The Continuing Value of CD4 Cell Count Monitoring for Differential HIV Care and Surveillance Rice, B; Boulle, A; Schwarcz, S; Shroufi, A; Rutherford, G; Hargreaves, J The move toward universal provision of antiretroviral therapy and the expansion of HIV viral load monitoring call into question the ongoing value of CD4 cell count testing and monitoring. We highlight the role CD4 monitoring continues to have in guiding clinical decisions and measuring and evaluating the epidemiology of HIV. To end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we require strategic information, which includes CD4 cell counts, to make informed clinical decisions and effectively monitor key surveillance indicators.
Delays in arrival and treatment in emergency departments: Women, children and non-trauma consultations the most at risk in humanitarian settings Guzman, IB; Cuesta, JG; Trelles, M; Jaweed, O; Cherestal, S; van Loenhout, JAF; Guha-Sapir, D Introduction Delays in arrival and treatment at health facilities lead to negative health outcomes. Individual and external factors could be associated with these delays. This study aimed to assess common factors associated with arrival and treatment delays in the emergency departments (ED) of three hospitals in humanitarian settings. Methodology This was a cross-sectional study based on routine data collected from three MSF-supported hospitals in Afghanistan, Haiti and Sierra Leone. We calculated the proportion of consultations with delay in arrival (>24 hours) and in treatment (based on target time according to triage categories). We used a multinomial logistic regression model (MLR) to analyse the association between age, sex, hospital and diagnosis (trauma and non-trauma) with these delays. Results We included 95,025 consultations. Males represented 65.2%, Delay in arrival was present in 27.8% of cases and delay in treatment in 27.2%. The MLR showed higher risk of delay in arrival for females (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.2–1.3), children <5 (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.4–1.5), patients attending to Gondama (OR 30.0, 95% CI 25.6–35.3) and non-trauma cases (OR 4.7, 95% CI 4.4–4.8). A higher risk of delay in treatment was observed for females (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.0–1.1), children <5 (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.9–2.1), patients attending to Martissant (OR 14.6, 95% CI 13.9–15.4) and non-trauma cases (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.5–1.7). Conclusions Women, children <5 and non-trauma cases suffered most from delays. These delays could relate to educational and cultural barriers, and severity perception of the disease. Treatment delay could be due to insufficient resources with consequent overcrowding, and severity perception from medical staff for non-trauma patients. Extended community outreach, health promotion and support to community health workers could improve emergency care in humanitarian settings.
Long term outcomes and prognostics of visceral leishmaniasis in HIV infected patients with use of pentamidine as secondary prophylaxis based on CD4 level: a prospective cohort study in Ethiopia Diro, E; Edwards, T; Ritmeijer, K; Fikre, H; Abongomera, c; Kibret, A; Bardonneau, C; Soipei, P; Mutinda, B; Omollo, R; van Griensven, J; Zijlstra, EE; Wasunna, M; Alves, F; Alvar, J; Hailu, A; Alexander, N; Blesson, S BACKGROUND: The long-term treatment outcome of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients with HIV co-infection is complicated by a high rate of relapse, especially when the CD4 count is low. Although use of secondary prophylaxis is recommended, it is not routinely practiced and data on its effectiveness and safety are limited. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted in Northwest Ethiopia from August 2014 to August 2017 (NCT02011958). HIV-VL patients were followed for up to 12 months. Patients with CD4 cell counts below 200/μL at the end of VL treatment received pentamidine prophylaxis starting one month after parasitological cure, while those with CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL were followed without secondary prophylaxis. Compliance, safety and relapse-free survival, using Kaplan-Meier analysis methods to account for variable time at risk, were summarised. Risk factors for relapse or death were analysed. RESULTS: Fifty-four HIV patients were followed. The probability of relapse-free survival at one year was 50% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 35-63%): 53% (30-71%) in 22 patients with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL without pentamidine prophylaxis and 46% (26-63%) in 29 with CD4 <200 cells/μL who started pentamidine. Three patients with CD4 <200 cells/μL did not start pentamidine. Amongst those with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL, VL relapse was an independent risk factor for subsequent relapse or death (adjusted rate ratio: 5.42, 95% CI: 1.1-25.8). Except for one case of renal failure which was considered possibly related to pentamidine, there were no drug-related safety concerns. CONCLUSION: The relapse-free survival rate for VL patients with HIV was low. Relapse-free survival of patients with CD4 count <200cells/μL given pentamidine secondary prophylaxis appeared to be comparable to patients with a CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL not given prophylaxis. Patients with relapsed VL are at higher risk for subsequent relapse and should be considered a priority for secondary prophylaxis, irrespective of their CD4 count.
