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Adoption of the 2015 World Health Organization guidelines on antiretroviral therapy: Programmatic implications for India.
WHO South - East Asia Journal of Public Health. 2017 Apr; 6(1):90-93.The therapeutic and preventive benefits of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV are now well established. Reflecting new research evidence, in 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended initiation of ART for all people living with HIV (PLHIV), irrespective of their clinical staging and CD4 cell count. The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) in India is currently following the 2010 WHO ART guidelines for adults and the 2013 guidelines for pregnant women and children. This desk study assessed the number of people living with HIV who will additionally be eligible for ART on adoption of the 2015 WHO recommendations on ART. Data routinely recorded for all PLHIV registered under the NACP up to 31 December 2015 were analysed. Of the 250 865 individuals recorded in pre-ART care, an estimated 135 593 would be eligible under the WHO 2013 guidelines. A further 100 221 would be eligible under the WHO 2015 guidelines. Initiating treatment for all PLHIV in pre-ART care would raise the number on ART from 0.92 million to 1.17 million. In addition, nearly 0.07 million newly registered PLHIV will become eligible every year if the WHO 2015 guidelines are adopted, of which 0.028 million would be attributable to implementation of the WHO 2013 guidelines alone. In addition to drugs, there will be a need for additional CD4 tests and tests of viral load, as the numbers on ART will increase significantly. The outlay should be seen in the context of potential health-care savings due to early initiation of ART, in terms of the effect on disease progression, complications, deaths and new infections. While desirable, adoption of the new guidance will have significant programmatic and resource implications for India. The programme needs to plan and strengthen the service-delivery mechanism, with emphasis on newer and innovative approaches before implementation of these guidelines.
Trends in Antiretroviral Therapy Eligibility and Coverage Among Children Aged <15 Years with HIV Infection - 20 PEPFAR-Supported Sub-Saharan African Countries, 2012-2016.
MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2018 May 18; 67(19):552-555.Rapid disease progression and associated opportunistic infections contribute to high mortality rates among children aged <15 years with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (1). Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has decreased childhood HIV-associated morbidity and mortality rates over the past decade (2). As accumulating evidence revealed lower HIV-associated mortality with early ART initiation, the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines broadened ART eligibility for children with HIV infection (2). Age at ART initiation for children with HIV infection expanded sequentially in the 2010, 2013, and 2016 WHO guidelines to include children aged <2, <5, and <15 years, respectively, regardless of clinical or immunologic status (3-5). The United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has supported ART for children with HIV infection since 2003 and, informed by the WHO guidelines and a growing evidence base, PEPFAR-supported countries have adjusted their national pediatric guidelines. To understand the lag between guideline development and implementation, as well as the ART coverage gap, CDC assessed national pediatric HIV guidelines and analyzed Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; UNAIDS) data on children aged <15 years with HIV infection and the numbers of these children on ART. Timeliness of WHO pediatric ART guideline adoption varied by country; >50% of children with HIV infection are not receiving ART, underscoring the importance of strengthening case finding and linkage to HIV treatment in pediatric ART programs.
Application opportunities of geographic information systems analysis to support achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets in South Africa.
South African Medical Journal. 2017 Nov 27; 107(12):1065-1071.In an effort to achieve control of the HIV epidemic, 90-90-90 targets have been proposed whereby 90% of the HIV-infected population should know their status, 90% of those diagnosed should be receiving antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of those on treatment should be virologically suppressed. In this article we present approaches for using relatively simple geographic information systems (GIS) analyses of routinely available data to support HIV programme management towards achieving the 90-90-90 targets, with a focus on South Africa (SA) and other high-prevalence settings in low- and middle-income countries. We present programme-level GIS applications to map aggregated health data and individual-level applications to track distinct patients. We illustrate these applications using data from City of Johannesburg Region D, demonstrating that GIS has great potential to guide HIV programme operations and assist in achieving the 90-90-90 targets in SA.
Contraceptive method considerations for clients with HIV including those on ART: provider reference tool.
