propofol-injection (adjusted OR = 2.43, 95% CI = 0.98–5.98), and HIV reported in the year 2015 was associated with an increased risk of propofol-injection (adjusted OR = 4, 95% CI = 1.08–14.86).

Conclusions

Our data indicate that the government regulation of propofol as a controlled drug strategy was associated with significant reduction in the spread of HIV among PWID.

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<![CDATA[Glycated haemoglobin threshold for dysglycaemia screening, and application to metabolic syndrome diagnosis in HIV-infected Africans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2aed5eed0c48441e88c

Background

Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) test has been increasingly promoted as an alternative to fasting plasma glucose (FPG) or oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to diagnose dysglycaemia but its performance in HIV-infected Africans has yet to be established. This study aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of HbA1c for dysglycaemia including FPG-defined and OGTT-defined dysglycaemia, and OGTT-defined diabetes in HIV-infected Africans, and the effect of HbA1c-predicted dysglycaemia on Joint Interim Statement (JIS)-based prevalent metabolic syndrome (MS).

Methods

A cross-sectional study included HIV-positive patients recruited across public healthcare facilities in the Western Cape. The recommended HbA1c cut-points were tested alongside the optimal cut-points obtained from receiver operating characteristic curve analyses, while the agreement between the MS criteria were assessed using kappa statistic.

Results

748 participants (157 men), median age 38 years, 93% on anti-retroviral drugs were included. The optimal HbA1c cut-points of 5.75% (39.3 mmol/mol) showed 54% sensitivity, 84% specificity for FPG-defined dysglycaemia, and 52% sensitivity, 85% specificity for OGTT-defined dysglycaemia. The HbA1c value of 5.85% (40.4 mmol/mol) (63% sensitivity, 99% specificity) was optimal for diabetes. The internationally advocated cut-point of 6.5% (48 mmol/mol) had 37% sensitivity and 99% specificity for diabetes, while HbA1c ≥5.7% (≥39 mmol/mol) yielded similar performance with the study-specific cut-point for any dysglycaemia. MS prevalence by the JIS criteria (28.2%) increased to 29.7% when using HbA1c ≥5.75% (≥39.3 mmol/mol) and to 32.9% with HbA1c ≥5.7% (≥39 mmol/mol); agreement between the original and modified criteria was generally good.

Conclusions

This study agrees with the internationally recommended HbA1c cut-point for detecting dysglycaemia, but not for diabetes in HIV-infected Africans. In line with previous studies in general African populations, our findings suggest that similar factors interfere with HbA1c values regardless of HIV infection status. Replacing FPG-based with HbA1c-predicted dysglycaemia in the JIS criteria to diagnose MS is feasible in HIV-infected Africans.

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<![CDATA[Targeted HIV testing for male partners of HIV-positive pregnant women in a high prevalence setting in Nigeria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52a8d5eed0c4842bcdc0

Background

Partner HIV testing during pregnancy has remained abysmally low in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Males rarely attend antenatal clinics with their female partners, limiting the few opportunities available to offer them HIV testing. In this study, we evaluated the scale-up of the Healthy Beginning Initiative (HBI), a community-driven evidenced-based intervention to increase HIV testing among pregnant women and their male partners. Our objectives were to determine the: (1) male partner participation rate; (2) prevalence of HIV among male partners of pregnant women; (3) factors associated with HIV positivity among male partners of HIV-positive pregnant women.

Methods

We reviewed program data of expectant parents enrolled in HBI in Benue State, north-central Nigeria. During HBI, trained lay health workers provided educational and counseling sessions, and offered free onsite integrated testing for HIV, hepatitis B virus and sickle cell genotype to pregnant women and their male partners who participated in incentivized, church-organized baby showers. Each participant completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire on demographics, lifestyle habits, and HIV testing history. Chi-square test was used to compare the characteristics of HIV-positive and HIV-negative male partners. Simple and multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine the association between participants' characteristics and HIV positivity among male partners of HIV-positive women.

Results

Male partner participation rate was 57% (5264/9231). Overall HIV prevalence was 6.1% (891/14495) with significantly higher rates in women (7.4%, 681/9231) compared to men (4.0%, 210/5264). Among the 681 HIV-positive women, 289 male partners received HIV testing; 37.7% (109/289) were found to be HIV-positive. In multivariate analysis, older age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 2.45, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.27–4.72 for age 30–39 years vs. <30 years; aOR: 2.39, CI: 1.18–4.82 for age ≥40 years vs. <30 years) and self-reported daily alcohol intake (vs. never (aOR: 0.35, CI: 0.13–0.96)) were associated with HIV positivity in male partners of HIV-positive women.