Severe post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis successfully treated with miltefosine in an Ethiopian HIV patient. Abongomera, C; Battaglioli, T; Adera, C; Ritmeijer, K Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) is a neglected tropical disease characterized by a dermatosis which often appears after successful treatment of visceral leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania donovani. PKDL treatment options are few and have severe limitations. In East- Africa, the standard treatment of PKDL is with daily painful potentially toxic sodium stibogluconate injections, administered for a prolonged duration of 30-60 days. In the Indian subcontinent, PKDL is mainly treated with miltefosine, a safer orally administered drug. However, in East-Africa, there is very limited experience in the use of miltefosine for treatment of severe PKDL, with only one published case report. Here we report a severe PKDL case in an Ethiopian HIV patient successfully treated with oral miltefosine (100 milligrams/day for 28 days). Miltefosine was efficacious, safe and well tolerated, suggesting that it can play an important role in the treatment of severe PKDL also in East-African patients. Further research is warranted.
"Even if she's really sick at home, she will pretend that everything is fine.": Delays in seeking care and treatment for advanced HIV disease in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Venables, E; Casteels, I; Manziasi Sumbi, E; Goemaere, E HIV prevalence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is estimated to be 1.2%, and access to HIV testing and treatment remains low across the country. Despite advances in treatment, HIV continues to be one of the main reasons for hospitalisation and death in low- and middle-income countries, including DRC, but the reasons why people delay seeking health-care when they are extremely sick remain little understood. People in Kinshasa, DRC, continue to present to health-care facilities in an advanced stage of HIV when they are close to death and needing intensive treatment.
Title: Demonstration of the Diagnostic Agreement of Capillary and Venous Blood Samples, Using Hepatitis-C Virus SD Bioline© Rapid Test: A Clinic-based Study Authors: Sun, C; Iwamoto, M; Calzia, A; Sreng, B; Yann, S; Pin, S; Lastrucci, C; Kimchamroeun, S; Dimanche, C; Dousset, JP; Le Paih, M; Balkan, S; Marquardt, T; Carnimeo, V; Lissouba, P; Maman, D; Loarec, A Abstract: Simplifying hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening is a key step in achieving the elimination of HCV as a global public health threat by 2030.
Title: Accelerating the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis: a Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology Commission. Authors: Cooke, GS; Andrieux-Meyer, I; Applegate, TL; Atun, R; Burry, JR; Cheinquer, H; Dusheiko, G; Feld, JJ; Gore, C; Griswold, MG; Hamid, S; Hellard, ME; Hou, J; Howell, J; Jia, J; Kravchenko, N; Lazarus, JV; Lemoine, M; Lesi, OA; Maistat, L; McMahon, BJ; Razavi, H; Roberts, TR; Simmons, B; Sonderup, MW; Spearman, WC; Taylor, BE; Thomas, DL; Waked, I; Ward, JW; Wiktor, SZ Abstract: Viral hepatitis is a major public health threat and a leading cause of death worldwide. Annual mortality from viral hepatitis is similar to that of other major infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis. Highly effective prevention measures and treatments have made the global elimination of viral hepatitis a realistic goal, endorsed by all WHO member states. Ambitious targets call for a global reduction in hepatitis-related mortality of 65% and a 90% reduction in new infections by 2030. This Commission draws together a wide range of expertise to appraise the current global situation and to identify priorities globally, regionally, and nationally needed to accelerate progress. We identify 20 heavily burdened countries that account for over 75% of the global burden of viral hepatitis. Key recommendations include a greater focus on national progress towards elimination with support given, if necessary, through innovative financing measures to ensure elimination programmes are fully funded by 2020. In addition to further measures to improve access to vaccination and treatment, greater attention needs to be paid to access to affordable, high-quality diagnostics if testing is to reach the levels needed to achieve elimination goals. Simplified, decentralised models of care removing requirements for specialised prescribing will be required to reach those in need, together with sustained efforts to tackle stigma and discrimination. We identify key examples of the progress that has already been made in many countries throughout the world, demonstrating that sustained and coordinated efforts can be successful in achieving the WHO elimination goals.