[Washington, D.C.], FHI 360, 2017 Nov. 2 p.This is an at-a-glance resource for clinical providers to determine whether clients with HIV, including those on antiretroviral therapy (ART), may initiate or continue using common contraceptive methods. This chart is based on the World Health Organization's Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use (2016). The tool provides foundational information for clinical providers on how the effectiveness of different types of hormonal contraceptive methods is affected by interaction with antiretroviral drugs. It also provides guidance on how to promote informed decision-making and help women with HIV who are taking antiretroviral drugs use their chosen hormonal contraceptive method successfully.
The continuum of HIV care in South Africa: implications for achieving the second and third UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.
AIDS. 2017 Feb 20; 31(4):545-552.BACKGROUND: We characterize engagement with HIV care in South Africa in 2012 to identify areas for improvement towards achieving global 90-90-90 targets. METHODS: Over 3.9 million CD4 cell count and 2.7 million viral load measurements reported in 2012 in the public sector were extracted from the national laboratory electronic database. The number of persons living with HIV (PLHIV), number and proportion in HIV care, on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and with viral suppression (viral load <400 copies/ml) were estimated and stratified by sex and age group. Modified Poisson regression approach was used to examine associations between sex, age group and viral suppression among persons on ART. RESULTS: We estimate that among 6511 000 PLHIV in South Africa in 2012, 3300 000 individuals (50.7%) accessed care and 32.9% received ART. Although viral suppression was 73.7% among the treated population in 2012, the overall percentage of persons with viral suppression among all PLHIV was 23.8%. Linkage to HIV care was lower among men (38.5%) than among women (57.2%). Overall, 47.1% of those aged 0-14 years and 47.0% of those aged 15-49 years were linked to care compared with 56.2% among those aged above 50 years. CONCLUSION: Around a quarter of all PLHIV have achieved viral suppression in South Africa. Men and younger persons have poorer linkage to HIV care. Expanding HIV testing, strengthening prompt linkage to care and further expansion of ART are needed for South Africa to reach the 90-90-90 target. Focus on these areas will reduce the transmission of new HIV infections and mortality in the general population.
AIDS. 2016 Nov 28; 30(18):2865-2873.OBJECTIVE: In 2015, the WHO recommended initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in all HIV-positive patients regardless of CD4 cell count. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of immediate versus deferred ART initiation among patients with CD4 cell counts exceeding 500cells/mul in four resource-limited countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, and India). DESIGN: A 5-year Markov model with annual cycles, including patients at CD4 cell counts more than 500 cells/mul initiating ART or deferring therapy until historic ART initiation criteria of CD4 cell counts more than 350 cells/mul were met. METHODS: The incidence of opportunistic infections, malignancies, cardiovascular disease, unscheduled hospitalizations, and death, were informed by the START trial results. Risk of HIV transmission was obtained from a systematic review. Disability weights were based on published literature. Cost inputs were inflated to 2014 US dollars and based on local sources. Results were expressed in cost per disability-adjusted life years averted and measured against WHO cost-effectiveness thresholds. RESULTS: Immediate initiation of ART is associated with a cost per disability-adjusted life years averted of -$317 [95% confidence interval (CI): -$796-$817] in South Africa; -$507 (95% CI: -$765-$837) in Nigeria; -$136 (-$382-$459) in Uganda; and -$78 (-$256-$374) in India. The results are largely driven by the impact of ART on reducing the risk of new HIV transmissions. CONCLUSIONS: In HIV-positive patients with CD4 counts above 500 cells/mul in the four studied countries, immediate initiation of ART versus deferred therapy until historic eligibility criteria are met is cost-effective and likely even cost-saving over time.
Has the phasing out of stavudine in accordance with changes in WHO guidelines led to a decrease in single-drug substitutions in first-line antiretroviral therapy for HIV in sub-Saharan Africa?
