Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for treating HIV infection in ART-eligible pregnant women

Division of Infectious Diseases, Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Drive, S-101, Stanford, California, USA, 94305.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 03/2010; 3(3):CD008440. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008440
Source: PubMed


This systematic review focuses on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in ART-eligible pregnant women. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) is the primary means by which children worldwide acquire HIV infection. MTCT occurs during three major timepoints during pregnancy and the postpartum period: in utero, intrapartum, and during breastfeeding. Strategies to reduce MTCT focus on these periods of exposure and include maternal and infant use of ART, caesarean section before onset of labour or rupture of membranes, and complete avoidance of breastfeeding. Where these combined interventions are available, the risk of MTCT is as low as 1-2%. Thus, ART used among mothers who require treatment of HIV for their own health also plays a significant role in decreasing MTCT.This review is one in a series of systematic reviews performed in preparation for the revision of the 2006 World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines regarding "Antiretroviral Drugs for Treating Pregnant Women and Preventing HIV Infection in Infants" and "Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV Infections in Adults and Adolescents." The findings from these reviews were discussed with experts, key stakeholders, and country representatives at the 2009 WHO guideline review meeting. The resulting WHO 2009 "rapid advice" preliminary guidance on adult and adolescent ART now recommends lifelong treatment for all adults with HIV infection and CD4 counts <350 cells/mm(3). These recommendations also apply to pregnant women who are HIV-infected and they place a high value on early ART to benefit the mother's own health (WHO 2009). The "rapid advice" preliminary guidance also aims to minimize side effects for mothers and their infants (WHO 2009).
Our objective was to assess the current literature regarding the treatment of HIV infection in pregnant women who are clinically or immunologically eligible for ART. This review includes an evaluation of the optimal time to start therapy in relation to the woman's laboratory parameters and/or gestational age. It also includes an analysis of which specific antiretroviral medications to start in women who are not yet on ART and which agents to continue in women who are already on ART.
In June 2009, electronic searches were undertaken in these databases: Cochrane's "CENTRAL," EMBASE, PubMed, LILACS, and Web of Science/Web of Social Science. Hand searches were performed of the reference lists of all pertinent reviews and studies identified. Abstracts from relevant conferences were searched. Experts in the field were contacted to locate additional studies. The search strategy was iterative.
We selected randomized controlled trials and observational studies that evaluated pregnant women with HIV infection who were eligible for ART according to criteria defined by the WHO guideline review committee. Studies were included in the systematic review when a comparison group was clearly defined and where the intervention comprised triple ART. For a study to be considered, each medication in the ART regimen needed to be clearly described.
Two authors independently assessed the selected studies for relevance and inclusion. Relevant data was then extracted from included studies, and the risk of bias assessed. In each included study, the relative risk (RR) for the intervention versus the comparison group was calculated for each outcome, as appropriate, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
To our knowledge, there are no randomized controlled trials or observational studies that address the optimal time to start antiretroviral drugs in ART-eligible pregnant women in relation to the woman's laboratory parameters and/or gestational age. The medications to continue in ART-eligible pregnant women who are already receiving ART also have not been evaluated systematically in the current literature. The long-term mortality of HIV-positive pregnant women on ART for their own health, and the long-term virologic or clinical efficacy of ART in treating them, has not been evaluated in randomized clinical trials. In this review, surrogate outcomes for long-term mortality and virologic and clinical efficacy (e.g. MTCT and infant HIV transmission or death) were evaluated to determine the efficacy of specific antiretroviral regimens to start in women who are not yet on ART.Three randomized controlled trials and six observational studies were selected. No studies addressed comparative maternal mortality, which regimens to continue in women already on ART, or the laboratory parameters and gestational age at which to start therapy. The use of zidovudine (AZT), lamivudine (3TC) and lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV-r) starting at 28-36 weeks gestation in a breastfeeding population reduced infant HIV-transmission or death at 12 months compared to a short-course regimen (RR 0.64, 95% CI: 0.44-0.92) (deVincenzi, 2009). Starting AZT, 3TC, and nevirapine (NVP) at 34 weeks in a mixed-feeding population reduced infant HIV-transmission or death at 7 months compared to a short-course regimen (RR 0.39, 95% CI: 0.12-0.85) (Bae, 2008).In the Mma Bana study (a randomized controlled trial in a breastfeeding population) there was no difference in MTCT at six months between the AZT/3TC/LPV-r and AZT, 3TC, and abacavir (ABC) arms (RR 0.17, 95% CI: 0.02-1.44) (Shapiro, 2009). Both regimens also showed 92-95% efficacy in virologic suppression at delivery and during the breastfeeding period. In the Kesho Bora study there was a significant difference in MTCT at 12 months between breastfeeding women who initiated AZT/3TC/LPV-r starting between 28 and 36 weeks and those receiving a short course regimen (RR 0.58, 95% CI: 0.34-0.97) (deVincenzi, 2009). MTCT also decreased significantly when AZT/3TC/NVP was compared with a short-course regimen at seven months in a feeding intervention study (RR 0.15, 95% CI: 0.04-0.62) (Bae, 2008) and 12 months in a population where either exclusive breastfeeding or replacement feeding was encouraged (RR 0.14, CI: 0.04-0.47) (Ekouevi, 2008).In the Mma Bana study, there was increased risk of prematurity among infants born to women receiving AZT/3TC/LPV-r (RR 1.52, CI: 1.07- 2.17) compared with AZT/3TC/ABC (Shapiro, 2009). Ekouevi 2008 showed higher rates of infant low birth weight on AZT/3TC/NVP started at 24 weeks compared to a short course regimen started between 32 and 36 weeks (RR 1.81, 95% CI: 1.09- 3.0). Tonwe-Gold 2007 showed an increase in maternal severe adverse events among the women receiving AZT/3TC/NVP compared with a short-course regimen (RR 25.33, CI 1.49- 340.51).
In ART-eligible pregnant women with HIV infection, ART is a safe and effective means of providing maternal virologic suppression, decreasing infant mortality, and reducing MTCT. Specifically, AZT/3TC/NVP, AZT/3TC/LPV-r, and AZT/3TC/ABC have been shown to decrease MTCT. More research is needed regarding the use of specific regimens and their maternal and infant side-effect profiles.

