• A Drug Dosage Table is a Useful Tool to Facilitate Prescriptions of Antiretroviral Drugs for Children in Thailand.

      Ponnet, M; Frederix, K; Petdachai, W; Wilson, D; Eksaengsri, A; Zachariah, R; Médecins Sans Frontières, Bangkok, Thailand. (2005-06)
      Scaling up of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for children in countries like Thailand will require decentralization and management by non-specialist doctors. We describe (a) the formulation of a standardized drug dosage table to facilitate antiretroviral drug (ARV) prescriptions for children, (b) the acceptability of such a table among doctors and (c) the safety and efficacy of drug doses in the table. Acceptability was assessed using a questionnaire. Safety and efficacy were assessed on the basis of incidence of adverse effects and virological response to treatment, respectively. Of all doctors (n=18), 17 (94%) found that the table was practical to use, avoided miscalculations and made them more confident with prescriptions. Of 49 children prescribed ARVs, less than 5% had adverse side-effects. All ARV-naïve children achieved undetectable viral loads within six months of ART. In our setting, a standardized drug dosage table provided a simple and reliable tool that facilitated ARV prescriptions for children.
    • A biregional survey and review of first-line treatment failure and second-line paediatric antiretroviral access and use in Asia and southern Africa

      Van Cutsem, G; Saphonn, V; Saramony, S; Vibol, U; Zhang, FJ; Han, N; Saghayam, S; Kurniati, N; Muktiarti, D; Fong, SM; et al. (BioMed Central, 2011-04-08)
      To better understand the need for paediatric second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART), an ART management survey and a cross-sectional analysis of second-line ART use were conducted in the TREAT Asia Paediatric HIV Observational Database and the IeDEA Southern Africa (International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS) regional cohorts.
    • Correcting mortality for loss to follow-up: a nomogram applied to antiretroviral treatment programmes in sub-Saharan Africa.

      Egger, Matthias; Spycher, Ben D; Sidle, John; Weigel, Ralf; Geng, Elvin H; Fox, Matthew P; MacPhail, Patrick; van Cutsem, Gilles; Messou, Eugène; Wood, Robin; et al. (2011-01)
      The World Health Organization estimates that in sub-Saharan Africa about 4 million HIV-infected patients had started antiretroviral therapy (ART) by the end of 2008. Loss of patients to follow-up and care is an important problem for treatment programmes in this region. As mortality is high in these patients compared to patients remaining in care, ART programmes with high rates of loss to follow-up may substantially underestimate mortality of all patients starting ART.
    • Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-positive TB patients in developing countries.

      Zachariah, R; Massaquoi, M; Medecins sans Frontieres, Operational Research HIV-TB, Medical department, Brussels Operational Center, 68 Rue de Gaspench, L-1617 Luxemburg. zachariah@internet.lu (2006-04)
      Despite provisional recommendations from the World Health Organization and UNAIDS that cotrimoxazole (CTX) prophylaxis be offered to all individuals living with AIDS, including HIV-positive patients with TB, its routine use in developing countries particularly Africa has been minimal. Concerns were expressed regarding its effectiveness in areas of high bacterial resistance, that its widespread use might substantially increase bacterial cross-resistance in the community and that this intervention might promote resistance of malaria parasites to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine. We review the current evidence on the above concerns and highlight the main operational considerations related to implementing CTX prophylaxis as a basic component of care for HIV-positive TB patients in developing countries.
    • 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; et al. (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.
    • Effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy in HIV-positive children: evaluation at 12 months in a routine program in Cambodia.

