• Barriers to pilot mobile teleophthalmology in a rural hospital in Southern Malawi

      Pérez, Guillermo Martínez; Swart, Wayne; Munyenyembe, Jimmy Kondwani; Saranchuk, Peter (African Field Epidemiology Network, 2014-09-10)
    • Baseline characteristics, response to and outcome of antiretroviral therapy among patients with HIV-1, HIV-2 and dual infection in Burkina Faso.

      Harries, Katie; Zachariah, Rony; Manzi, Marcel; Firmenich, Peter; Mathela, Richard; Drabo, Joseph; Onadja, G; Arnould, Line; Harries, A D; Médecins Sans Frontières, Medical Department (Operational Research), Brussels Operational Center, 68 Rue de Gasperich, L-1617, Luxembourg. (2009-09-22)
      In an urban district hospital in Burkina Faso we investigated the relative proportions of HIV-1, HIV-2 and HIV-1/2 among those tested, the baseline sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, and the response to and outcome of antiretroviral therapy (ART). A total of 7368 individuals (male=32%; median age=34 years) were included in the analysis over a 6 year period (2002-2008). The proportions of HIV-1, HIV-2 and dual infection were 94%, 2.5% and 3.6%, respectively. HIV-1-infected individuals were younger, whereas HIV-2-infected individuals were more likely to be male, have higher CD4 counts and be asymptomatic on presentation. ART was started in 4255 adult patients who were followed up for a total of 8679 person-years, during which time 469 deaths occurred. Mortality differences by serotype were not statistically significant, but were generally worse for HIV-2 and HIV-1/2 after controlling for age, CD4 count and WHO stage. Among severely immune-deficient patients, mortality was higher for HIV-2 than HIV-1. CD4 count recovery was poorest for HIV-2. HIV-2 and dually infected patients appeared to do less well on ART than HIV-1 patients. Reasons may include differences in age at baseline, lower intrinsic immune recovery in HIV-2, use of ineffective ART regimens (inappropriate prescribing) by clinicians, and poor drug adherence.
    • Benefit of viral load testing for confirmation of immunological failure in HIV patients treated in rural Malawi.

      Kanapathipillai, Rupa; McGuire, Megan; Mogha, Robert; Szumilin, Elisabeth; Heinzelmann, Annette; Pujades-Rodriguez, Mar; Médecins Sans Frontières, Chiradzulu, Malawi  Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Vic., Australia  Epicentre, Paris, France  Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France. (2011-09-01)
      Objective  Viral load testing is used in the HIV programme of Chiradzulu, Malawi, to confirm the diagnosis of immunological failure to prevent unnecessary switching to second-line therapy. Our objective was to quantify the benefit of this strategy for management of treatment failure in a large decentralized HIV programme in Africa. Methods  Retrospective analysis of monitoring data from adults treated with first-line antiretroviral regimens for >1 year and meeting the WHO immunological failure criteria in an HIV programme in rural Malawi. The positive predictive value of using immunological failure criteria to diagnose virological failure (viral load >5000 copies/ml) was estimated. Results  Of the 227 patients with immunological failure (185 confirmed with a repeat CD4 measurement), 155 (68.2%) had confirmatory viral load testing. Forty-four (28.4%) had viral load >5000 copies/ml and 57 (36.8%) >1000 copies/ml. Positive predictive value was 28.4% (95% CI 21.4-36.2%). Repeat CD4 count testing showed that 41% of patients initially diagnosed with immunological failure did no longer meet failure criteria. Conclusions  Our results support the need for confirming all cases of immunological failure with viral load testing before switching to second-line ART to optimize the use of resources in developing countries.
    • 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.
    • Brief Report: Decentralizing ART Supply for Stable HIV Patients to Community-Based Distribution Centers: Program Outcomes From an Urban Context in Kinshasa, DRC

      Vogt, F; Kalenga, L; Lukela, J; Salumu, F; Diallo, I; Nico, E; Lampart, E; Van den Bergh, R; Shah, S; Ogundahunsi, O; et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2017-02-14)
    • Burden and outcome of HIV infection and other morbidities in health care workers attending an Occupational Health Program at the Provincial Hospital of Tete, Mozambique.

