Time to Undetectable Viral Load after Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation among HIV-Infected Pregnant Women

Clinical Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 8.89). 07/2007; 44(12):1647-56. DOI: 10.1086/518284
Source: PubMed


There have been no clinical trials in resource-rich regions that have addressed the question of which highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimens are more effective for optimal viral response in antiretroviral-naive, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected pregnant women.
Data on 240 HIV-1-infected women starting HAART during pregnancy who were enrolled in the prospective European Collaborative Study from 1997 through 2004 were analyzed. An interval-censored survival model was used to assess whether factors, including type of HAART regimen, race, region of birth, and baseline immunological and virological status, were associated with the duration of time necessary to suppress viral load below undetectable levels before delivery of a newborn.
Protease inhibitor-based HAART was initiated in 156 women (65%), 125 (80%) of whom received nelfinavir, and a nevirapine-based regimen was initiated in the remaining 84 women (35%). Undetectable viral loads were achieved by 73% of the women by the time of delivery. Relative hazards of time to achieving viral suppression were 1.54 (95% confidence interval, 1.05-2.26) for nevirapine-based HAART versus PI-based regimens and 1.90 (95% confidence interval, 1.16-3.12) for western African versus non-African women. The median duration of time from HAART initiation to achievement of an undetectable viral load was estimated to be 1.4 times greater in women receiving PI-based HAART, compared with women receiving nevirapine-based HAART. Baseline HIV RNA load was also a significant predictor of the rapidity of achieving viral suppression by delivery, but baseline immune status was not.
In this study, nevirapine-based HAART (compared with PI [mainly nelfinavir]-based HAART), western African origin, and lower baseline viral load were associated with shorter time to achieving viral suppression.

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Available from: Marie-Louise Newell, Jan 09, 2014
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    • "Because most perinatal HIV transmission takes place in women with advanced HIV disease who are eligible for lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) [3], ART initiation in pregnancy is a critical intervention both for PMTCT and for the long-term health of mothers [4]. In this context, increasing the time on ART before delivery contributes to reductions in viraemia and decreases the risk of HIV transmission in utero, during labour and delivery, and postpartum when breastfeeding [5,6]. Several studies have demonstrated that a one-week increase in the duration of ART received antenatally is associated with an approximately 10% decrease in the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV [7-9], making rapid ART initiation in eligible pregnant women an important goal for effective PMTCT services [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation in eligible HIV-infected pregnant women is an important intervention to promote maternal and child health. Increasing the duration of ART received before delivery plays a major role in preventing vertical HIV transmission, but pregnant women across Africa experience significant delays in starting ART, partly due the perceived need to deliver ART counseling and patient education before ART initiation. We examined whether delaying ART to provide pre-ART counseling was associated with improved outcomes among HIV-infected women in Cape Town, South Africa. Methods We undertook a retrospective cohort study of 490 HIV-infected pregnant women referred to initiate treatment at an urban ART clinic. At this clinic all patients including pregnant women are screened by a clinician and then undergo three sessions of counseling and patient education prior to starting treatment, commonly introducing delays of 2–4 weeks before ART initiation. Data on viral suppression and retention in care after ART initiation were taken from routine clinic records. Results A total of 382 women initiated ART before delivery (78%); ART initiation before delivery was associated with earlier gestational age at presentation to the ART service (p < 0.001). The median delay between screening and ART initiation was 21 days (IQR, 14–29 days). Overall, 84.7%, 79.6% and 75.0% of women who were pregnant at the time of ART initiation were retained in care at 4, 8 and 12 months after ART initiation, respectively. Among those retained, 91% were virally suppressed at each follow-up visit. However the delay from screening to ART initiation was not associated with retention in care and/or viral suppression throughout the first year on ART in unadjusted or adjusted analyses. Conclusions A substantial proportion of eligible pregnant women referred for ART do not begin treatment before delivery in this setting. Among women who do initiate ART, delaying initiation for patient preparation is not associated with improved maternal outcomes. Given the need to maximize the duration of ART before delivery for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, there is an urgent need for new strategies to help expedite ART initiation in eligible pregnant women.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
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    • "In pregnancy, however, this approach may not be valid, as pregnancy is associated with lower CD4+ numbers. The kinetics of plasma HIV RNA and CD4+ cells in response to HAART during pregnancy have been reported in separate studies [9] [10]. The information provided by these studies suggested that there may be a disconnect between changes in CD4+ cells and plasma HIV RNA during pregnancy. "
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-infected pregnant women with undetectable plasma HIV RNA concentrations at delivery pose a minimal risk of vertical transmission. We studied the kinetics and the determinants of the virologic response to antiretroviral therapy in 117 consecutive pregnancies. Patients who initiated therapy during pregnancy had a VL decrease of 2 and 2.5 log(10) after 4 and 24 weeks, respectively. Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of the protease inhibitors administered in doses recommended for nonpregnant adults resulted in below-target concentrations in 29%, 35%, and 44% of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester measurements, respectively, but low drug concentrations did not correlate with virologic failure. Demographic characteristics, antiretroviral experience prior to pregnancy, baseline VL, or use of specific antiretrovirals did not affect the virologic response. Adherence to >/=95% of prescribed doses and utilization of psychosocial services were associated with undetectable plasma HIV RNA at delivery. In conclusion, the virologic responses of pregnant and nonpregnant adults share similar characteristics.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2009 · Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
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    ABSTRACT: Defining the effect of antiretroviral regimens on breast milk HIV type-1 (HIV-1) levels is useful to inform the rational design of strategies to decrease perinatal HIV-1 transmission. Pregnant HIV-1 seropositive women (CD4+ T-cell count >250 and <500 cells/mm3) electing to breastfeed in Nairobi, Kenya were randomized to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART; zidovudine [ZDV], lamivudine and nevirapine [NVP]) during pregnancy and 6 months post-partum or to short-course ZDV plus single-dose NVP (ZDV/NVP). Breast milk samples were collected two to three times per week in the first month post-partum. Between November 2003 and April 2006, 444 breast milk samples were collected from 58 randomized women during the first month after delivery. Between 3 and 14 days post-partum, women in the HAART and ZDV/NVP arms had a similar prevalence of undetectable breast milk HIV-1 RNA. From 15 to 28 days post-partum, women in the HAART arm had significantly lower levels of breast milk HIV-1 RNA than women randomized to ZDV/NVP (1.7 log10 copies/ml [limit of detection] versus >2.10 log10 copies/ml, P<0.001). In contrast to breast milk HIV-1 RNA, suppression of plasma HIV-1 RNA during the neonatal period was consistently several log10 greater in the HAART arm compared with the ZDV/NVP arm. HAART resulted in lower breast milk HIV-1 RNA than ZDV/NVP; however, ZDV/NVP yielded comparable breast milk HIV-1 RNA levels in the first 2 weeks post-partum. Breast milk HIV-1 RNA remained suppressed in the ZDV/NVP arm despite increased plasma HIV-1 levels, which might reflect local drug effects or compartmentalization.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · Antiviral therapy
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