• Highly active antiretroviral therapy in resource-poor settings: the experience of Medecins Sans Frontieres

      Tassie, J M; Szumilin, E; Calmy, A; Goemaere, E; Medecins Sans Fronteres (2003-09)
      We describe the short-term results of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in seven projects in low and middle income countries. A total of 743 adults were included, and clinical, immunological and virological responses were analysed. At 6 months, outcomes were similar to those observed in western countries, and the probability of remaining on treatment was 94%. The challenge now is to extend access to HAART to the millions in urgent need.
    • Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource-Poor Settings: The Experience of Médecins Sans Frontières.

      Tassie, J M; Szumilin, E; Calmy, A; Goemaere, E; Epicentre, Paris, France. (2003-09-05)
      We describe the short-term results of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in seven projects in low and middle income countries. A total of 743 adults were included, and clinical, immunological and virological responses were analysed. At 6 months, outcomes were similar to those observed in western countries, and the probability of remaining on treatment was 94%. The challenge now is to extend access to HAART to the millions in urgent need.
    • HIV and cytomegalovirus in Thailand.

      Chua, A; Wilson, D; Ford, N (Elsevier, 2005-06)
    • HIV and Tuberculosis in Prisons in Sub-Saharan Africa

      Telisinghe, L; Charalambous, S; Topp, SM; Herce, ME; Hoffmann, CJ; Barron, P; Schouten, EJ; Jahn, A; Zachariah, R; Harries, AD; et al. (Elsevier, 2016-07-14)
      Given the dual epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa and evidence suggesting a disproportionate burden of these diseases among detainees in the region, we aimed to investigate the epidemiology of HIV and tuberculosis in prison populations, describe services available and challenges to service delivery, and identify priority areas for programmatically relevant research in sub-Saharan African prisons. To this end, we reviewed literature on HIV and tuberculosis in sub-Saharan African prisons published between 2011 and 2015, and identified data from only 24 of the 49 countries in the region. Where data were available, they were frequently of poor quality and rarely nationally representative. Prevalence of HIV infection ranged from 2·3% to 34·9%, and of tuberculosis from 0·4 to 16·3%; detainees nearly always had a higher prevalence of both diseases than did the non-incarcerated population in the same country. We identified barriers to prevention, treatment, and care services in published work and through five case studies of prison health policies and services in Zambia, South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, and Benin. These barriers included severe financial and human-resource limitations and fragmented referral systems that prevent continuity of care when detainees cycle into and out of prison, or move between prisons. These challenges are set against the backdrop of weak health and criminal-justice systems, high rates of pre-trial detention, and overcrowding. A few examples of promising practices exist, including routine voluntary testing for HIV and screening for tuberculosis upon entry to South African and the largest Zambian prisons, reforms to pre-trial detention in South Africa, integration of mental health services into a health package in selected Malawian prisons, and task sharing to include detainees in care provision through peer-educator programmes in Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa. However, substantial additional investments are required throughout sub-Saharan Africa to develop country-level policy guidance, build human-resource capacity, and strengthen prison health systems to ensure universal access to HIV and tuberculsosis prevention, treatment, and care of a standard that meets international goals and human rights obligations.
    • HIV and tuberculosis--science and implementation to turn the tide and reduce deaths.

      Harries, Anthony D; Lawn, Stephen D; Getahun, Haileyesus; Zachariah, Rony; Havlir, Diane V; International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France. adharries@theunion.org (2012-10)
      Every year, HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB) deprives 350,000 mainly young people of productive and healthy lives.People die because TB is not diagnosed and treated in those with known HIV infection and HIV infection is not diagnosed in those with TB. Even in those in whom both HIV and TB are diagnosed and treated, this often happens far too late. These deficiencies can be addressed through the application of new scientific evidence and diagnostic tools.
    • HIV care need not hamper maternity care: a descriptive analysis of integration of services in rural Malawi

