[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current British HIV Association (BHIVA) guidelines recommend that all patients with a CD4 count <350 cells/μL are offered highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We identified risk factors for delayed initiation of HAART following a CD4 count <350 cells/μL.
All adults under follow-up in 2008 who had a first confirmed CD4 count <350 cells/μL from 2004 to 2008, who had not initiated treatment and who had >6 months of follow-up were included in the study. Characteristics at the time of the low CD4 cell count and over follow-up were compared to identify factors associated with delayed HAART uptake. Analyses used proportional hazards regression with fixed (sex/risk group, age, ethnicity, AIDS, baseline CD4 cell count and calendar year) and time-updated (frequency of CD4 cell count measurement, proportion of CD4 counts <350 cells/μL, latest CD4 cell count, CD4 percentage and viral load) covariates.
Of 4871 patients with a confirmed low CD4 cell count, 436 (8.9%) remained untreated. In multivariable analyses, those starting HAART were older [adjusted relative hazard (aRH)/10 years 1.15], were more likely to be female heterosexual (aRH 1.13), were more likely to have had AIDS (aRH 1.14), had a greater number of CD4 measurements < 350 cells/μL (aRH/additional count 1.18), had a lower CD4 count over follow-up (aRH/50 cells/μL higher 0.57), had a lower CD4 percentage (aRH/5% higher 0.90) and had a higher viral load (aRH/log(10) HIV-1 RNA copies/ml higher 1.06). Injecting drug users (aRH 0.53), women infected with HIV via nonsexual or injecting drug use routes (aRH 0.75) and those of unknown ethnicity (aRH 0.69) were less likely to commence HAART.
A substantial minority of patients with a CD4 count < 350 cells/μL remain untreated despite its indication.
HIV Medicine 11/2011; 13(1):73-8. · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although initiatives are under way in the UK to diagnose HIV infection early, late presentation is still a major issue and often results in serious health complications for the individual and has implications for society, including high costs and increased rates of transmission. Intervention strategies in the UK have aimed at increasing testing opportunities but still a significant proportion of those with HIV infection either decline testing or continue to test late. The main objective of this study is to identify ideas and themes as to why testing was not carried out earlier in men who have sex with men (MSM) who presented with late HIV infection. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with MSM presenting late with a CD4 cell count of <200. A structured framework approach was used to analyse the data collected and generate ideas as to why they did not seek testing earlier. Seventeen MSM were interviewed and four main themes were identified: psychological barriers, including fear of illness and dying, stigma surrounding testing for HIV and in living with a positive diagnosis, perceived low risk for contracting HIV despite participants reporting having a good understanding of HIV and its transmission and strong views that a more active approach by healthcare services, including general practice, is necessary if the uptake of HIV testing is to increase. Late presentation with HIV infection continues to be a problem in the UK despite government initiatives to expand opportunities for testing. Recurring themes for late testing were a low perceived risk for HIV infection and a fear of HIV and a positive diagnosis. Population-targeted health promotion alongside a more proactive approach by healthcare professionals and making HIV testing more convenient and accessible may result in earlier testing.
AIDS Care 07/2011; 24(2):204-9. · 1.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 44-year-old man who has sex with men presented with a three-month asymmetrical polyarthropathy. He had a positive HIV-1 antibody test consistent with infection acquired more than six months previously. Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)-associated DNA was detected from a rectal swab. Following successful treatment for LGV his arthritis resolved completely. Infection with HIV-1 has been hypothesized to cause reactive arthritis but this has been disputed. The most likely diagnosis in this patient was sexually acquired reactive arthritis secondary to LGV infection. As LGV can be asymptomatic and treatment differs from that of the other serovars, screening should be considered in all men who have sex with men (MSM) presenting with acute arthritis, particularly if they are HIV infected.
International Journal of STD & AIDS 01/2011; 22(1):59-60. · 1.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The advantages of diagnosis of primary HIV infection (PHI) for the individual and public health are well documented. However, symptoms of HIV seroconversion are often not recognized by health-care professionals. Also, symptomatic patients themselves often do not present to health-care services. With the emergence of H1N1 infection, many patients with flu-like symptoms are seeking medical advice. Currently in the UK, the management of H1N1 is in the treatment phase, that is, patients are diagnosed and treated for H1N1 influenza based on clinical observation rather than laboratory testing. Symptoms of H1N1 infection are often similar to those of PHI. We present two cases of men who have sex with men from Brighton, UK presenting to general practice and accident and emergency with flu-like symptoms. Both were initially diagnosed on clinical grounds with H1N1 infection and treated empirically with antivirals but were later confirmed to, in fact, have symptomatic PHI. It is important in high-risk patients with flu symptoms attributed to swine flu infection, that PHI is also considered and excluded.
International Journal of STD & AIDS 02/2010; 21(2):145-6. · 1.04 Impact Factor