AIDS Research and Treatment
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Could a Dolutegravir-Based Antiretroviral Therapy Lead to Clinical Obesity? A Retrospective Cohort Study Conducted at Hawassa University Comprehensive Specialized Hospital in Hawassa, Sidama, Ethiopia

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AIDS Research and Treatment publishes original research articles and review articles focused on all aspects of HIV and AIDS, from the molecular basis of the disease to translational and clinical research, prevention and education.

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Review Article

Coagulation Parameters in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infected Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Background. Coagulation abnormalities are common complications of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) decreased the mortality of HIV but increased coagulopathies. HIV-related thrombocytopenia, prolonged prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), and high D-dimer level commonly manifested in patients with HIV. Thus, this study is aimed to compare coagulation parameters of HAART-treated and HAART-naïve HIV-infected patients with HIV-seronegative controls. Methods. A systematic literature search was conducted using the databases PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, and Google Scholar of studies published until July 2021. The primary outcome of interest was determining the pooled mean difference of coagulation parameters between HIV-infected patients and seronegative controls. The Joana Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal tool was used for quality appraisal. Statistical analyses were performed using Stata11.0 software. The statistical results were expressed as the effect measured by standardized mean difference (SMD) with their related 95% confidence interval (CI). Results. A total of 7,498 participants (1,144 HAART-naïve patients and 2,270 HAART-treated HIV-infected patients and 3,584 HIV-seronegative controls) from 18 studies were included. HIV-infected patients (both on HAART and HAART-naive) exhibited significantly higher levels of PT than HIV-seronegative controls (SMD = 0.66; 95% CI: 0.53–0.80 and SMD = 1.13; 95% CI: 0.60–2.0, respectively). The value of APTT was significantly higher in patients with HIV on HAART than in seronegative controls. However, the values of PLT count, APTT, and fibrinogen level were significantly higher in seronegative controls. Besides, the level of fibrinogen was significantly higher in HAART-treated than treatment-naïve patients (SMD = 0.32; 95%CI: 0.08, 0.57). Moreover, the level of APTT and PT had no statistical difference between HAART and HAART-naïve HIV-infected patients. Conclusions. This study identified that HIV-infected patients are more likely to develop coagulation abnormalities than HIV-seronegative controls. Therefore, coagulation parameters should be assessed regularly to prevent and monitor coagulation disorders in HIV-infected patients.

Research Article

A Retrospective Study of Incidence and Predictors on Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV among HIV-Exposed Infants in West Guji Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Background. The transmission of HIV from mother to child among HIV-positive infants is estimated to be higher than 20%, despite the fact that antiretroviral treatment is available for antenatal mothers with HIV. In Ethiopia, the prevalence of HIV transmission from mother to child among infants aged one and a half years is estimated to be approximately 15.7 percent. Methods. A retrospective cohort analysis using a simple random sampling technique was incorporated among 422 HIV-exposed babies and their mothers who were randomly chosen and screened using OPD (outpatient card) from March 2019 to March 2021 in the general hospitals of West Guji zone, Oromia, Ethiopia. The data were coded and entered into EpiData version 4.6.1 and exported to SPSS version 23 for cleaning and analysis. Result. The study revealed that at the end of follow-up, 3.8% of the HIV-exposed infants were found to be HIV positive. Poor adherence of infant for CPT (AOR: 5.6; 95% CI: 1.010–27.24), father not enrolled to ART (AOR: 4.4; 95% CI: 1.187–15.724), age of infants at enrollment >6 weeks (AOR: 4.5; 95% CI: 1.102–16.1), mother’s enrollment to PMTCT during labor and delivery or after (AOR: 6.84; 95% CI: 1.316–42.743), and mothers on the WHO clinical stage mild or advanced (AOR: 3.6; 95% CI: 1.146–16.842) was found to be the most important significant predictors of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Conclusion. Several factors included in the study were the main predictors of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The study concluded that there are some lacunae in the prevention of MTCT of HIV but that the incidence of MTCT of HIV was significantly lower in this part of the world.

Research Article

Incidence of Mortality among Under-Five-Year-Old Children Born to Women Living with HIV and Those Born to Women Not Living with HIV in Botswana: A 5-Year Retrospective Study