Conclusion

The community-based congregational approach is a potential strategy to increase male partner HIV testing towards achieving the UNAIDS goal of 90% HIV screening. Targeting male partners of HIV-positive women for screening may provide a higher yield of HIV diagnosis and the opportunity to engage known positives in care in this population.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiology and factors associated with peripheral neuropathy among HIV infected patients in Gondar, Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fec5d5eed0c484135428

Background

Antiretroviral therapy has surely increased the life expectancy of people living with HIV. However, long term complications like HIV associated sensory neuropathy has a negative impact on quality of life among people living with HIV (PLHIV). In Ethiopia, lack of data on magnitude of the burden and predictors of HIV associated sensory neuropathy in many resource limited setting has led to under diagnosis and eventually under management of HIV-SN. Hence, this study was set out to establish the burden of HIV-associated sensory neuropathy and, its association with demographic, health and clinical characteristics among people living with HIV in Ethiopia.

Methods

Cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the prevalence of HIV-associated sensory neuropathy and the associated factors among adult HIV patients at University of Gondar Teaching Hospital, Gondar, Ethiopia. Brief Peripheral Neuropathy Screening tool validated by AIDs Clinical trial group was used for screening HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. Data were analyzed descriptively and through uni- and multivariate logistic regression.

Results

In total 359 adult PLHIV with a mean age of 36.5± 9.07 years participated, their median duration of HIV infection was 60 months (IQR 36–84) and their median CD4 count 143cells/μL (IQR 69.5–201.5). Age above 40 years, anti-tuberculosis regimen, tallness, and exposure to didanosine contained antiretroviral therapy were found to be associated with HIV-associated sensory neuropathy (AOR 1.82, 1.84, 1.98 and 4.33 respectively).

Conclusions

More than half of the HIV patients who attended HIV care clinic at University of Gondar hospital during the study period were found to present with peripheral sensory neuropathy. Higher age, tallness, TB medication, and didanosine in ART were significantly associated with HIV-SN as screened by effective diagnostic (BPNS) tool.

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<![CDATA[Factors affecting mortality among HIV positive patients two years after completing recommended therapy for Cryptococcal meningitis in Uganda]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52d0d5eed0c4842bd096

Background

Cryptococcal meningitis (CCM) remains a leading cause of mortality amongst HIV infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa. When patients receive recommended therapy, mortality at 10 weeks has been reported to vary between 20 to 36%. However, mortality rate and factors affecting mortality after completing recommended therapy are not well known. We investigated mortality rate, and factors affecting mortality at 2 years among CCM patients following completion of recommended CCM therapy in Uganda.

Methods

A retrospective cohort study was conducted among HIV infected patients that had completed 10 weeks of recommended therapy for CCM (2 weeks of intravenous amphotericin B 1mg/kg and 10 weeks of oral Fluconazole 800mg daily) in the CryptoDex trial (ISRCTN59144167) between 2013 and 2015. Survival analysis applying Cox regression was used to determine the mortality rate and factors affecting mortality at 2 years.

Results

This study followed up 112 participants for 2 years. Mean age (±SD) was 34.9 ± 8, 48 (57.1%) were female and 80 (74.8%) had been on ART for less than 1 year. At 2 years, overall mortality was 30.9% (20 deaths per 100 person-years). Majority of deaths (61.8%) occurred during the first 6 months. In multivariable analysis, mortality was associated with ever being re-admitted since discharge after hospital-based management of CCM (aHR = 13.33, 95% CI: 5.92–30.03), p<0.001; and self-perceived quality of life, with quality of life 50–75% having reduced risk compared to <50% (aHR = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.09–0.5), p<0.001, as well as >75% compared to <50% (HR = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.11–0.81), p = 0.018.

Conclusion

There remains a considerable risk of mortality in the first two years after completion of standard therapy for CCM in resource-limited settings with risk highest during the first 6 months. Maintenance of patient follow up during this period may reduce mortality.

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<![CDATA[Setting targets for HIV/AIDS—What lessons can be learned from other disease control programmes?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e93ad5eed0c48496fa33

In a Collection Review, Richard Hayes and colleagues discuss metrics for assessing progress in control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the context of prior disease control programmes.

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<![CDATA[“To speak or not to speak”: A qualitative analysis on the attitude and willingness of women to start conversations about voluntary medical male circumcision with their partners in a peri-urban area, South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c644936d5eed0c484c2f8d6

Introduction

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men and has long-term indirect protection for women, yet VMMC uptake in South Africa remains low (49.8%) in men (25–49 years). We explored the attitude and willingness of women to start conversations on VMMC with their sexual partners in a South African peri-urban setting to increase VMMC uptake.

Methods

Thirty women with median age of 30 years (inter-quartile range 26–33 years) were interviewed in a language of their choice. Key questions included: types of approach to use, gender roles, benefits and barriers to introducing the topic of VMMC, and perceptions of VMMC. Interviews were digitally-recorded, transcribed, and translated. Through a standard iterative process, a codebook was developed (QSR NVIVO 10 software) and inductive thematic analysis applied.

Results

Most women were willing talk to their sexual partners about circumcision, but indicated that the decision to circumcise remained that of their sexual partner. Women felt that they should encourage their partners, show more interest in circumcision, be patient, speak in a caring and respectful tone, choose a correct time when their partner was relaxed and talk in a private space about VMMC. Using magazine/newspaper articles, pamphlets or advertisements were identified as tools that could aid their discussion. Substantial barriers to initiating conversations on VMMC included accusations by partner on infidelity, fear of gender-based violence, cultural restrictions and hesitation to speak to a mature partner about circumcision.