      Casas, Esther Carrillo; Decroo, Tom; Mahoudo, Jules Aimé Bonou; Baltazar, Jesus Maria; Dores, Carla Das; Cumba, Luisa; De Weggheleire, Anja; Huyst, Veerle; Bottieau, Emmanuel; Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium  Médecins Sans Frontières, Tete, Mozambique  Provincial Hospital of Tete, Tete, Mozambique  Provincial Health Directorate of Tete, Tete, Mozambique. (2011-08-18)
      Objectives  To investigate the burden and outcome of HIV infection and other morbidities amongst a Mozambican hospital staff. Methods  Within an occupational health service set up in April 2008 in the provincial hospital of Tete, Mozambique, we offered to all staff members an initial clinical, laboratory and radiological screening and followed them up prospectively until April 2010. Results  A total of 47.5% of 423 health workers attended the program. The cohort (female-to-male ratio: 2.2; mean age: 39 years) consisted mostly of auxiliary staff (43%) and nurses (29.8%). At initial screening, 71% were asymptomatic. HIV infection (28.4%) and tuberculosis (TB) (21%) were the main reported antecedent illnesses. Laboratory screening revealed anaemia (haemoglobin level <10 mg/dl) in 9% participants, abnormal liver enzymes in 23.9% and a reactive non-treponemal syphilis test in 5%. Of 145 performed chest X-rays, 13% showed abnormalities. All 113 health workers not recently tested for HIV were screened, and 31 were newly diagnosed with HIV infection (resulting in an overall HIV prevalence of 43.8%). Nine cases of TB were diagnosed at screening/during follow-up. In April 2010, all but one of the participants were alive. All HIV-infected health workers under antiretroviral therapy were actively followed-up. Conclusion  Serious conditions were frequently diagnosed in health workers, in particular HIV infection. Mid-term outcome was favourable within this program. Creation of screening and care services dedicated to caregivers should be of highest priority in similar African settings.
    • Burden of HIV-Related Cytomegalovirus Retinitis in Resource-Limited Settings: A Systematic Review

      Ford, Nathan; Shubber, Zara; Saranchuk, Peter; Pathai, Sophia; Durier, Nicolas; O'Brien, Daniel P; Mills, Edward J; Pascual, Fernando; Hoen, Ellen 't; Holland, Gary N; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2013-09-02)
      Background. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a late-stage opportunistic infection in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS. Lack of ophthalmological diagnostic skills, lack of convenient CMV treatment, and increasing access to antiretroviral therapy have all contributed to an assumption that CMV retinitis is no longer a concern in low- and middle-income settings. Methods. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished studies reporting prevalence of CMV retinitis in low- and middle-income countries. Eligible studies assessed the occurrence of CMV retinitis by funduscopic examination within a cohort of at least 10 HIV-positive adult patients. Results. We identified 65 studies from 24 countries, mainly in Asia (39 studies, 12 931 patients) and Africa (18 studies, 4325 patients). By region, the highest prevalence was observed in Asia with a pooled prevalence of 14.0% (11.8%-16.2%). Almost a third (31.6%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 27.6%-35.8%) had vision loss in 1 or both eyes. Few studies reported immune status, but where reported CD4 count at diagnosis of CMV retinitis was <50 cells/µL in 73.4% of cases. There was no clear pattern of prevalence over time, which was similar for the period 1993-2002 (11.8%; 95% CI, 8%-15.7%) and 2009-2013 (17.6%; 95% CI, 12.6%-22.7%). Conclusions. Prevalence of CMV retinitis in resource low- and middle-income countries, notably Asian countries, remains high, and routine retinal screening of late presenting HIV-positive patients should be considered. HIV programs must ensure capacity to manage the needs of patients who present late for care.
    • Burden, characteristics, management and outcomes of HIV-infected patients with Kaposi's sarcoma in Zomba, Malawi

      Mwinjiwa, E.; Isaakidis, P.; Van den Bergh, R.; Harries, A. D.; Bezanson, K. D.; Beyene, T.; Thompson, C.; Joshua, M.; Akello, H.; van Lettow, M. (Public Health Action, 2013-06-21)
    • Cabergoline for suppression of puerperal lactation in a prevention of mother-to-child HIV-transmission programme in rural Malawi.