AIDS. 2017 Jan 2; 31(1):147-157.OBJECTIVE: We assessed the relationship between phasing out stavudine in first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) in accordance with WHO 2010 policy and single-drug substitutions (SDS) (substituting the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor in first-line ART) in sub-Saharan Africa. DESIGN: Prospective cohort analysis (International epidemiological Databases to Evaluate AIDS-Multiregional) including ART-naive, HIV-infected patients aged at least 16 years, initiating ART between January 2005 and December 2012. Before April 2010 (July 2007 in Zambia) national guidelines called for patients to initiate stavudine-based or zidovudine-based regimen, whereas thereafter tenofovir or zidovudine replaced stavudine in first-line ART. METHODS: We evaluated the frequency of stavudine use and SDS by calendar year 2004-2014. Competing risk regression was used to assess the association between nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor use and SDS in the first 24 months on ART. RESULTS: In all, 33 441 (8.9%; 95% confience interval 8.7-8.9%) SDS occurred among 377 656 patients in the first 24 months on ART, close to 40% of which were amongst patients on stavudine. The decrease in SDS corresponded with the phasing out of stavudine. Competing risks regression models showed that patients on tenofovir were 20-95% less likely to require a SDS than patients on stavudine, whereas patients on zidovudine had a 75-85% decrease in the hazards of SDS when compared to stavudine. CONCLUSION: The decline in SDS in the first 24 months on treatment appears to be associated with phasing out stavudine for zidovudine or tenofovir in first-line ART in our study. Further efforts to decrease the cost of tenofovir and zidovudine for use in this setting is warranted to substitute all patients still receiving stavudine.
Oral Diseases. 2016 Apr; 22 Suppl 1:42-5.Four million people of the global total of 35 million with HIV infection are from South-East Asia. ART is currently utilized by 15 million people and has led to a dramatic decline in the mortality rate, including those in low- and middle-income countries. A reduction in sexually transmitted HIV and in comorbidities including tuberculosis has also followed. Current recommendations for the initiation of antiretroviral therapy in people who are HIV+ are essentially to initiate ART irrespective of CD4 cell count and clinical stage. The frequency of HIV testing should be culturally specific and based on the HIV incidence in different key populations but phasing in viral load technology in LMIC is an urgent priority and this needs resources and capacity. With the availability of simplified potent ART regimens, persons with HIV now live longer. The recent WHO treatment guidelines recommending routine HIV testing and earlier initiation of treatment should be the stepping stone for ending the AIDS epidemic and to meet the UNAIDS mission of 90*90*90. (c) 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Pretreatment HIV-1 drug resistance in Argentina: results from a surveillance study performed according to WHO-proposed new methodology in 2014-15.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2017 Feb; 72(2):504-510.BACKGROUND: In Argentina, current national guidelines recommend starting with NNRTI-based regimens. Recently, there have been some local reports regarding concerning levels of NNRTI-transmitted resistance, but surveillance has never been carried out at a national level. OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of HIV drug resistance in people starting ART in Argentina using a WHO-proposed methodology. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, nationally representative study. Twenty-five antiretroviral-dispensing sites throughout the country were randomly chosen to enrol at least 330 persons starting ART, to generate a point prevalence estimate of resistance-associated mutations (RAMs) with a 5% CI (for the total population and for those without antiretroviral exposure). All consecutive patients older than 18 years starting or restarting ART in the chosen clinics were eligible. Samples were processed with Trugene and analysed using the Stanford algorithm. RESULTS: Between August 2014 and March 2015, we obtained 330 samples from people starting ART. The mean +/- SD age was 35 +/- 11 years, 63.4% were male, 16.6% had prior antiretroviral exposure and the median (IQR) CD4 count was 275 cells/mm3 (106-461). The prevalence of RAMs found was 14% (+/-4%) for the whole population (3% NRTI-RAMs; 11% NNRTI-RAMs and 2% PI-RAMs) and 13% (+/-4%) for those without prior antiretroviral exposure (3%, 10% and 2%, respectively). The most common mutation was K103N. CONCLUSIONS: This surveillance study showed concerning levels of HIV drug resistance in Argentina, especially to NNRTIs. Due to this finding, Argentina's Ministry of Health guidelines will change, recommending performing a resistance test for everyone before starting ART. If this is taken up properly, it also might function as a continuing surveillance tool. (c) The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[HIV-1 resistance to antiretroviral drugs in pregnant women from Buenos Aires metropolitan area] Resistencia de HIV-1 a drogas antirretrovirales en gestantes del area Metropolitana de Buenos Aires.