      van den Akker, T; Bemelmans, M; Ford, N; Jemu, M; Diggle, E; Scheffer, S; Zulu, I; Akesson, A; Shea, J; Thyolo District Health Office, Ministry of Health, Thyolo, Malawi; Médecins Sans Frontières, Thyolo Project, Thyolo, Malawi; Child Health Unit, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Médecins Sans Frontières Operational Centre Brussels, Brussels, Belgium; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland; Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012-01-18)
      Please cite this paper as: van den Akker T, Bemelmans M, Ford N, Jemu M, Diggle E, Scheffer S, Zulu I, Akesson A, Shea J. HIV care need not hamper maternity care: a descriptive analysis of integration of services in rural Malawi. BJOG 2012;119:431-438. Objective  To evaluate the use of reproductive health care and incidence of paediatric HIV infection during the expansion of antiretroviral therapy and services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission in rural Malawi, and the influence of integration of these HIV-related services into general health services. Design  Descriptive analysis. Setting  Thyolo District, with a population of 600 000, an HIV prevalence of 21% and a total fertility rate of 5.7 in 2004. Population  Women attending reproductive health services care in 2005 and 2010. Methods  Review of facility records and databases for routine monitoring. Main outcome measures  Use of antenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, family planning and sexually transmitted infection services; incidence of HIV infection in infants born to mothers who received prevention of mother-to-child transmission care. Results  There was a marked increase in the uptake of perinatal care: pregnant women in 2010 were 50% more likely to attend at least one antenatal visit (RR 1.50, 95% CI 1.48-1.51); were twice as likely to deliver at a healthcare facility (RR 2.05, 95% CI 2.01-2.08); and were more than four times as likely to present for postpartum care (RR 4.40, 95% CI 4.25-4.55). Family planning consultations increased by 40% and the number of women receiving treatment for sexually transmitted infections doubled. Between 2007 and 2010, the number of HIV-exposed infants who underwent testing for HIV went up from 421 to 1599/year, and the proportion testing positive decreased from 13.3 to 5.0%; infants were 62% less likely to test HIV positive (RR 0.38, 95% CI 0.27-0.52). Conclusions  During the expansion and integration of HIV care, the use of reproductive health services increased and the outcomes of infants born to HIV-infected mothers improved. HIV care may be successfully integrated into broader reproductive health services.
    • HIV drug resistance.

      Calmy, A; Pascual, F; Ford, N (Massachusetts Medical Society, 2004-06-24)
    • HIV epidemic and cascade of care in 12 east African rural fishing communities: results from a population-based survey in Uganda

      Burgos-Soto, J; Farhat, JB; Alley, I; Ojuka, P; Mulogo, E; Kise-Sete, T; Bouhenia, M; Salumu, L; Mathela, R; Langendorf, C; et al. (BMC, 2020-06-19)
      Background In East Africa, fishing communities are considered most-at-risk populations for the acquisition of HIV. We estimated HIV prevalence and assessed progress towards the UNAIDS 90–90-90 targets along the HIV treatment cascade in 12 fishing communities surrounding Lakes Edward and George, Uganda. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional household-based survey between September and November 2016. All adults between 15 and 69 years old were eligible to participate. Children below 15 years old were eligible for HIV testing if either parent was HIV-positive. Viral load testing was done for all HIV-infected individuals. Logistic regression models adjusted for sociodemographic-behavioral variables were used to assess the association between occupation and HIV positivity. Results Overall, 1738 adults (959 women, 779 men) and 148 children were included. Adult inclusion rate was 96.0%. Of the men, 58% reported to be fishermen. The HIV-prevalence among adults was 17.5% (95%CI: 15.8–19.4) and 6.1% (95%CI: 3.1–11.4) among HIV-exposed children. HIV prevalence was higher among women than among men (20.9% vs. 13.5%, p < 0.001). Among men, fishermen had a higher HIV prevalence (18.7%; 95%CI: 15.1–22.3) and a higher risk of being HIV-positive (aOR: 4.2; 95%CI: 2.0–9.1) than men of other occupations (p < 0.001). Progress towards the UNAIDS 90–90-90 targets was as follows: 86.5% (95%CI: 82.3–90.1%) of the HIV-positive participants were diagnosed, 98.7% (95%CI: 96.1–99.6%) of those aware were on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 87.3% (95%CI: 82.3–91.0%) of those on ART were virally suppressed. Overall, 73% of all HIV-positive individuals were virally suppressed. Viral suppression was lower among individuals 15–24 years (45.5%) than among those 25–44 years (74.0%) and 45–69 years (85.0%), p < 0.001. Fishermen did not to have significant differences in the HIV cascade of care compared to men with other occupations. Conclusions HIV prevalence was high in these fishing communities, particularly among women and fishermen. Important progress has been made along the HIV treatment cascade, and the UNAIDS goal for viral suppression in population was achieved. However, gaps remain and HIV care strategies focusing on young people are urgently needed. HIV preventive interventions should target particularly women, young people and fishermen though HIV preventive and care services should remain available to the whole fishing communities.
    • HIV Misdiagnosis in Sub-Saharan Africa: Performance of Diagnostic Algorithms at Six Testing Sites