      Buhendwa, L; Zachariah, R; Teck, R; Massaquoi, M; Kazima, J; Firmenich, P; Harries, A D; Medecins sans Frontieres, Thyolo District, Malawi. (Royal Society of Medicine, 2008-01)
      This study shows that cabergoline (single oral-dose) is an acceptable, safe and effective drug for suppressing puerperal lactation. It could be of operational benefit not only for artificial feeding, but also for weaning in those that breast-feed within preventive mother-to-child HIV transmission programmes in resource-limited settings.
    • Cascade of HIV Care and Population Biral Suppression in a High-Burden Region of Kenya

      Maman, D; Zeh, C; Mukui, I; Kirubi, B; Masson, S; Opolo, V; Szumilin, E; Riche, B; Etard, JF (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2015-07-31)
      Direct measurement of antiretroviral treatment (ART) program indicators essential for evidence-based planning and evaluation - especially HIV incidence, population viral load, and ART eligibility - is rare in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Causes and determinants of mortality in HIV-infected adults with tuberculosis: an analysis from the CAMELIA ANRS 1295-CIPRA KH001 randomized trial

      Marcy, Olivier; Laureillard, Didier; Madec, Yoann; Chan, Sarin; Mayaud, Charles; Borand, Laurence; Prak, Narom; Kim, Chindamony; Lak, Kim Khemarin; Hak, Chanroeurn; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2014-08)
      Shortening the interval between antituberculosis treatment onset and initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces mortality in severely immunocompromised human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with tuberculosis. A better understanding of causes and determinants of death may lead to new strategies to further enhance survival.
    • Causes of false-positive HIV rapid diagnostic test results

      Klarkowski, Derryck; O'Brien, Daniel P; Shanks, Leslie; Singh, Kasha P (Informa Healthcare, 2014-01)
      HIV rapid diagnostic tests have enabled widespread implementation of HIV programs in resource-limited settings. If the tests used in the diagnostic algorithm are susceptible to the same cause for false positivity, a false-positive diagnosis may result in devastating consequences. In resource-limited settings, the lack of routine confirmatory testing, compounded by incorrect interpretation of weak positive test lines and use of tie-breaker algorithms, can leave a false-positive diagnosis undetected. We propose that heightened CD5+ and early B-lymphocyte response polyclonal cross-reactivity are a major cause of HIV false positivity in certain settings; thus, test performance may vary significantly in different geographical areas and populations. There is an urgent need for policy makers to recognize that HIV rapid diagnostic tests are screening tests and mandate confirmatory testing before reporting an HIV-positive result. In addition, weak positive results should not be recognized as valid except in the screening of blood donors.
    • CD4 count slope and mortality in HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy: multicohort analysis from South Africa

      Hoffmann, Christopher J; Schomaker, Michael; Fox, Matthew P; Mutevedzi, Portia; Giddy, Janet; Prozesky, Hans; Wood, Robin; Garone, Daniela B; Egger, Matthias; Boulle, Andrew; et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013-05-01)
      In many resource-limited settings monitoring of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is based on the current CD4 count, with limited access to HIV RNA tests or laboratory diagnostics. We examined whether the CD4 count slope over 6 months could provide additional prognostic information.
    • CD4 Testing at Clinics to Assess Eligibility for Antiretroviral Therapy

      Lumala, R; van den Akker, T; Metcalf, CA; Diggle, E; Zamadenga, B; Mbewa, K; Akkeson, A (College of Medicine, University of Malawi, 2012-06-01)
      In 2011, the Ministry of Health raised the CD4 threshold for antiretroviral therapy (ART) eligibility from <250 cells/µl and <350 cells/µl, but at the same time only 8.8% of facilities in Malawi with HIV services provided CD4 testing. We conducted a record review at 10 rural clinics in Thyolo District to assess the impact of introducing CD4 testing on identifying patients eligible for ART.
    • CD4 testing at clinics to assess eligibility for Antiretroviral treatment

      Lumala, R; Van den Akker, T; Metcalf, C; Diggle, E; Zamagenga, B; Mbewa, K; Akkeson, A; MSF (2012-06)
    • CD4+ cell count at antiretroviral therapy initiation and economic restoration in rural Uganda

      Venkataramani, Atheendar S; Thirumurthy, Harsha; Haberer, Jessica E; Boum, Yap; Siedner, Mark J; Kembabazi, Annet; Hunt, Peter W; Martin, Jeffrey N; Bangsberg, David R; Tsai, Alexander C (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014-01-08)
      To determine whether earlier initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is associated with better economic outcomes.
    • Challenge and co-operation: civil society activism for access to HIV treatment in Thailand.