      Janssens, B; Raleigh, B; Soeung, S; Akao, K; Te, V; Gupta, J; Vun, M; Ford, N; Nouhin, J; Nerrienet, E; et al. (2007-11)
      OBJECTIVE: Increasing access to highly active antiretroviral therapy to reach all those in need in developing countries (scale up) is slowly expanding to HIV-positive children, but documented experience remains limited. We aimed to describe the clinical, immunologic, and virologic outcomes of pediatric patients with >12 months of highly active antiretroviral therapy in 2 routine programs in Cambodia. METHODS: Between June 2003 and March 2005, 212 children who were younger than 13 years started highly active antiretroviral therapy. Most patients started a standard first-line regimen of lamivudine, stavudine, and nevirapine, using split adult fixed-dosage combinations. CD4 percentage and body weight were monitored routinely. A cross-sectional virologic analysis was conducted in January 2006; genotype resistance testing was performed for patients with a detectable viral load. RESULTS: Mean age of the subjects was 6 years. Median CD4 percentage at baseline was 6. Survival was 92% at 12 months and 91% at 24 months; 13 patients died, and 4 were lost to follow-up. A total of 81% of all patients had an undetectable viral load. Among the patients with a detectable viral load, most mutations were associated with resistance to lamivudine and non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor drugs. Five patients had developed extensive antiretroviral resistance. Being an orphan was found to be a predictor of virologic failure. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides additional evidence of the effectiveness of integrating HIV/AIDS care with highly active antiretroviral therapy for children in a routine setting, with good virologic suppression and immunologic recovery achieved by using split adult fixed-dosage combinations. Viral load monitoring and HIV genotyping are valuable tools for the clinical follow-up of the patients. Orphans should receive careful follow-up and extra support.
    • Growth in Virologically Suppressed HIV-Positive Children on Antiretroviral Therapy: Individual and Population-level References.

      Keiser, Olivia; Blaser, Nello; Davies, Mary-Ann; Wessa, Patrick; Eley, Brian; Moultrie, Harry; Rabie, Helena; Technau, Karl-Günther; Ndirangu, James; Garone, Daniela; et al. (2015-10)
      Combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) suppresses viral replication in HIV-infected children. The growth of virologically suppressed children on ART has not been well documented. We aimed to develop dynamic reference curves for weight-for-age Z scores (WAZ) and height-for-age Z scores (HAZ).
    • HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

      Goemaere, E; Ford, N; Benatar, S R (Elsevier, 2002-07-06)
    • Immunovirological response to combined antiretroviral therapy and drug resistance patterns in children: 1- and 2-year outcomes in rural Uganda.

      Ahoua, Laurence; Guenther, Gunar; Rouzioux, Christine; Pinoges, Loretxu; Anguzu, Paul; Taburet, Anne-Marie; Balkan, Suna; Olson, David M; Olaro, Charles; Pujades-Rodríguez, Mar; et al. (BioMed Central, 2011-07-26)
      Children living with HIV continue to be in urgent need of combined antiretroviral therapy (ART). Strategies to scale up and improve pediatric HIV care in resource-poor regions, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, require further research from these settings. We describe treatment outcomes in children treated in rural Uganda after 1 and 2 years of ART start.
    • Low uptake of antiretroviral therapy after admission with human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

      Murphy, R A; Sunpath, H; Taha, B; Kappagoda, S; Maphasa, K T M; Kuritzkes, D R; Smeaton, L; Doctors Without Borders USA, New York, USA; McCord Hospital, South Africa; Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, USA; Division of Infectious Disease and Geographic Medicine, California, USA; Zoe-Life, South Africa; Section of Retroviral Therapeutics, Massachusetts, USA; Centre for Biostatistics in AIDS Research, Massachusetts, USA (2010-07-01)
      A prospective cohort study was conducted among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected in-patients with tuberculosis (TB) or other opportunistic infections (OIs) in South Africa to estimate subsequent antiretroviral therapy (ART) uptake and survival.
    • Malawi's contribution to "3 by 5": achievements and challenges

