Outcomes of Universal Access to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in Georgia

Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Center (IDACIRC), 16 Al. Kazbegi Avenue, Tbilisi 0160, Georgia.
AIDS research and treatment 02/2011; 2011:621078. DOI: 10.1155/2011/621078
Source: PubMed


Since 2004, Georgia achieved universal access to free antiretroviral therapy (ART). A retrospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate the outcomes of Georgia's ART program. The study included adult patients enrolled in the ART program from 2004 through 2009. Of 752 patients, 76% were men, 60% were injection drug users (IDU), 59% had a history of an AIDS-defining illness, and 53% were coinfected with hepatitis C. The median baseline CD4 cell count was 141 cells/mm(3). During followup, 152 (20%) patients died, with the majority of deaths occurring within 12 months of ART initiation. Mortality was associated with advanced immunodeficiency or the presence of incurable disease at baseline. Among patients remaining on treatment, the median CD4 gain was 216 cell/mm(3) and 86% of patients had viral load <400 copies/ml at the last clinical visit. The Georgia ART program has been successful in treating injection drug users infected with HIV.

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    • "UNAIDS estimates conform that Georgia has the highest ART coverage in the region [1]. Previously we showed that ART substantially reduced mortality and increased survival in Georgia [5,6]. The objective of the current study was to evaluate virologic outcomes of second-line ART in the country. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Data on the effectiveness of second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-limited countries of Eastern Europe is limited. Objective of this study was to evaluate virological outcomes of second-line ART in Georgia. Methods We conducted retrospective analysis using routinely available program data. Study included adult HIV-infected patients with confirmed HIV drug resistance, who were switched to second-line ART from August 2005 to December 2010. Patients were followed until July 1, 2011. Primary outcome was achievement of viral suppression. Demographic, clinical, laboratory and adherence data were abstracted from medical and program records. Adherence was expressed as percentage based on medication refill data, and was calculated as days supply of medications dispensed divided by days between prescription fills. Predictors of primary outcome were assessed in modified Poisson regression analysis. Results A total of 84 patients were included in the study. Among them 71.4% were men and 62% had history of IDU. All patients were receiving non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase based regimen as initial ART. The mean 6-month adherence prior to virologic failure was 75%, with 31% of patients showing 100% adherence. All patients were switched to protease inhibitor based regimens. Patients were followed for median 27 months. Over this period 9 (10.7%) patients died. Among 80 patients remaining alive at least 6 month after ART regimen switch, 72 (90%) patients ever reached undetectable viral load. The mean first 6-month adherence on second-line treatment was 81%, with 47.5% of patients showing 100% adherence. The proportion of patients achieving viral suppression after 6, 12, 24 and 36 months of second-line ART did not vary significantly ranging from 79 to 83%. Percentage of IDUs achieving viral suppression ranged from 75% and 83%. Factors associated with failure to achieve viral suppression at 6-months of second-line ART were: adherence <80% (Risk ratio [RR] 5.09, 95% CI: 1.89-13.70) and viral load >100,000 at the time of treatment failure (RR 3.39, 95% CI: 1.46-7.89). Conclusions The study demonstrated favourable virological outcomes of the second-line ART in Georgia. Majority of patients, including IDUs, achieved sustained virological response over 36 month period. The findings highlight the need of improving adherence.
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    ABSTRACT: In order to describe HIV-1 subtypes and drug resistance mutations in Georgia, blood samples from 153 patients infected with HIV-1 collected from 2006 to 2008 were genotyped. Of these, 126 samples were from newly diagnosed, antiretroviral (ARV)-naïve patients and 27 from ARV-treated patients. Partial pol region sequences were used to identify drug resistance mutations and to conduct phylogenetic analysis for subtype determination. The results indicated that 138 (90.2%) patients harbored subtype A viruses, 11 (7.2%) carried subtype B virus, two subtype G (1.3%), one (0.6%) subtype F and one (0.6%) 03_AB recombinant. All subtype A strains clustered with the Former Soviet Union A (A FSU) subtype. Among patients with no prior exposure to ARVs, mutations associated with resistance were detected in five patients: three (2.4%) patients had reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor mutations and two other patients had the protease (PI) inhibitor associated mutation M46I. PI mutation V77I was found in 42 of subtype A isolates. Of 27 ARV-treated patients, 22 (81.5%) harbored at least one nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI), a non-NRTI (NNRTI) and/or a PI mutation. The most common NRTI resistance mutation was M184V/I (74.1%). Frequency of thymidine analog mutations was relatively low (25.9%). With regard to NNRTI mutations, G190S/A was the most frequent mutation, which might be a preferred mutations for subtype A. Georgia's HIV epidemic continues to be dominated by Subtype A FSU. The prevalence of transmitted drug resistance is low, but has the potential to increase with increasing use of ARVs.
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