      Kosack, C; Shanks, L; Beelaert, G; Benson, T; Savane, A; Ng'ang'a, A; Andre, B; Zahinda, J; Fransen, K; Page, A (International AIDS Society, 2017-07-03)
      We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of HIV testing algorithms at six programmes in five sub-Saharan African countries.
    • 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.
    • HIV prevention, care, and treatment in two prisons in Thailand.

      Wilson, D; Ford, N; Ngammee, V; Chua, A; Kyaw, M K K; Médecins Sans Frontières, Bangkapi, Bangkok, Thailand. (Public Library of Science, 2007-06)
    • HIV programmatic outcomes following implementation of the 'Treat-All' policy in a public sector setting in Eswatini: a prospective cohort study

      Kerschberger, B; Schomaker, M; Jobanputra, K; Kabore, SM; Teck, R; Mabhena, E; Mthethwa-Hleza, S; Rusch, B; Ciglenecki, I; Boulle, A (Wiley, 2020-03-03)
      INTRODUCTION: The Treat-All policy - antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation irrespective of CD4 cell criteria - increases access to treatment. Many ART programmes, however, reported increasing attrition and viral failure during treatment expansion, questioning the programmatic feasibility of Treat-All in resource-limited settings. We aimed to describe and compare programmatic outcomes between Treat-All and standard of care (SOC) in the public sectors of Eswatini. METHODS: This is a prospective cohort study of ≥16-year-old HIV-positive patients initiated on first-line ART under Treat-All and SOC in 18 health facilities of the Shiselweni region, from October 2014 to March 2016. SOC followed the CD4 350 and 500 cells/mm3 treatment eligibility thresholds. Kaplan-Meier estimates were used to describe crude programmatic outcomes. Multivariate flexible parametric survival models were built to assess associations of time from ART initiation with the composite unfavourable outcome of all-cause attrition and viral failure. RESULTS: Of the 3170 patients, 1888 (59.6%) initiated ART under Treat-All at a median CD4 cell count of 329 (IQR 168 to 488) cells/mm3 compared with 292 (IQR 161 to 430) (p < 0.001) under SOC. Although crude programme retention at 36 months tended to be lower under Treat-All (71%) than SOC (75%) (p = 0.002), it was similar in covariate-adjusted analysis (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.06, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.23). The hazard of viral suppression was higher for Treat-All (aHR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.23), while the hazard of viral failure was comparable (Treat-All: aHR 0.89, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.49). Among patients with advanced HIV disease (n = 1080), those under Treat-All (aHR 1.13, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.44) had a similar risk of an composite unfavourable outcome to SOC. Factors increasing the risk of the composite unfavourable outcome under both interventions were aged 16 to 24 years, being unmarried, anaemia, ART initiation on the same day as HIV care enrolment and CD4 ≤ 100 cells/mm3 . Under Treat-All only, the risk of the unfavourable outcome was higher for pregnant women, WHO III/IV clinical stage and elevated creatinine. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to SOC, Treat-All resulted in comparable retention, improved viral suppression and comparable composite outcomes of retention without viral failure.
    • HIV Testing and Retention in Care of Infants Born to HIV- Infected Women Enrolled in 'Option B+', Thyolo, Malawi