Medicina. 2016; 76(6):349-354.The study aimed to determine the prevalence of antiretroviral resistance associated mutations in HIV-1 infected pregnant woman treated in Buenos Aires metropolitan area (period 2008-2014). A total of 136 women with viral load = 500 copies/ml were included: 77 (56.6%) were treatment-naive and 59 (43.4%) were antiretroviral-experienced patients either with current (n: 24) or previous (n = 35) antiretroviral therapy. Genotypic baseline resistance was investigated in plasma of antiretroviral-naive patients and antiretroviral-experienced patients. The resistance mutations were identified according to the lists of the World Health Organization and the International Antiviral Society, respectively. Frequencies of resistance associated mutations detected in 2008-2011 and 2012-2014 were compared. A total of 37 (27.2%) women presented at least one resistance associated mutation: 25/94 (26.5%) in 2008-2011 and 12/42 (28.5%) in 2012-2014 (p > 0.05). Among naives, 15 (19.5%) had at least one mutation: 10/49 (20.4%) in the period 2008-2011 and 5/28 (17.8%) in 2012-2014 (p > 0.05). The resistance mutations detected in naives were associated with non nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, being K103N the most common mutation in both periods. In antiretroviral experienced patients, 22/59 (37.3%) had at least one resistance mutation. This study demonstrates a high frequency of resistance associated mutations which remained stable in the period analyzed. These levels suggest an increased circulation of HIV-1 antiretroviral resistant strains in our setting compared to previous reports from Argentina.
Potential impact of multiple interventions on HIV incidence in a hyperendemic region in Western Kenya: a modelling study.
BMC Infectious Diseases. 2016 Apr 29; 16:189.BACKGROUND: Multiple prevention interventions, including early antiretroviral therapy initiation, may reduce HIV incidence in hyperendemic settings. Our aim was to predict the short-term impact of various single and combined interventions on HIV spreading in the adult population of Ndhiwa subcounty (Nyanza Province, Kenya). METHODS: A mathematical model was used with data on adults (15-59 years) from the Ndhiwa HIV Impact in Population Survey to compare the impacts on HIV prevalence, HIV incidence rate, and population viral load suppression of various interventions. These interventions included: improving the cascade of care (use of three guidelines), increasing voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), and implementing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use among HIV-uninfected women. RESULTS: After four years, improving separately the cascade of care under the WHO 2013 guidelines and under the treat-all strategy would reduce the overall HIV incidence rate by 46 and 58 %, respectively, vs. the baseline rate, and by 35 and 49 %, respectively, vs. the implementation of the current Kenyan guidelines. With conservative and optimistic scenarios, VMMC and PrEP would reduce the HIV incidence rate by 15-25 % and 22-28 % vs. the baseline, respectively. Combining the WHO 2013 guidelines with VMMC would reduce the HIV incidence rate by 35-56 % and combining the treat-all strategy with VMMC would reduce it by 49-65 %. Combining the WHO 2013 guidelines, VMMC, and PrEP would reduce the HIV incidence rate by 46-67 %. CONCLUSIONS: The impacts of the WHO 2013 guidelines and the treat-all strategy were relatively close; their implementation is desirable to reduce HIV spread. Combining several strategies is promising in adult populations of hyperendemic areas but requires regular, reliable, and costly monitoring.