      Ford, N; Wilson, D; Cawthorne, P; Kumphitak, A; Kasi-Sedapan, S; Kaetkaew, S; Teemanka, S; Donmon, B; Preuanbuapan, C; Médecins Sans Frontières, Bangkok, Thailand. david.wilson.thai@gmail.com (Published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2009-03)
      Civil society has been a driving force behind efforts to increase access to treatment in Thailand. A focus on HIV medicines brought civil society and non-governmental and government actors together to fight for a single cause, creating a platform for joint action on practical issues to improve care for people with HIV/AIDS (PHA) within the public health system. The Thai Network of People with HIV/AIDS, in partnership with other actors, has provided concrete support for patients and for the health system as a whole; its efforts have contributed significantly to the availability of affordable generic medicines, early treatment for opportunistic infections, and an informed and responsible approach towards antiretroviral treatment that is critical to good adherence and treatment success. This change in perception of PHA from 'passive receiver' to 'co-provider' of health care has led to improved acceptance and support within the healthcare system. Today, most PHA in Thailand can access treatment, and efforts have shifted to supporting care for excluded populations.
    • Challenges and successes in the implementation of option B+ to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in southern Swaziland.

      Etoori, D; Kerschberger, B; Staderini, N; Ndlangamandla, M; Nhlabatsi, B; Jobanputra, K; Mthethwa-Hleza, S; Parker, LA; Sibanda, S; Mabhena, E; et al. (BioMed Central, 2018-03-20)
      Background Universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all pregnant/ breastfeeding women living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), known as Prevention of mother-to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) Option B+ (PMTCTB+), is being scaled up in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the transition to PMTCTB+, many countries face challenges with proper implementation of the HIV care cascade. We aimed to describe the feasibility of a PMTCTB+ approach in the public health sector in Swaziland. Methods Lifelong ART was offered to a cohort of HIV+ pregnant women aged ≥16 years at the first antenatal care (ANC1) visit in 9 public sector facilities, between 01/2013 and 06/2014. The study enrolment period was divided into 3 phases (early: 01–06/2013, mid: 07–12/2013 and late: 01–06/2014) to account for temporal trends. Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox proportional-hazards regression models were applied for ART initiation and attrition analyses. Results Of 665 HIV+ pregnant women, 496 (74.6%) initiated ART. ART initiation increased in later study enrolment phases (mid: aHR: 1.41; later: aHR: 2.36), and decreased at CD4 ≥ 500 (aHR: 0.69). 52.9% were retained in care at 24 months. Attrition was associated with ANC1 in the third trimester (aHR: 2.37), attending a secondary care facility (aHR: 1.98) and ART initiation during later enrolment phases (mid aHR: 1.48; late aHR: 1.67). Of 373 women eligible, 67.3% received a first VL. 223/251 (88.8%) were virologically suppressed (< 1000 copies/mL). Of 670 infants, 53.6% received an EID test, 320/359 had a test result recorded and of whom 7 (2.2%) were HIV+. Conclusions PMTCTB+ was found to be feasible in this setting, with high rates of maternal viral suppression and low transmission to the infant. High treatment attrition, poor follow-up of mother-baby pairs and under-utilisation of VL and EID testing are important programmatic challenges.
    • Challenges associated with providing diabetes care in humanitarian settings

      Boulle, P; Kehlenbrink, S; Smith, J; Beran, D; Jobanputra, K (Elsevier, 2019-03-13)
      The humanitarian health landscape is gradually changing, partly as a result of the shift in global epidemiological trends and the rise of non-communicable diseases, including diabetes. Humanitarian actors are progressively incorporating care for diabetes into emergency medical response, but challenges abound. This Series paper discusses contemporary practical challenges associated with diabetes care in humanitarian contexts in low-income and middle-income countries, using the six building blocks of health systems described by WHO (information and research, service delivery, health workforce, medical products and technologies, governance, and financing) as a framework. Challenges include the scarcity of evidence on the management of diabetes and clinical guidelines adapted to humanitarian contexts; unavailability of core indicators for surveillance and monitoring systems; and restricted access to the medicines and diagnostics necessary for adequate clinical care. Policy and system frameworks do not routinely include diabetes and little funding is allocated for diabetes care in humanitarian crises. Humanitarian organisations are increasingly gaining experience delivering diabetes care, and interagency collaboration to coordinate, improve data collection, and analyse available programmes is in progress. However, the needs around all six WHO health system building blocks are immense, and much work needs to be done to improve diabetes care for crisis-affected populations.