• Female Genital Schistosomiasis and HIV: Research urgently needed to improve understanding of the health impacts of this important co-infection

      O’Brien, DP; Ford, N; Djirmay, AG; Calmy, A; Vitoria, M; Jensen, TO; Christinet, V (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2019-01)
      Evidence suggests that there are important interactions between HIV and Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) that may have significant effects on individual and population health. However, the exact way they interact and the health impacts of the interactions are not well understood. In this paper we discuss what is known about the interactions between FGS and HIV, and the potential impact of the interactions. This includes the likelihood that FGS is an important health problem for HIV positive women in schistosoma-endemic areas potentially associated with an increased risk of mortality, cancer and infertility. Additionally, it may be significantly impacting the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa by making young women more susceptible to HIV. We call for immediate action and argue that research is urgently required to address these knowledge gaps and propose a research agenda to achieve this.
    • Female Genital Schistosomiasis and HIV: Research Urgently Needed to Improve Understanding of the Health Impacts of This Important Coinfection

      O'Brien, D; Ford, N; Djirmay, AG; Calmy, A; Vitoria, M; Jensen, TO; Christinet, V (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2019-04-15)
      Evidence suggests that there are important interactions between HIV and female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) that may have significant effects on individual and population health. However, the exact way they interact and the health impacts of the interactions are not well understood. In this article, we discuss what is known about the interactions between FGS and HIV, and the potential impact of the interactions. This includes the likelihood that FGS is an important health problem for HIV-positive women in Schistosoma-endemic areas potentially associated with an increased risk of mortality, cancer, and infertility. In addition, it may be significantly impacting the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa by making young women more susceptible to HIV. We call for immediate action and argue that research is urgently required to address these knowledge gaps and propose a research agenda to achieve this.
    • Female Genital Schistosomiasis and HIV: Research Urgently Needed to Improve Understanding of the Health Impacts of This Important Coinfection.

      O'Brien, DP; Ford, Nathan; Djirmay, AG; Calmy, A; Vitoria, M; Jensen, TO; Christinet, V (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2019-04-15)
      Evidence suggests that there are important interactions between HIV and female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) that may have significant effects on individual and population health. However, the exact way they interact and the health impacts of the interactions are not well understood. In this article, we discuss what is known about the interactions between FGS and HIV, and the potential impact of the interactions. This includes the likelihood that FGS is an important health problem for HIV-positive women in Schistosoma-endemic areas potentially associated with an increased risk of mortality, cancer, and infertility. In addition, it may be significantly impacting the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa by making young women more susceptible to HIV. We call for immediate action and argue that research is urgently required to address these knowledge gaps and propose a research agenda to achieve this.
    • Management of BU-HIV co-infection

      O'Brien, D P; Ford, N; Vitoria, M; Christinet, V; Comte, E; Calmy, A; Stienstra, Y; Eholie, S; Asiedu, K (2014-06-20)
      Buruli Ulcer (BU)-HIV co-infection is an important emerging management challenge for BU disease. Limited by paucity of scientific studies, guidance for management of this co-infection has been lacking.
    • Managing Advanced HIV Disease in a Public Health Approach.

      Ford, N; Meintjes, G; Calmy, A; Bygrave, H; Migone, C; Vitoria, M; Penazzato, M; Vojnov, L; Doherty, M (Oxford University Press, 2018-03-04)
      In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) published guidelines for the management of advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease within a public health approach. Recent data suggest that more than a third of people starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) do so with advanced HIV disease, and an increasing number of patients re-present to care at an advanced stage of HIV disease following a period of disengagement from care. These guidelines recommend a standardized package of care for adults, adolescents, and children, based on the leading causes of morbidity and mortality: tuberculosis, severe bacterial infections, cryptococcal meningitis, toxoplasmosis, and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. A package of targeted interventions to reduce mortality and morbidity was recommended, based on results of 2 recent randomized trials that both showed a mortality reduction associated with delivery of a simplified intervention package. Taking these results and existing recommendations into consideration, WHO recommends that a package of care be offered to those presenting with advanced HIV disease; depending on age and CD4 cell count, the package may include opportunistic infection screening and prophylaxis, including fluconazole preemptive therapy for those who are cryptococcal antigen positive and without evidence of meningitis. Rapid ART initiation and intensified adherence interventions should also be proposed to everyone presenting with advanced HIV disease.
    • Sustainable HIV Treatment in Africa Through Viral-Load-Informed Differentiated Care

      Phillips, A; Shroufi, A; Vojnov, L; Cohn, J; Roberts, T; Ellman, T; Bonner, K; Rousseau, C; Garnett, G; Cambiano, V; et al. (Nature Publishing Group, 2015-12-03)
      There are inefficiencies in current approaches to monitoring patients on antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa. Patients typically attend clinics every 1 to 3 months for clinical assessment. The clinic costs are comparable with the costs of the drugs themselves and CD4 counts are measured every 6 months, but patients are rarely switched to second-line therapies. To ensure sustainability of treatment programmes, a transition to more cost-effective delivery of antiretroviral therapy is needed. In contrast to the CD4 count, measurement of the level of HIV RNA in plasma (the viral load) provides a direct measure of the current treatment effect. Viral-load-informed differentiated care is a means of tailoring care so that those with suppressed viral load visit the clinic less frequently and attention is focussed on those with unsuppressed viral load to promote adherence and timely switching to a second-line regimen. The most feasible approach to measuring viral load in many countries is to collect dried blood spot samples for testing in regional laboratories; however, there have been concerns over the sensitivity and specificity of this approach to define treatment failure and the delay in returning results to the clinic. We use modelling to synthesize evidence and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of viral-load-informed differentiated care, accounting for limitations of dried blood sample testing. We find that viral-load-informed differentiated care using dried blood sample testing is cost-effective and is a recommended strategy for patient monitoring, although further empirical evidence as the approach is rolled out would be of value. We also explore the potential benefits of point-of-care viral load tests that may become available in the future.