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine. 2016; 17(1): p.Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) HIV treatment guidelines have been used by various countries to revise their national guidelines. Our study discusses the national policy response to the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and quantifies delays in adopting the WHO guidelines published in 2009, 2013 and 2015. Methods: From the Internet, health authorities and experts, and community members, we collected 59 published HIV guidelines from 33 countries in the sub-Saharan African region, and abstracted dates of publication and antiretroviral therapy (ART) eligibility criteria. For these 33 countries, representing 97% regional HIV burden in 2015, the number of months taken to adopt the WHO 2009, 2013 and/or 2015 guidelines were calculated to determine the average delay in months needed to publish revised national guidelines. Findings: Of the 33 countries, 3 (6% regional burden) are recommending ART according to the WHO 2015 guidelines (irrespective of CD4 count); 19 (65% regional burden) are recommending ART according to the WHO 2013 guidelines (CD4 count = 500 cells/mm3); and 11 (26% regional burden) according to the WHO 2009 guidelines (CD4 count = 350 cells/mm3). The average time lag to WHO 2009 guidelines adoption in 33 countries was 24 (range 3–56) months. The 22 that have adopted the WHO 2013 guidelines took an average of 10 (range 0–36) months, whilst the three countries that adopted the WHO 2015 guidelines took an average of 8 (range 7–9) months. Conclusion: There is an urgent need to shorten the time lag in adopting and implementing the new WHO guidelines recommending ‘treatment for all’ to achieve the 90-90-90 targets.
Lancet. Psychiatry. 2015 Jun; 2(6):487-8.Add to my documents.
Guideline: Updates on HIV and infant feeding. The duration of breastfeeding and support from health services to improve feeding practices among mothers living with HIV.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2016.  p.The objective of this guideline is to improve the HIV-free survival of HIV-exposed infants by providing guidance on appropriate infant feeding practices and use of ARV drugs for mothers living with HIV and by updating WHO-related tools and training materials. The guideline is intended mainly for countries with high HIV prevalence and settings in which diarrhoea, pneumonia and undernutrition are common causes of infant and child mortality. However, it may also be relevant to settings with a low prevalence of HIV depending on the background rates and causes of infant and child mortality. This guideline aims to help Member States and their partners in their efforts to make informed decisions on the appropriate nutrition actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the global targets set in the comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) and the Global Health Sector Strategy on Sexually Transmitted Infections 2016-2021. The target audience for this guideline includes: (1) national policy-makers in health ministries; (2) programme managers working in child health, essential drugs and health worker training; (3) health-care providers, researchers and clinicians providing services to pregnant women and mothers living with HIV at various levels of health care; and (4) development partners providing financial and/or technical support for child health programmes, including those in conflict and emergency settings. (Excerpt)
Implementation and Operational Research: Implementation of the WHO 2011 Recommendations for Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (IPT) in Children Living With HIV/AIDS: A Ugandan Experience.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2016 Jan 1; 71(1):e1-8.BACKGROUND: Intensified tuberculosis (TB) case finding and isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) are strongly recommended for children who are HIV infected. Data are needed to assess the feasibility of the WHO 2011 intensified tuberculosis case finding/IPT clinical algorithm. METHODS: Children who are HIV infected and attending Nsambya Home Care at Nsambya Hospital, Uganda, were screened for TB following WHO recommendations. IPT was given for 6 months after excluding TB. Factors associated with time to IPT initiation were investigated by multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression. Health care workers were interviewed on reasons for delay in IPT initiation. RESULTS: Among the 899 (49% male) children with HIV, 529 (58.8%) were screened for TB from January 2011 to February 2013. Children with active TB were 36/529 (6.8%), 24 (4.5%) were lost to follow-ups and 280 (52.9%) started IPT, 86/280 (30.7%) within 3 months of TB screening and 194/280 (69.3%) thereafter. Among the 529 children screened for TB, longer time to IPT initiation was independently associated with cough at TB screening (hazard ratio 0.62, P = 0.02, 95% confidence interval: 0.41 to 0.94). Four children (1% of those starting treatments) interrupted IPT because of a 5-fold increase in liver function measurements. In the survey, Health care workers reported poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy, poor attendance to periodic HIV follow-ups, and pill burden as the 3 main reasons to delay IPT. CONCLUSION: In resource-constrained settings, considerable delays in IPT initiation may occur, particularly in children with HIV who are presenting with cough at TB screening. The good safety profile of isoniazid in antiretroviral-therapy-experienced children provides further support to IPT implementation in this population.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015.  p. (WHO/RHR/15.20)The purpose of this Statement is to reiterate and clarify the existing (current) WHO position based on published guidance that is still valid. WHO monitors the evidence in this field closely and will update its guidance as and when new evidence becomes available. The statement includes key facts about progestogen-only implants, a discussion of their use by women living with HIV, and current recommendations for their use.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015 Sep.  p. (Guidelines)This early-release guideline makes available two key recommendations that were developed during the revision process in 2015. First, antiretroviral therapy (ART) should be initiated in everyone living with HIV at any CD4 cell count. Second, the use of daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is recommended as a prevention choice for people at substantial risk of HIV infection as part of combination prevention approaches. The first of these recommendations is based on evidence from clinical trials and observational studies released since 2013 showing that earlier use of ART results in better clinical outcomes for people living with HIV compared with delayed treatment. The second recommendation is based on clinical trial results confirming the efficacy of the ARV drug tenofovir for use as PrEP to prevent people from acquiring HIV in a wide variety of settings and populations. The recommendations in this guideline will form part of the revised consolidated guidelines on the use of ARV drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection to be published by WHO in 2016. The full update of the guidelines will consist of comprehensive clinical recommendations together with revised operational and service delivery guidance to support implementation.
