[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following HIV diagnosis, linkage to outpatient treatment, antiretroviral initiation, and longitudinal retention in care represent the foundation for successful treatment. While prior studies have evaluated these processes in isolation, a systematic evaluation of successive steps in the same cohort of patients has not yet been performed. To ensure optimal long-term outcomes, a better understanding of the interplay of these processes is needed. Therefore, a retrospective cohort study of patients initiating outpatient care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham 1917 HIV=AIDS Clinic between January 2000 and December 2005 was undertaken. Multivariable models determined factors associated with: late diagnosis=linkage to care (initial CD4 < 350 cells=mm3), timely antiretroviral initiation, and retention across the first two years of care. Delayed linkage was observed in two-thirds of the overall sample (n = 567) and was associated with older age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.31 per 10 years; 95%confidence interval [CI] = 1.06-1.62) and African American race (OR = 2.45; 95% CI = 1.60-3.74). Attending all clinic visits (hazard ratio [HR] = 6.45; 95% CI = 4.47-9.31) and lower initial CD4 counts led to earlier antiretroviral initiation. Worse retention in the first 2 years was associated with younger age (OR = 0.68 per 10 years;95% CI = 0.56-0.83), higher baseline CD4 count, and substance abuse (OR = 1.78; 95% CI = 1.16-2.73). Interventions to improve timely HIV diagnosis and linkage to care should focus on older patients and African Americans while efforts to improve retention should address younger patients, those with higher baseline CD4 counts, and substance abuse. Missed clinic visits represent an important obstacle to the timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy. These data inform development of interventions to improve linkage and retention in HIV care, an emerging area of growing importance.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2009 · AIDS patient care and STDs
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Data on initial antiretroviral regimen longevity predates the arrival of newer nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor backbones and once-daily regimens. Modern regimens are thought to possess greater tolerability and convenience. We hypothesized this would translate into greater durability.
METHODS: Retrospective study of antiretroviral-naive patients starting treatment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham 1917 HIV/AIDS Clinic 1 January 2000-31 July 2007. Two periods of antiretroviral initiation were identified, prior and after August 2004 (arrival of once-daily fixed-dose regimens). Kaplan-Meier survival analyses of regimen durability by time period and regimen characteristics were performed. Staged Cox proportional hazards models evaluated the roles of dosing complexity and composition in explaining differences in regimen durability between study periods.
RESULTS: Overall 542 patients started antiretroviral drugs (n = 309, January 2000-July 2004; n = 233, August 2004-July 2007). Median durability was 263 days longer in after August 2004 regimens. Regimens started before August 2004 had increased hazards for discontinuation relative to after August 2004 regimens [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.44; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03-2.02]. Time period of initiation lost statistical significance when the model included dosing frequency (HR = 1.92 for at least twice daily vs. daily; 95% CI = 1.29-2.88). As regimen composition variables were added, time period and dosing frequency lost significance. Increased hazards of discontinuation were observed with didanosine or stavudine relative to abacavir or tenofovir use (HR = 1.92; 95% CI = 1.29-2.88) and all third drugs compared with non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based regimens (triple-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor HR = 1.76; 95% CI = 1.14-2.73; unboosted-protease inhibitor HR = 1.58; 95% CI = 1.02-2.46; boosted-protease inhibitor HR = 1.57; 95% CI = 1.02-2.41). Affective mental health disorders increased the hazard of discontinuation in all models.
CONCLUSION: Durability of contemporary once-daily fixed-dose antiretroviral regimens has significantly eclipsed the duration of earlier antiretroviral drug options. Our results indicate this is due to both more convenient dosing and improved tolerability of modern antiretroviral regimens.
No preview · Article · Nov 2008 · AIDS (London, England)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the long-term immunologic and virologic effects of antiretroviral treatment interruptions, a retrospective analysis of an ongoing observational database was performed at a university HIV clinic. All patients who began highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) after January 1, 1996 and (1) were HAART experienced for >/=90 days, (2) had a treatment interruption (TI) for >/=30 days, (3) resumed HAART for >/=30 days, and (4) had CD4(+) cell counts performed pre- and post-TI were included. Main outcome measures included the following: Immunologic success was defined as a post-TI CD4(+) cell count >90% of the pre-TI CD4(+) cell count (post-TI/pre-TI, >90%). Virologic success was defined as a post-TI viral load (VL) less or equal to twice the pre-TI VL (post-TI/pre-TI, </=2) or a post-TI VL of <1000 copies/ml. The pre-TI (baseline) value was the value at the start of the TI (range, -20 to +7 days); the post-TI value was the highest CD4(+) cell count and lowest VL copy achieved during the follow-up window (270 days). One thousand and eight patients were included in the analysis and 75 met the inclusion criteria. Forty-four of 75 patients (58.6%) achieved a successful immunologic outcome and 52 of 68 patients (76.5%; 7 patients did not have a VL determined within the specified periods) achieved a successful virologic outcome. No factors predicting success were identified. The median CD4(+) cell counts pre- and post-TI were 233 and 231 cells/microl, respectively; the median VLs pre- and post-TI were 11,456 and 404 copies/ml, respectively. We conclude that the majority of our patients in virologic failure who underwent a temporary TI recovered 90% of their baseline CD4(+) cell counts and returned to within 2-fold of their baseline VL when HAART was resumed.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2002 · AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because there is limited information about suppression of virus loads (determined by current “ultrasensitive” assays) in patients
receiving nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) alone, we reviewed our experience in clinical practice with
patients who had virus loads of <25 copies/ml after >1 year of treatment with dual NRTIs.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2000 · Clinical Infectious Diseases