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Available from: E. Kainne Dokubo, Feb 19, 2014
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    • "For women who are HIV-positive, naïve to antiretroviral therapy, and pregnant, it is recommended that antiretroviral drugs are initiated after the first trimester of pregnancy [2,10,11]. This is due to increased risk of major congenital abnormalities, preterm delivery, anemia, and low birth weight [2,8,12-17]. As such, our objective is to evaluate the comparative safety and effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs in HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants who were exposed to HIV in-utero, during delivery or while breastfeeding, through performance of a systematic review and network meta-analysis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Antiretroviral therapy reduces mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. However, these agents have been associated with preterm birth, anemia and low birth weight. We aim to evaluate the comparative safety and effectiveness of the use of antiretroviral drugs among HIV-infected women and the effects on their infants and children through a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Methods/design: Studies examining the effects of six antiretroviral drug classes (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, integrase inhibitors, fusion inhibitors, co-receptor inhibitors) administered to HIV-infected pregnant women will be included. We will include randomized clinical trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs, non-RCTs, controlled before-after, interrupted time series, cohort, registry, and case-control studies. No limitations will be imposed on publication status (that is, unpublished studies are eligible for inclusion), duration of follow-up, study conduct period, and language of dissemination. Comprehensive literature searches will be conducted in major electronic databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Gray literature will be identified through searching dissertation databases, trial protocol registries, and conference abstracts.Two team members will independently screen all citations, full-text articles, and abstract data; conflicts will be resolved through discussion. The risk of bias and methodological quality will be appraised using appropriate tools (for example, Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias, Newcastle-Ottawa Scale, and McMaster Quality Assessment Scale of Harms). If feasible and appropriate, we will conduct random effects meta-analysis. Network meta-analysis will be considered for outcomes with the greatest number of treatment comparisons available that fulfill network meta-analysis assumptions (for example, consistency of evidence between direct and indirect data, and low statistical heterogeneity between included studies).The primary effectiveness outcome is mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and the primary safety outcome is major congenital malformation (overall and specific types) among newborns of HIV-infected women. Secondary safety outcomes include stillbirths, infant/child death, preterm delivery, overall and specific minor congenital malformations, and small for gestational age infants. Discussion: Our systematic review will be of utility to healthcare providers, policy-makers, and HIV-positive women regarding the use of antiretroviral drugs. Trial registration: PROSPERO registry number: CRD42014009071.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Systematic Reviews
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    • "The 30 years of the HIV epidemic have been marked by significant successes and failures in biomedical and behavioural research. While a cure or vaccine remain elusive, there have been significant advances in the clinical treatment of HIV [1], the prevention of mother to child transmission [2], and, to a lesser extent, in post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) [3]. There have also been important community-based advocacy efforts and responses to HIV, including safer sex and risk reduction strategies, which form the basis of behavioural interventions as well as provide better understandings of the social contexts of the epidemic [4, 5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research has demonstrated how antiretrovirals (ARVs) could be effective in the prevention of sexually transmitted HIV. We review research on the acceptability of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and treatment as prevention (TasP) for HIV prevention amongst potential users. We consider with whom, where and in what context this research has been conducted, how acceptability has been approached, and what research gaps remain. Findings from 33 studies show a lack of TasP research, PrEP studies which have focused largely on men who have sex with men (MSM) in a US context, and varied measures of acceptability. In order to identify when, where and for whom PrEP and TasP would be most appropriate and effective, research is needed in five areas: acceptability of TasP to people living with HIV; motivation for PrEP use and adherence; current perceptions and management of risk; the impact of broader social and structural factors; and consistent definition and operationalisation of acceptability which moves beyond adherence.
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    • "In addition, TDF/FTC cocktail is recommended as a pre-exposure prophylaxis regimen in high risk persons (Grant 2010). Further, combinations that include AZT, 3TC, and ABC are proven to be the most effective in prevention of intrauterine and postnatal transmission, with relatively few side effects to both mother and child, when compared with regimens that include nNRTIs or PIs (Sturt, Dokubo et al. 2010). However, specific NRTIs/NtRTIs are not considered part of a first line therapy in certain patient populations. "

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