Hormonal contraceptive methods for women at high risk of HIV and living with HIV. 2014 guidance statement. Recommendations concerning the use of hormonal contraceptive methods by women at high risk of HIV and women living with HIV.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2014.  p. (WHO/RHR/14.24)During 9-12 March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a meeting of the Guideline Development Group (GDG) comprising 52 individuals representing a wide range of stakeholders, for the purpose of reviewing, and where appropriate, revising its Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use, fourth edition (MEC) guidance. Recommendations concerning the use of hormonal contraceptive methods by women at high risk of HIV and women living with HIV, including women taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), were among the many topics reviewed at this meeting. Given the public health importance of this topic, and at the encouragement of the GDG, the World Health Organization is issuing its contraceptive eligibility guidance for women at high risk of HIV and women living with HIV in advance of the entire guideline revision. It is anticipated that the revised fifth edition of the MEC will be completed in 2015. Recommendations for hormonal contraceptive use are provided for: women at high risk of HIV infection; women living with asymptomatic or mild HIV clinical disease (WHO stage 1 or 2); women living with severe or advanced HIV clinical disease (WHO stage 3 or 4); women living with HIV using antiretroviral therapy (ART). In addition to the recommendations themselves, this publication provides a description of the background and methods used in their development. An executive summary and information on dissemination and evaluation are also included. (Excerpts)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2014 Jul.  p. (UNAIDS / JC2656)How do we close the gap between the people moving forward and the people being left behind? This was the question we set out to answer in the UNAIDS Gap report. Similar to the Global report, the goal of the Gap report is to provide the best possible data, but, in addition, to give information and analysis on the people being left behind. A new report by UNAIDS shows that 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV globally do not know their HIV-positive status. The UNAIDS Gap report shows that as people find out their HIV-positive status they will seek life-saving treatment. In sub-Saharan Africa, almost 90% of people who tested positive for HIV went on to access antiretroviral therapy (ART). Research shows that in sub-Saharan Africa, 76% of people on ART have achieved viral suppression, whereby they are unlikely to transmit the virus to their sexual partners. New data analysis demonstrates that for every 10% increase in treatment coverage there is a 1% decline in the percentage of new infections among people living with HIV. The report highlights that efforts to increase access to ART are working. In 2013, an additional 2.3 million people gained access to the life-saving medicines. This brings the global number of people accessing ART to nearly 13 million by the end of 2013. Based on past scale-up, UNAIDS projects that as of July 2014 as many as 13 950 296 people were accessing ART. By ending the epidemic by 2030, the world would avert 18 million new HIV infections and 11.2 million AIDS-related deaths between 2013 and 2030.
Evaluation of the impact of immediate versus WHO recommendations-guided antiretroviral therapy initiation on HIV incidence: the ANRS 12249 TasP (Treatment as Prevention) trial in Hlabisa sub-district, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial.