      Libamba, Edwin; Makombe, Simon D; Harries, Anthony D; Schouten, Erik J; Yu, Joseph Kwong-Leung; Pasulani, Olesi; Mhango, Eustice; Aberle-Grasse, John; Hochgesang, Mindy; Limbambala, Eddie; et al. (2007-02-01)
      PROBLEM: Many resource-poor countries have started scaling up antiretroviral therapy (ART). While reports from individual clinics point to successful implementation, there is limited information about progress in government institutions at a national level. APPROACH: Malawi started national ART scale-up in 2004 using a structured approach. There is a focus on one generic, fixed-dose combination treatment with stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine. Treatment is delivered free of charge to eligible patients with HIV and there is a standardized system for recruiting patients, monthly follow-up, registration, monitoring and reporting of cases and outcomes. All treatment sites receive quarterly supervision and evaluation. LOCAL SETTING: In January 2004, there were nine public sector facilities delivering ART to an estimated 4 000 patients. By December 2005, there were 60 public sector facilities providing free ART to 37,840 patients using national standardized systems. Analysis of quarterly cohort treatment outcomes at 12 months showed 80% of patients were alive, 10% dead, 9% lost to follow-up and 1% had stopped treatment. LESSONS LEARNED: Achievements were the result of clear national ART guidelines, implementing partners working together, an intensive training schedule focused on clinical officers and nurses, a structured system of accrediting facilities for ART delivery, quarterly supervision and monitoring, and no stock-outs of antiretroviral drugs. The main challenges are to increase the numbers of children, pregnant women and patients with tuberculosis being started on ART, and to avert high early mortality and losses to follow-up. The capacity of the health sector to cope with escalating case loads and to scale up prevention alongside treatment will determine the future success of ART delivery in Malawi.
    • Monitoring the South African National Antiretroviral Treatment Programme, 2003-2007: the IeDEA Southern Africa collaboration.

      Cornell, Morna; Technau, Karl; Fairall, Lara; Wood, Robin; Moultrie, Harry; van Cutsem, Gilles; Giddy, Janet; Mohapi, Lerato; Eley, Brian; MacPhail, Patrick; et al. (2009-09)
      OBJECTIVES: To introduce the combined South African cohorts of the International epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS Southern Africa (IeDEA-SA) collaboration as reflecting the South African national antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme; to characterise patients accessing these services; and to describe changes in services and patients from 2003 to 2007. DESIGN AND SETTING: Multi-cohort study of 11 ART programmes in Gauteng, Western Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. SUBJECTS: Adults and children (<16 years old) who initiated ART with > or =3 antiretroviral drugs before 2008. RESULTS: Most sites were offering free treatment to adults and children in the public sector, ranging from 264 to 17,835 patients per site. Among 45,383 adults and 6,198 children combined, median age (interquartile range) was 35.0 years (29.8-41.4) and 42.5 months (14.7-82.5), respectively. Of adults, 68% were female. The median CD4 cell count was 102 cells/microl (44-164) and was lower among males than females (86, 34-150 v. 110, 50-169, p<0.001). Median CD4% among children was 12% (7-17.7). Between 2003 and 2007, enrolment increased 11-fold in adults and 3-fold in children. Median CD4 count at enrolment increased for all adults (67-111 cells/microl, p<0.001) and for those in stage IV (39-89 cells/microl, p<0.001). Among children <5 years, baseline CD4% increased over time (11.5-16.0%, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: IeDEA-SA provides a unique opportunity to report on the national ART programme. The study describes dramatically increased enrolment over time. Late diagnosis and ART initiation, especially of men and children, need attention. Investment in sentinel sites will ensure good individual-level data while freeing most sites to continue with simplified reporting.
    • Outcomes of the South African National Antiretroviral Treatment Programme for children: the IeDEA Southern Africa collaboration.