Background. Child mortality is a core indicator for child health and wellness. Botswana reported an under-five-year-old children (UFC) mortality rate of 48 deaths per 1000 live births in 2017 against 152 deaths per 1000 live births in 1971. This was a commendable accomplishment. However, given the current country situation whereby 23% of children are born to women living with HIV, the incidence of mortality among UFC born to women living with and not living with HIV and their survival are better health metrics to inform decision making. Nevertheless, such data are still very scarce in Botswana. The study’s objective was to estimate the incidence of UFC mortality among children born to women living with and not living with HIV and to compare UFC survival between the two groups. Methods. A retrospective cohort study of mortality among UFC was conducted in Botswana, including all UFC born between January 2014 and June 2018. Data were extracted from the National Under-Five Mortality Audit Committee (NUFMAC) database using a standardized data collection tool. The incidence rate of UFC death was estimated as a function of the duration from birth to death. Survival functions of UFC born to women living with and not living with HIV were plotted and compared using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Results. The overall incidence of UFC death was 4.63/1000 child months (CM) (95% CI 4.36–4.90). The incidence of UFC death among children born to women living with HIV was 6.96/1000 CM (95% CI 6.47–7.45) and that of UFC born to women not living with HIV was 4.34/1000 CM (95% CI 4.03–4.65). The overall average and standard error (SE) time to event/death for UFC born to women living with and not living with HIV was 54.80 (0.18) months. The mean (SE) time to death for UFC born to women living with HIV was 52.79 (0.41) months and that of UFC born to women not living with HIV was 55.44 (0.19) months (log-rank X2 = 37.59, ). Prematurity or low birth weight was the leading cause of UFC death in both groups; but, it was higher in UFC born to women not living with HIV subgroup than their counterparts. Four cases only or 0.5% of the 806 death cases reported by reporting physicians were attributable to HIV-related complications. Conclusion. Despite the commendable efforts made in reducing UFC death, the incidence of UFC death among UFC born to women living with HIV in Botswana is still higher, and their survival is shorter compared to UFC born to women not living with HIV. Child survival interventions should prioritize UFC born to women living with HIV to improve their survival.

Research Article

Care Burden and Coping Strategies among Caregivers of Paediatric HIV/AIDS in Northern Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Mixed-Method Study

Background. Family caregivers provide the bulk of care to children living with HIV. This places an enormous demand and care burden on the caregivers who often struggle to cope in various ways, some of which may be maladaptive. This may adversely affect their quality of care. Very little literature exists in resource-limited contexts on the burden of care experienced by caregivers on whom children living with HIV/AIDS depend for their long-term care. We assessed care burden and coping strategies among the caregivers of paediatric HIV/AIDS patients in Lira district, northern Uganda. Methods. A mixed-method cross-sectional study was conducted among 113 caregivers of paediatric HIV patients attending the ART clinic at a tertiary healthcare facility in Lira district, northern Uganda. A consecutive sampling method was used to select participants for the quantitative study, while 15 respondents were purposively sampled for the qualitative data. Quantitative data were collected using standard interviewer-administered questionnaires, while in-depth interview guides were used to collect qualitative data. Data were entered, cleaned, and analysed using SPSS version 23. Qualitative data were analysed thematically. Results. The majority of the caregivers, 65.5% (74), experienced mild-to-moderate burden. The mean burden scores significantly differed by caregivers’ age (), marital status (), average monthly income (), and child’s school attendance (). Accepting social support, seeking spiritual support, and reframing were the three most commonly used strategies for coping. Marital status and occupation were, respectively, positively and negatively correlated with information-seeking as a coping strategy, while monthly income was positively correlated with psychosocial support as a strategy. Seeking community support was negatively correlated with the duration of the child’s care. Conclusions. Our findings show that care burden is a common problem among the caregivers of children living with HIV in the study context.

Research Article

Scales to Assess Knowledge, Motivation, and Self-Efficacy for HIV PrEP in Colombian MSM: PrEP-COL Study

Objective. We evaluated the construct validity Spanish version of knowledge, stigma, norms, and self-efficacy scales regarding PrEP in MSM. Methods. Sample of 287 MSM. Exploratory confirmatory factor analysis and item response theory were used to validate the constructs. Correlations and confidence interval-based estimation of relevance analyses were conducted to correlate the scales with willingness and intention to use PrEP. Results. Attitude, stigma, and descriptive and subjective norms scales showed good construct validity and were related to intention and willingness to use PrEP. However, the knowledge scale and self-efficacy scales require further refinement. Conclusions. The study provides useful information for assessing information, motivation, and self-efficacy related to PrEP use. Our results could be used to test the scales and the theoretical model in other contexts to confirm their usefulness.

Research Article

Evaluation of Provider Screening Practices for Fracture Risk Assessment among Patients with HIV Disease

People living with HIV are known to have greater risk of low bone mineral density than HIV-negative peers. The reasons for this disparity are multifactorial. To address this increased risk, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) released fracture risk screening recommendations in 2015, which differ significantly from recommendations that apply to the general population. A study was conducted at the University of Connecticut to assess for provider awareness and adherence to these recommendations. Electronic surveys were sent to providers, and patients were also surveyed for risk factors and prevalence of low bone mineral density. The results of the provider survey showed low rates of awareness of the IDSA screening recommendations. A substantial proportion of patients surveyed met criteria for low BMD screening but did not have dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) ordered by their provider. As an intervention, providers were sent information via e-mail regarding current screening recommendations, as well as notifications if their patient met criteria for DXA screening. A twelve-month follow-up survey showed increased provider knowledge of screening recommendations and improved screening practices. Additionally, the results of a logistic regression analysis of patient factors showed that increasing age and male sex were positively associated with fragility fracture risk. Increased duration of antiretroviral therapy use was associated with a lower likelihood of fragility fracture.

AIDS Research and Treatment
 Journal metrics
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Acceptance rate-
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CiteScore3.300
Journal Citation Indicator0.400
Impact Factor-
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.