Conclusions

Women need to ensure that before talking to their partner about circumcision, the environment and approach that they use are conducive. Female social network forums could be used to educate women on conversation techniques, skills to use when talking to their partners and how to address communication challenges about circumcision. Involvement of women in VMMC awareness campaigns could encourage circumcision uptake among men.

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<![CDATA[Association between severe drought and HIV prevention and care behaviors in Lesotho: A population-based survey 2016–2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c46652ad5eed0c484517c53

Background

A previous analysis of the impact of drought in Africa on HIV demonstrated an 11% greater prevalence in HIV-endemic rural areas attributable to local rainfall shocks. The Lesotho Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (LePHIA) was conducted after the severe drought of 2014–2016, allowing for reevaluation of this relationship in a setting of expanded antiretroviral coverage.

Methods and findings

LePHIA selected a nationally representative sample between November 2016 and May 2017. All adults aged 15–59 years in randomly selected households were invited to complete an interview and HIV testing, with one woman per household eligible to answer questions on their experience of sexual violence. Deviations in rainfall for May 2014–June 2016 were estimated using precipitation data from Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station Data (CHIRPS), with drought defined as <15% of the average rainfall from 1981 to 2016. The association between drought and risk behaviors as well as HIV-related outcomes was assessed using logistic regression, incorporating complex survey weights. Analyses were stratified by age, sex, and geography (urban versus rural). All of Lesotho suffered from reduced rainfall, with regions receiving 1%–36% of their historical rainfall. Of the 12,887 interviewed participants, 93.5% (12,052) lived in areas that experienced drought, with the majority in rural areas (7,281 versus 4,771 in urban areas). Of the 835 adults living in areas without drought, 520 were in rural areas and 315 in urban. Among females 15–19 years old, living in a rural drought area was associated with early sexual debut (odds ratio [OR] 3.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.43–6.74, p = 0.004), and higher HIV prevalence (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.19–6.47, p = 0.02). It was also associated with lower educational attainment in rural females ages 15–24 years (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.25–0.78, p = 0.005). Multivariable analysis adjusting for household wealth and sexual behavior showed that experiencing drought increased the odds of HIV infection among females 15–24 years old (adjusted OR [aOR] 1.80, 95% CI 0.96–3.39, p = 0.07), although this was not statistically significant. Migration was associated with 2-fold higher odds of HIV infection in young people (aOR 2.06, 95% CI 1.25–3.40, p = 0.006). The study was limited by the extensiveness of the drought and the small number of participants in the comparison group.

Conclusions

Drought in Lesotho was associated with higher HIV prevalence in girls 15–19 years old in rural areas and with lower educational attainment and riskier sexual behavior in rural females 15–24 years old. Policy-makers may consider adopting potential mechanisms to mitigate the impact of income shock from natural disasters on populations vulnerable to HIV transmission.

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<![CDATA[The association between HIV infection and pulmonary function in a rural African population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c4bd5eed0c484bd1604

Objectives

HIV infection has been associated with an impaired lung function in high-income countries, but the association between HIV infection and pulmonary function in Sub-Saharan Africa remains unclear. This study aims to investigate the relation between HIV infection and pulmonary function in a rural African population.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted among HIV-positive and HIV-negative adults in a rural area in South Africa, as part of the Ndlovu Cohort Study. A respiratory questionnaire and post-bronchodilator spirometry were performed. Multivariable regression analysis was used to investigate whether HIV was independently associated with a decrease in post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio considering age, sex, body mass index, respiratory risk factors and a history of a pulmonary infection (tuberculosis (TB) or a pneumonia). Possible mediation by a history of pulmonary infection was tested by removing this variable from the final model.

Results

Two hundred and one consecutive participants were enrolled in the study in 2016, 84 (41.8%) were HIV-positive (82.1% on ART). The median age was 38 (IQR 29–51) years. Following multivariable analysis HIV was not significantly associated to a decline in post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio (β -0.017, p 0.18). However, upon removal of a history of a pulmonary infection from the final model HIV was significantly related to post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio, β -0.026, p 0.03.

Conclusions

Pulmonary function is affected by HIV infection which most likely results from co-infection with TB or other pneumonia. Further research should focus on the influence of a pulmonary infection, most notably TB, on pulmonary function, especially as the incidence of TB is high in HIV infection.

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<![CDATA[Roles, function and relevance of LAG3 in HIV infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61b7bcd5eed0c484937e9e

HIV causes several forms of immune dysfunction that need to be addressed in a functional cure for HIV. Immune exhaustion describes a dysfunctional phenotype caused by chronic cellular activation. Lymphocyte activation gene-3 (LAG3) is one of several negative coreceptors known as immune checkpoints that contribute to this exhaustion phenotype. Antibodies targeting immune checkpoints are now used clinically to restore immunity against cancer and hold promise in restoring immunity during HIV infection. Here, we summarize current knowledge surrounding LAG3 and discuss its relevance during HIV infection and the potential for LAG3-targeting antibodies in a functional HIV cure.

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