• Early mortality and loss to follow-up in HIV-infected children starting antiretroviral therapy in Southern Africa.

      Fenner, Lukas; Brinkhof, Martin W G; Keiser, Olivia; Weigel, Ralf; Cornell, Morna; Moultrie, Harry; Prozesky, Hans; Technau, Karl; Eley, Brian; Vaz, Paula; Pascoe, Margaret; Giddy, Janet; Van Cutsem, Gilles; Wood, Robin; Egger, Matthias; Davies, Mary-Ann; Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland. lfenner@ispm.unibe.ch (2010-08-15)
      BACKGROUND: Many HIV-infected children in Southern Africa have been started on antiretroviral therapy (ART), but loss to follow up (LTFU) can be substantial. We analyzed mortality in children retained in care and in all children starting ART, taking LTFU into account. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Children who started ART before the age of 16 years in 10 ART programs in South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe were included. Risk factors for death in the first year of ART were identified in Weibull models. A meta-analytic approach was used to estimate cumulative mortality at 1 year. RESULTS: Eight thousand two hundred twenty-five children (median age 49 months, median CD4 cell percent 11.6%) were included; 391 (4.8%) died and 523 (7.0%) were LTFU in the first year. Mortality at 1 year was 4.5% [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.8% to 7.4%] in children remaining in care, but 8.7% (5.4% to 12.1%) at the program level, after taking mortality in children and LTFU into account. Factors associated with mortality in children remaining in care included age [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.37; 95% CI: 0.25 to 0.54 comparing > or =120 months with <18 months], CD4 cell percent (HR: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.39 to 0.78 comparing > or =20% with <10%), and clinical stage (HR: 0.12; 95% CI: 0.03 to 0.45 comparing World Health Organization stage I with III/IV). CONCLUSIONS: In children starting ART and remaining in care in Southern Africa mortality at 1 year is <5% but almost twice as high at the program level, when taking LTFU into account. Age, CD4 percentage, and clinical stage are important predictors of mortality at the individual level.
    • High rates of active hepatitis B and C co-infections in HIV-1 infected Cameroonian adults initiating antiretroviral therapy

      Laurent, C; Bourgeois, A; Mpoudi-Ngolé, E; Kouanfack, C; Ciaffi, L; Nkoué, N; Mougnutou, R; Calmy, A; Koulla-Shiro, S; Ducos, J; Delaporte, E; Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, University Montpellier 1, Montpellier, France; Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, University Hospital, Montpellier, France; Military Hospital, Yaounde, Cameroon; Central Hospital, Yaounde, Cameroon; Medecins Sans Frontieres, Geneva, Switzerland; Laboratory of Viral Hepatitis, University Hospital, Montpellier, France (2009-07-29)
      OBJECTIVES: To investigate the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA and hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA in HIV-infected patients initiating antiretroviral therapy in Cameroon. METHODS: Baseline blood samples from 169 patients were tested retrospectively for hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg), anti-hepatitis B core (anti-HBc), anti-HCV and - if HBsAg or anti-HCV result was positive or indeterminate - for HBV DNA or HCV RNA, respectively, using the Cobas Ampliprep/Cobas TaqMan quantitative assay (Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Mannheim, Germany). RESULTS: HBV DNA was detected in 14 of the 18 patients with positive or indeterminate HBsAg results [8.3% of the total study population, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.6-13.5]. The median HBV viral load was 2.47 x 10(7) IU/mL [interquartile range (IQR) 3680-1.59 x 10(8); range 270 to >2.2 x 10(8)]. Twenty-one patients (12.4%, 95% CI 7.9-18.4) were found with HCV RNA (all with positive HCV serology). The median HCV viral load was 928 000 IU/mL (IQR 178 400-2.06 x 10(6); range 640-5.5 x 10(6)). No patient was co-infected with HBV and HCV. In multivariate analysis, HCV co-infection was associated with greater age [>or=45 years vs. <45 years, odds ratio (OR) 11.89, 95% CI 3.49-40.55, P<0.001] and abnormal serum alanine aminotransferase level [>or=1.25 x upper limit of normal (ULN) vs. <1.25 x ULN, OR 7.81, 95% CI 1.54-39.66, P=0.01]; HBV co-infection was associated with abnormal serum aspartate aminotransferase level (OR 4.33, 95% CI 1.32-14.17, P=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: These high rates of active HBV and HCV co-infections in HIV-positive Cameroonian patients requiring antiretroviral therapy underline the need to promote: (i) screening for HBV and HCV before treatment initiation; (ii) accessibility to tenofovir (especially in HBV-endemic African countries); and (iii) accessibility to treatment for HBV and HCV infections.
    • HIV Prevalence and Demographic Risk Factors in Blood Donors.

      Zachariah, R; Harries, A D; Nkhoma, W; Arendt, V; Spielmann M P; Buhendwa, L; Chingi, C; Mossong, J; Medecins Sans Frontieres, Luxembourg, Blantyre, Malawi. (2002-02)
      OBJECTIVES: To estimate HIV prevalence in various blood donor populations, to identity sociodemographic risk factors associated with prevalent HIV and to assess the feasibility of offering routine voluntary counselling services to blood donors. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Thyolo district, Malawi. METHODS: Data analysis involving blood donors who underwent voluntary counselling and HIV testing between January 1998 and July 2000. RESULTS: Crude HIV prevalence was 22%, while the age standardised prevalence (>15 years) was 17%. Prevalence was lowest among rural donors, students and in males of the age group 15-19 years. There was a highly significant positive association of HIV prevalence with increasing urbanisation. Significant risk factors associated with prevalence for both male and female donors included having a business-related occupation, living in a semi-urban or urban area and being in the age group 25-29 years for females and 30-34 years for males. All blood donors were pre-test counselled and 90% were post test counselled in 2000. CONCLUSIONS: HIV prevalence in blood donors was alarmingly high, raising important concerns on the potential dangers of HIV transmission through blood transfusions. Limiting blood transfusions, use of a highly sensitive screening test, and pre-donation selection of donors is important. The experience also shows that it is feasible to offer pre and post test counselling services for blood donors as an entry point for early diagnosis of asymptomatic HIV infection and, broader preventive strategies including the potential of early access to drugs, for the prevention of opportunistic infections.
    • Paediatric HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa: clinical presentation and 2-year outcomes stratified by age group

      Ben-Farhat, Jihane; Gale, Marianne; Szumilin, Elisabeth; Balkan, Suna; Poulet, Elisabeth; Pujades-Rodríguez, Mar (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2013-09)
      To examine age differences in mortality and programme attrition amongst paediatric patients treated in four African HIV programmes.