Trials. 2013; 14:230.BACKGROUND: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) suppresses HIV viral load in all body compartments and so limits the risk of HIV transmission. It has been suggested that ART not only contributes to preventing transmission at individual but potentially also at population level. This trial aims to evaluate the effect of ART initiated immediately after identification/diagnosis of HIV-infected individuals, regardless of CD4 count, on HIV incidence in the surrounding population. The primary outcome of the overall trial will be HIV incidence over two years. Secondary outcomes will include i) socio-behavioural outcomes (acceptability of repeat HIV counselling and testing, treatment acceptance and linkage to care, sexual partnerships and quality of life); ii) clinical outcomes (mortality and morbidity, retention into care, adherence to ART, virologic failure and acquired HIV drug resistance), iii) cost-effectiveness of the intervention. The first phase will specifically focus on the trial's secondary outcomes. METHODS/DESIGN: A cluster-randomised trial in 34 (2 x 17) clusters within a rural area of northern KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), covering a total population of 34,000 inhabitants aged 16 years and above, of whom an estimated 27,200 would be HIV-uninfected at start of the trial. The first phase of the trial will include ten (2 x 5) clusters. Consecutive rounds of home-based HIV testing will be carried out. HIV-infected participants will be followed in dedicated trial clinics: in intervention clusters, they will be offered immediate ART initiation regardless of CD4 count and clinical stage; in control clusters they will be offered ART according to national treatment eligibility guidelines (CD4 <350 cells/muL, World Health Organisation stage 3 or 4 disease or multidrug-resistant/extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis). Following proof of acceptability and feasibility from the first phase, the trial will be rolled out to further clusters. DISCUSSION: We aim to provide proof-of-principle evidence regarding the effectiveness of Treatment-as-Prevention in reducing HIV incidence at the population level. Data collected from the participants at home and in the clinics will inform understanding of socio-behavioural, economic and clinical impacts of the intervention as well as feasibility and generalizability. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01509508; South African Trial Register: DOH-27-0512-3974.
Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2010 Dec; 86 Suppl 2:ii62-6.BACKGROUND: In 2010 the WHO issued a revision of the guidelines on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection in adults and adolescents. The recommendations included earlier diagnosis and treatment of HIV in the interest of a longer and healthier life. The current analysis explores the impact on the estimates of treatment needs of the new criteria for initiating ART compared with the previous guidelines. METHODS: The analyses are based on the national models of HIV estimates for the years 1990-2009. These models produce time series estimates of ART treatment need and HIV-related mortality. The ART need estimates based on ART eligibility criteria promoted by the 2010 WHO guidelines were compared with the need estimates based on the 2006 WHO guidelines. RESULTS: With the 2010 eligibility criteria, the proportion of people living with HIV currently in need of ART is estimated to increase from 34% to 49%. Globally, the need increases from 11.4 million (10.2-12.5 million) to 16.2 million (14.8-17.1 million). Regional differences include 7.4 million (6.4-8.4 million) to 10.6 million (9.7-11.5 million) in sub-Saharan Africa, 1.6 million (1.3-1.7 million) to 2.4 million (2.1-2.5 million) in Asia and 710 000 (610 000-780 000) to 950 000 (810 000-1.0 million) in Latin America and the Caribbean. CONCLUSIONS: When adopting the new recommendations, countries have to adapt their planning process in order to accelerate access to life saving drugs to those in need. These recommendations have a significant impact on resource needs. In addition to improving and prolonging the lives of the infected individuals, it will have the expected benefit of reducing HIV transmission and the future HIV/AIDS burden.
Alternative antiretroviral monitoring strategies for HIV-infected patients in east Africa: opportunities to save more lives?