      Davies, Mary-Ann; Keiser, Olivia; Technau, Karl; Eley, Brian; Rabie, Helena; van Cutsem, Gilles; Giddy, Janet; Wood, Robin; Boulle, Andrew; Egger, Matthias; et al. (2009-10)
      OBJECTIVES: To assess paediatric antiretroviral treatment (ART) outcomes and their associations from a collaborative cohort representing 20% of the South African national treatment programme. DESIGN AND SETTING: Multi-cohort study of 7 public sector paediatric ART programmes in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. SUBJECTS: ART-naive children (< or = 16 years) who commenced treatment with > or = 3 antiretroviral drugs before March 2008. OUTCOME MEASURES: Time to death or loss to follow-up were assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Associations between baseline characteristics and mortality were assessed with Cox proportional hazards models stratified by site. Immune status, virological suppression and growth were described in relation to duration of ART. RESULTS: The median (interquartile range) age of 6 078 children with 9 368 child-years of follow-up was 43 (15 - 83) months, with 29% being < 18 months. Most were severely ill at ART initiation. More than 75% of children were appropriately monitored at 6-monthly intervals with viral load suppression (< 400 copies/ml) being 80% or above throughout 36 months of treatment. Mortality and retention in care at 3 years were 7.7% (95% confidence interval 7.0 - 8.6%) and 81.4% (80.1 - 82.6%), respectively. Together with young age, all markers of disease severity (low weight-for-age z-score, high viral load, severe immune suppression, stage 3/4 disease and anaemia) were independently associated with mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Dramatic clinical benefit for children accessing the national ART programme is demonstrated. Higher mortality in infants and those with advanced disease highlights the need for early diagnosis of HIV infection and commencement of ART.
    • 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.
    • Promoting adherence to antiretroviral therapy: the experience from a primary care setting in Khayelitsha, South Africa.

      Coetzee, D; Boulle, A; Hildebrand, K; Asselman, V; Van Cutsem, G; Goemaere, E; Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. dcoetzee@phfm.uct.ac.za (2004-06)
      OBJECTIVE: To describe the approach used to promote adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and to present the outcomes in the first primary care public sector ART project in South Africa. DESIGN: The study is a prospective open cohort, including all adult patients naive to previous ART who received antiretroviral treatment in Khayelitsha, from May 2001 to the end of 2002. Patients were followed until their most recent visit before 31 July 2003. METHODS: Plasma viral load was determined at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after ART was initiated, and CD4 cell counts 6-monthly. Kaplan-Meier estimates were determined for the cumulative proportions of patients surviving, and patients with viral load suppression and viral rebound. RESULTS: A total of 287 patients were initiated on triple therapy. The probability of survival was 86.3% at 24 months. The median CD4 cell count gain was 288 cells/microliters at 24 months. Viral load was less than 400 copies/ml in 89.2, 84.2 and 69.7% of patients at 6, 12 and 24 months, respectively. The cumulative probability of viral rebound (two consecutive HIV-RNA measurements above 400 copies/ml) after achieving an HIV-RNA measurement below 400 copies/ml was 13.2% at 18 months. CONCLUSION: The study shows that, with a standard approach to patient preparation and strategies to enhance adherence, a cohort of patients on ART can be retained in a resource-limited setting in a developing country. A high proportion of patients achieved suppression of viral replication. The subsequent probability of viral rebound was low.
    • Scaling-up co-trimoxazole prophylaxis in HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children in high HIV-prevalence countries.

      Zachariah, R; Harries, A D; Luo, C; Bachman, G; Graham, S M; Médecins Sans Frontières, Medical department (Operational Research), Brussels Operational Center, Brussels, Belgium. zachariah@internet.lu (Elsevier, 2007-10)
      Co-trimoxazole (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) is a widely available antibiotic that substantially reduces HIV-related morbidity and mortality in both adults and children. Prophylaxis with co-trimoxazole is a recommended intervention of proven benefit that could serve not only as an initial step towards improving paediatric care in young children with limited access to antiretroviral treatment, but also as an important complement to antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings. Despite co-trimoxazole's known clinical benefits, the potential operational benefits, and favourable recommendations by WHO, UNAIDS, and UNICEF, its routine use in developing countries--particularly sub-Saharan Africa--has remained limited. Out of an estimated 4 million children in need of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis (HIV-exposed and HIV-infected), only 4% are currently receiving this intervention. We discuss some of the major barriers preventing the scale-up of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis for children in countries with a high prevalence of HIV and propose specific actions required to tackle these challenges.
    • Supervision, monitoring and evaluation of nationwide scale-up of antiretroviral therapy in Malawi