      Martínez Pérez, G; Metcalf, C; Garone, D; Coulborn, R; Harries, A D; Hedt-Gauthier, B; Murowa, M; Mwenelupembe, GS; Van den Bergh, R; Triviño Durán, L (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2014-06-21)
      Prevention of mother-to-child transmission 'Option B+' originated in Malawi in 2011 to prevent new infections in infants exposed to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We assessed 12-month programme retention and HIV testing uptake among infants born to HIV-infected mothers from September 2011 to June 2012 in Thyolo District Hospital. Of 513 infants, 368 (71.7%) remained in care at 12 months. Altogether, 412 (80.3%) underwent HIV DNA polymerase chain reaction testing, with 267 (52.0%) tested at 6-12 weeks, and 255 (49.7%) underwent rapid HIV testing, with 144 (28.1%) tested at 12 months. Eighty-eight (17.2%) infants had both tests as scheduled. Measures are needed to improve adherence to national testing protocols.
    • HIV testing and retention in care of infants born to HIV-infected women enrolled in 'Option B+', Thyolo, Malawi

      Perez, G. Martinez; Metcalf, C.; Garone, D.; Coulborn, R.; Harries, A. D.; Hedt-Gauthier, B.; Murowa, M.; Mwenelupembe, G. S.; Van den Bergh, R.; Duran, L. Triviño (The Union, 2014-06-21)
    • HIV treatment in a conflict setting: outcomes and experiences from Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      Culbert, H; Tu, D; O'Brien, D; Ellman, T; Mills, C; Ford, N; Amisi, T; Chan, K; Venis, S; Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Public Library of Science, 2007-05)
    • HIV viral load algorithm

      Shroufi, A; van Cutsem, G; Phillips, A; Maman, D; Murphy, R; Duncan, K; Cambiano, V; Bansi-Matharu, L (Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2020-01)
      Letter to the Editor | No Abstract
    • HIV Viral Load as an Independent Risk Factor for Tuberculosis in South Africa: Collaborative Analysis of Cohort Studies

      Fenner, L; Atkinson, A; Boulle, A; Fox, M; Prozesky, H; Zürcher, K; Ballif, M; Furrer, H; Zwahlen, M; Davies, M; et al. (International AIDS Society, 2017-06-23)
      Chronic immune activation due to ongoing HIV replication may lead to impaired immune responses against opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis (TB). We studied the role of HIV replication as a risk factor for incident TB after starting antiretroviral therapy (ART).
    • HIV Viral Load Monitoring in Resource-Limited Regions: Optional or Necessary?

      Calmy, A; Ford, N; Hirschel, B; Reynolds, S; Lynen, L; Goemaere, E; Garcia de la Vega, F; Perrin, L; Rodriguez, W; Medecins sans Frontieres, Access to Medicines Campaign, Geneva, 1211, Switzerland. acalmy@gmail.com (Published by: Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2007-01-01)
      Although it is a standard practice in high-income countries, determination of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) load is not recommended in developing countries because of the costs and technical constraints. As more and more countries establish capacity to provide second-line therapy, and as costs and technological constraints associated with viral load testing decrease, the question of whether determination of the viral load is necessary deserves attention. Viral load testing could increase in importance as a guide for clinical decisions on when to switch to second-line treatment and on how to optimize the duration of the first-line treatment regimen. In addition, the viral load is a particularly useful tool for monitoring adherence to treatment, performing sentinel surveillance, and diagnosing HIV infection in children aged <18 months. Rather than considering viral load data to be an unaffordable luxury, efforts should be made to ensure that viral load testing becomes affordable, simple, and easy to use in resource-limited settings.
    • HIV-1 drug resistance testing at second-line regimen failure in Arua, Uganda: avoiding unnecessary switch to an empiric third-line.

      Fily, F; Ayikobua, E; Ssemwanga, D; Nicholas, S; Kaleebu, P; Delaugerre, C; Pasquier, E; Amoros Quiles, I; Balkan, S; Schramm, B (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018-07-29)
      The number of patients on second-line antiretroviral therapy is growing, but data on HIV drug resistance patterns at failure in resource-constrained settings are scarce. We aimed to describe drug resistance and investigate the factors associated with extensive resistance to nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI), in patients failing second-line therapy in the HIV outpatient clinic at Arua Regional Referral Hospital, Uganda.