Journal of the International AIDS Society. 2011; 14:38.BACKGROUND: Updated World Health Organization guidelines have amplified debate about how resource constraints should impact monitoring strategies for HIV-infected persons on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). We estimated the incremental benefit and cost effectiveness of alternative monitoring strategies for east Africans with known HIV infection. METHODS: Using a validated HIV computer simulation based on resource-limited data (USAID and AMPATH) and circumstances (east Africa), we compared alternative monitoring strategies for HIV-infected persons newly started on cART. We evaluated clinical, immunologic and virologic monitoring strategies, including combinations and conditional logic (e.g., only perform virologic testing if immunologic testing is positive). We calculated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) in units of cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY), using a societal perspective and a lifetime horizon. Costs were measured in 2008 US dollars, and costs and benefits were discounted at 3%. We compared the ICER of monitoring strategies with those of other resource-constrained decisions, in particular earlier cART initiation (at CD4 counts of 350 cells/mm3 rather than 200 cells/mm3). RESULTS: Monitoring strategies employing routine CD4 testing without virologic testing never maximized health benefits, regardless of budget or societal willingness to pay for additional health benefits. Monitoring strategies employing virologic testing conditional upon particular CD4 results delivered the most benefit at willingness-to-pay levels similar to the cost of earlier cART initiation (approximately $2600/QALY). Monitoring strategies employing routine virologic testing alone only maximized health benefits at willingness-to-pay levels (> $4400/QALY) that greatly exceeded the ICER of earlier cART initiation. CONCLUSIONS: CD4 testing alone never maximized health benefits regardless of resource limitations. Programmes routinely performing virologic testing but deferring cART initiation may increase health benefits by reallocating monitoring resources towards earlier cART initiation.
Implications of the new WHO guidelines on HIV and infant feeding for child survival in South Africa.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2011 Jan 1; 89(1):62-7.The World Health Organization released revised principles and recommendations for HIV and infant feeding in November 2009. The recommendations are based on programmatic evidence and research studies that have accumulated over the past few years within African countries. This document urges national or subnational health authorities to decide whether health services should mainly counsel and support HIV-infected mothers to breastfeed and receive antiretroviral interventions, or to avoid all breastfeeding, based on estimations of which strategy is likely to give infants in those communities the greatest chance of HIV-free survival. South Africa has recently revised its clinical guidelines for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, adopting many of the recommendations in the November 2009 World Health Organization's rapid advice on use of antiretroviral drugs for treating pregnant women and preventing HIV infection in infants. However, one aspect of the new South African guidelines gives cause for concern: the continued provision of free formula milk to HIV-infected women through public health facilities. This paper presents the latest evidence regarding mortality and morbidity associated with feeding practices in the context of HIV and suggests a modification of current policy to prioritize child survival for all South African children.
Clinics In Perinatology. 2010 Dec; 37(4):765-76, viii.The World Health Organization's Strategic Approaches to the Prevention of HIV Infection in Infants includes 4 components: primary prevention of HIV-1 infection; prevention of unintended pregnancies among HIV-1-infected women; prevention of transmission of HIV-1 infection from mothers to children; and provision of ongoing support, care, and treatment to HIV-1-infected women and their families. This review focuses on antiretrovirals for secondary prevention of HIV-1 infection-prevention of HIV-1 transmission from an HIV-1-infected woman to her child. Antiretroviral strategies to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 in nonbreastfeeding populations comprise antiretroviral treatment of HIV-1-infected pregnant women needing antiretrovirals for their own health, antiretroviral prophylaxis for HIV-1-infected pregnant women not yet meeting criteria for treatment, and antiretroviral prophylaxis for infants of HIV-1-infected mothers. The review primarily addresses antiretroviral strategies for nonbreastfeeding, HIV-1-infected women and their infants in resource-rich settings, such as the United States. Antiretroviral strategies to prevent antepartum, intrapartum, and early postnatal transmission in resource-poor settings are also addressed, albeit more briefly. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Comparison of previous and present World Health Organization clinical staging criteria in HIV-infected Malawian children.
AIDS. 2009 Sep 10; 23(14):1913-6.In many settings, HIV infected children are looked after with limited access to CD4 cell count or viral load. The decision to initiate antiretroviral therapy (ART) is made clinically, based on the WHO paediatric staging criteria, which were revised in 2006. Results of using new and old criteria were compared. Of 694 children, 626 (90.2%) fulfilled criteria to start ART when applying the new WHO staging guidelines, whereas 330 (47.6%) children were eligible for ART when using the old WHO criteria. This signifies a marked rise in the number of paediatric patients qualifying for ART on clinical grounds.