Title: Post-traumatic osteomyelitis in Middle East war-wounded civilians: resistance to first-line antibiotics in selected bacteria over the decade 2006-2016. Authors: Fily, F; Ronat, JB; Malou, N; Kanapathipillai, R; Seguin, C; Hussein, N; Fakhri, RM; Langendorf, C Abstract: War-wounded civilians in Middle East countries are at risk of post-traumatic osteomyelitis (PTO). We aimed to describe and compare the bacterial etiology and proportion of first-line antibiotics resistant bacteria (FLAR) among PTO cases in civilians from Syria, Iraq and Yemen admitted to the reconstructive surgical program of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Amman, Jordan, and to identify risk factors for developing PTO with FLAR bacteria.
Title: A Randomized Trial of AmBisome Monotherapy and AmBisome and Miltefosine Combination to Treat Visceral leishmaniasis in HIV Co-infected Patients in Ethiopia Authors: Diro, E; Blesson, S; Edwards, T; Ritmeijer, K; Fikre, H; Admassu, H; Kibret, A; Ellis, SJ; Bardonneau, C; Zijlstra, EE; Soipei, P; Mutinda, B; Omollo, R; Kimutai, R; Omwalo, G; Wasunna, M; Tadesse, F; Alves, F; Strub-Wourgaft, N; Hailu, A; Alexander, N; Alvar, J Abstract: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infected patients requires special case management. AmBisome monotherapy at 40 mg/kg is recommended by the World Health Organization. The objective of the study was to assess if a combination of a lower dose of AmBisome with miltefosine would show acceptable efficacy at the end of treatment.
Title: 'I saw it as a second chance': A qualitative exploration of experiences of treatment failure and regimen change among people living with HIV on second- and third-line antiretroviral therapy in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique Authors: Burns, R; Borges, J; Blasco, P; Vandenbulcke, A; Mukui, I; Magalasi, D; Molfino, L; Manuel, R; Schramm, B; Wringe, A Abstract: Increasing numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing failure of first-line antiretroviral therapy and transitioning onto second-line regimens. However, there is a dearth of research on their treatment experiences. We conducted in-depth interviews with 43 PLHIV on second- or third-line antiretroviral therapy and 15 HIV health workers in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique to explore patients' and health workers' perspectives on these transitions. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and translated into English. Data were coded inductively and analysed thematically. In all settings, experiences of treatment failure and associated episodes of ill-health disrupted daily social and economic activities, and recalled earlier fears of dying from HIV. Transitioning onto more effective regimens often represented a second (or third) chance to (re-)engage with HIV care, with patients prioritising their health over other aspects of their lives. However, many patients struggled to maintain these transformations, particularly when faced with persistent social challenges to pill-taking, alongside the burden of more complex regimens and an inability to mobilise sufficient resources to accommodate change. Efforts to identify treatment failure and support regimen change must account for these patients' unique illness and treatment histories, and interventions should incorporate tailored counselling and social and economic support. Abbreviations: ART: Antiretroviral therapy; HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus; IDI: In-depth interview; MSF: Médecins Sans Frontières; PLHIV: People living with HIV.
Female Genital Schistosomiasis and HIV: Research urgently needed to improve understanding of the health impacts of this important co-infection O’Brien, DP; Ford, N; Djirmay, AG; Calmy, A; Vitoria, M; Jensen, TO; Christinet, V Evidence suggests that there are important interactions between HIV and Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) that may have significant effects on individual and population health. However, the exact way they interact and the health impacts of the interactions are not well understood. In this paper we discuss what is known about the interactions between FGS and HIV, and the potential impact of the interactions. This includes the likelihood that FGS is an important health problem for HIV positive women in schistosoma-endemic areas potentially associated with an increased risk of mortality, cancer and infertility. Additionally, it may be significantly impacting the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa by making young women more susceptible to HIV. We call for immediate action and argue that research is urgently required to address these knowledge gaps and propose a research agenda to achieve this.
Strategies for access to affordable hepatitis C testing and treatment in Asia Khwairakpam, G; Burry, J With increasing availability of generic direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) and associated price reductions, various governments, multilateral institutions, and donors have started providing testing and treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. More data on the quality of these generic medicines and on cost-effectiveness of their use are becoming widely available. This review seeks to describe some of the treatment programs for HCV that are evolving in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand.
Demanding an end to tuberculosis: treatment of tuberculosis infection among persons living with and without HIV Fargher, J; Reuter, A; Furin, J More than two billion people are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and few of them are ever offered therapy in spite of such treatment being associated with reduced rates of morbidity and mortality. This article reviews the current recommendations on the diagnosis and treatment of TB infection (or what is commonly referred to as 'prophylaxis' or 'preventive therapy' of latent TB) and discusses barriers to implementation that have led to low demand for this life-saving therapeutic intervention.