      Libamba, Edwin; Makombe, Simon; Mhango, Eustice; de Ascurra Teck, Olga; Limbambala, Eddie; Schouten, Erik J; Harries, Anthony D; Clinical HIV Unit, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi; The Lighthouse Clinic, Lilongwe, Malawi; Médecins Sans Frontières–Belgium, Malawi Office, Blantyre, Malawi; World Health Organization Country Office, Lilongwe, Malawi; HIV Coordinator, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi (2006-04-13)
      OBJECTIVE: To describe the supervision, monitoring and evaluation strategies used to assess the delivery of antiretroviral therapy during nationwide scale-up of treatment in Malawi. METHODS: In the first quarter of 2005, the HIV Unit of the Ministry of Health and its partners (the Lighthouse Clinic; Médecins Sans Frontières-Belgium, Thyolo district; and WHO's Country Office) undertook structured supervision and monitoring of all public sector health facilities in Malawi delivering antiretroviral therapy. FINDINGS: Data monitoring showed that by the end of 2004, there were 13,183 patients (5274 (40%) male, 12 527 (95%) adults) who had ever started antiretroviral therapy. Of patients who had ever started, 82% (10 761/13,183) were alive and taking antiretrovirals; 8% (1026/13,183) were dead; 8% (1039/13,183) had been lost to follow up; <1% (106/13,183) had stopped treatment; and 2% (251/13,183) had transferred to another facility. Of those alive and on antiretrovirals, 98% (7098/7258) were ambulatory; 85% (6174/7258) were fit to work; 10% (456/4687) had significant side effects; and, based on pill counts, 96% (6824/7114) had taken their treatment correctly. Mistakes in the registration and monitoring of patients were identified and corrected. Drug stocks were checked, and one potential drug stock-out was averted. As a result of the supervisory visits, by the end of March 2005 recruitment of patients to facilities scheduled to start delivering antiretroviral therapy had increased. CONCLUSION: This report demonstrates the importance of early supervision for sites that are starting to deliver antiretroviral therapy, and it shows the value of combining data collection with supervision. Making regular supervisory and monitoring visits to delivery sites are essential for tracking the national scale-up of delivery of antiretrovirals.
    • Treatment of AIDS in conflict-affected settings: a failure of imagination.

      Ellman, T; Culbert, H; Torres-Feced, V; Médecins Sans Frontières, London WC1R 5DJ, UK. tom.ellman@msf.org (Elsevier, 2008-02-14)
    • Treatment outcomes of patients on Second-line Antiretroviral Therapy in resource-limited settings: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

      Ajose, Olawale; Mookerjee, Siddharth; Mills, Edward J; Boulle, Andrew; Ford, Nathan; Clinton Health Access Initiative, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (2012-05-15)
      A growing proportion of patients on antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings have switched to second-line regimens. We carried out a systematic review in order to summarize reported rates and reasons for virological failure among people on second-line therapy in resource-limited settings.
    • Variability of Growth in Children Starting Antiretroviral Treatment in Southern Africa

      Gsponer, Thomas; Weigel, Ralf; Davies, Mary-Ann; Bolton, Carolyn; Moultrie, Harry; Vaz, Paula; Rabie, Helena; Technau, Karl; Ndirangu, James; Eley, Brian; et al. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2012-10)
      Poor growth is an indication for antiretroviral therapy (ART) and a criterion for treatment failure. We examined variability in growth response to ART in 12 programs in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa.