Viral Suppression and Its Associated Factors in HIV Patients on Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART): A Retrospective Study in the Ho Municipality, GhanaRead the full article
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Testing Positive and Disclosing in Pregnancy: A Phenomenological Study of the Experiences of Adolescents and Young Women in Maseru, Lesotho
The routine antenatal screening through the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services results in pregnancy being often the point at which an HIV diagnosis is made. Disclosure to partners presents particular complexities during pregnancy. However, research on the pattern and experiences of disclosure in pregnancy is limited in Lesotho, despite the high prevalence of HIV among pregnant women. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the disclosure experiences of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) after receiving a positive HIV test result during pregnancy. Methods. Descriptive phenomenology using semistructured in-depth interview was used to collect data from AGYM sampled purposively from PMTCT sites located in urban areas of Maseru, Lesotho. Data analysis was inductive and followed the thematic approach. Findings. There were 15 AGYW involved in this study with the mean age of 20 years. Fourteen reported being pregnant with their first child and perceived HIV testing in antenatal care as compulsory. Ten AGYM disclosed their HIV status in the immediate posttesting period to protect their partners from HIV infection. The narratives revealed that the AGYM hoped that after disclosing, the partner would be tested for HIV. Furthermore, the AGYM disclosed because they wanted freedom to take their medication. Their experience of disclosure was relief, as they did not have to hide their HIV status. The AGYM reported being supported to adhere to medication and clinic attendance by their partners who also provided emotional support to them to deal with being HIV positive and pregnant. Conclusion. The AGYM recounted an overall positive experience of disclosure to their partners who agreed to test for HIV and adopted safe sex practices. This has positive implications for the PMTCT programme and the involvement of men in reproductive health. Therefore, there is need to integrate disclosure and partner testing interventions in the cascade of services in PMTCT programmes.
Syndromic versus Laboratory Diagnosis of Sexually Transmitted Infections in Men in Moshi District of Tanzania
The syndromic diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is widely recognized as the most practical, feasible, and cost-effective diagnostic tool in resource-limited settings. This study assessed the diagnostic accuracy of syndromic versus laboratory testing of STIs among 794 men randomly selected from the Moshi district of Tanzania. Participants were interviewed with a questionnaire that included questions on history of STIs symptoms. Blood and urine samples were taken from the participants for laboratory testing. Only 7.9% of the men reported any symptoms of STI; however, 46% of them tested positive for at least one STI. There was little agreement between syndromic and laboratory-confirmed diagnoses, with low sensitivity (0.4%–7.4%) and high specificity (96%–100%) observed for each individual symptom. The area under the receiver-operating curve was 0.528 (95% CI: 0.505–0.550), indicating that the syndromic approach has a 52.8% probability of correctly identifying STIs in study participants. In conclusion, whenever possible, laboratory diagnosis of STI should be favored over syndromic diagnosis.
Sociodemographic and Behavioral Factors Associated with HIV Vulnerability according to Sexual Orientation
Objective. To analyze sociodemographic and behavioral factors associated with vulnerability to HIV according to sexual orientation. Method. This is a cross-sectional study conducted using data on 3,818 people in the city of Imperatriz, Brazil, during 2015 and 2016. The survey’s questionnaires addressed sociodemographic and behavioral variables. For the data analysis, association (chi-square test) and strength of association (odds ratio) were observed. A significance level of and adjustment for age and gender were taken into consideration. Results. A substantial portion of the sample stated they were heterosexual (88.8%). These individuals demonstrated a lower chance of HIV infection (), sexually transmitted infections (), alcohol use () and condom use (), compared to men who have sex with men and/or bisexuals. In this group, after adjusting for confounding variables, the factors associated with HIV infection were being male (), unmarried (), having completed higher education () and boasting multiple sexual partners (). Conclusion. Behavioral and sociodemographic factors of vulnerability to HIV are predominant among men who have sex with men and/or are bisexual.
Does Isoniazid Preventive Therapy Provide Better Treatment Outcomes in HIV-Infected Individuals in Northern Ethiopia? A Retrospective Cohort Study
Objectives. Early antiretroviral therapy (ART), isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT), and isoniazid-rifapentine (3HP) are effective strategies for preventing tuberculosis (TB) among people living with HIV (PLHIV). The study aimed to determine the effect of IPT on the TB incidence, follow-up CD4+ T cells, and all-cause mortality rate. Participants. Eligible patients on ART (n = 1, 863) were categorized into one-to-two ratios of exposed groups to IPT (n = 621) and nonexposed groups to IPT (n = 1, 242). Exposed groups entered the cohort at their first prescription of IPT, and unexposed groups entered into the study at the first prescription of ART and then followed until the occurrence of the outcome or date of administrative censoring (June 30, 2017). The outcome endpoints were TB incidence, follow-up CD4+ T cells, and all-cause mortality rate. Results. The follow-up CD4+ T cells for the exposed and nonexposed groups were 405.74 and 366.95 cells/mm (World Health Organization (WHO), 2017), respectively, a statistically significant finding (t1861 = −3.770, ; Cohen’s d = 0.186). Nine percent of the exposed patients (620 incidence of TB per 100,000 person-years (PYs)) and 21.9% of the nonexposed patients (3160 incidence of TB per 100,000 PYs) developed TB. Mortality rate (per 100,000 PYs) was 440 for the exposed and 1490 for the unexposed patients. Statistically significant determinants of the all-cause mortality were unscheduled follow-up (AHR = 1.601; 95% CI: 1.154–2.222) and unable to work properly (AHR = 2.324; 95% CI: 1.643–3.288). Conclusion. This study demonstrates the effect of IPT in reducing incidence of TB and all-cause mortality rate and improving follow-up CD4+ T cells. Promoting IPT use can help to achieve the TB eradicating national agenda in Ethiopia.
Overweight and Obesity among Recipients of Antiretroviral Therapy at HIV Clinics in Gaborone, Botswana: Factors Associated with Change in Body Mass Index
Background. Factors associated with overweight/obesity among antiretroviral therapy (ART) recipients have not been sufficiently studied in Botswana. Objectives. To: (i) estimate the prevalence and trends in overweight/obesity by duration of exposure to ART among recipients, (ii) assess changes in BMI categories among ART recipients between their first clinic visit (BMI-1) and their last clinic visit (BMI-2), (iii) identify ART regimen that predicts overweight/obesity better than the others and factors associated with BMI changes among ART recipients. Methods. A 12-year retrospective record-based review was conducted. Potential predictors of BMI change among patients after at least three years of ART exposure were examined using a multiple logistic regression model. Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed. ART regimens, duration of exposure to ART, and recipients’ demographic and biomedical characteristics including the presence or absence of diabetes mellitus-related comorbidities (DRC), defined as any morbidity associated with type 2 diabetes as described in the international statistical classification of diseases and related health problems (ICD-10-CM) codebook index, were investigated as potential predictors of overweight/obesity. Results. Twenty-nine percent of recipients were overweight, 16.6% had obesity of whom 2.4% were morbidly-obese at the last clinic visit. Overweight/obese recipients were more likely to be female, to have DRC and less likely to have CD4 count between 201 and 249 cells/mm3. Neither the first-line nor the second-, third-line ART regimens predicted overweight/obesity better than the other and neither did the duration of exposure to ART. No significant linear trends were observed in the prevalence of overweight/obesity by the duration of exposure to ART. Conclusion. These results suggest that the ART regimens studied have a comparable effect on overweight/obesity and that the duration of exposure does not affect the outcome. This study calls for further research to elucidate the relative contribution of various factors to BMI change among recipients, including ART regimens.
Evaluation of the Management of Patients with Detectable Viral Load after the Implementation of Routine Viral Load Monitoring in an Urban HIV Clinic in Uganda
Objective. To describe the clinical decisions taken for patients failing on treatment and possible implementation leakages within the monitoring cascade at a large urban HIV Centre in Kampala, Uganda. Methods. As per internal clinic guidelines, VL results >1,000 copies/ml are flagged by a quality assurance officer and sent to the requesting clinician. The clinician fills a “decision form” choosing: (1) refer for adherence counselling, (2) repeat VL after 3 months, and (3) switch to second line. We performed data extraction on a random sample of 100 patients with VL test >1,000 copies/ml between January and August 2015. For each patient, we described the action taken by the clinicians. Results. Of 6,438 patients with VL performed, 1,021 (16%) had >1,000 copies/ml. Of the 100 (10.1%) clinical files sampled, 61% were female, median age was 39 years (IQR: 32–47), 81% were on 1st-line ART, 19% on 2nd-line, median CD4 count was 249 cells/µL (IQR: 145–390), median log10 VL 4.42 (IQR: 3.98–4.92). Doctors’ decisions were; refer for adherence counseling 49%, repeat VL for 25%, and switch to second line for 24% patients. Forty-one percent were not managed according to the guidelines. Of these, 29 (70.7%) were still active in care, 7 were tracked [5 (12.2%) lost to program, 2 (4.9%) dead] and 5 patients were not tracked. Conclusion. Despite the implementation of internal systems to manage patients failing ART, we found substantial leakages in the monitoring “cascade”. Additional measures and stronger clinical supervision are needed to make every test count, and to ensure appropriate management of patients failing on ART.