Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership

Gaborone, Botswana

Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership

Gaborone, Botswana
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Subramanian S.V.,Harvard University | Moyo S.,Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership | Bor J.,Boston University
The Lancet Global Health | Year: 2015

Background: An estimated 2·1 million individuals are newly infected with HIV every year. Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have reported conflicting evidence for the association between education and HIV risk, and no randomised trial has identified a causal effect for education on HIV incidence. We aimed to use a policy reform in secondary schooling in Botswana to identify the causal effect of length of schooling on new HIV infection. Methods: Data for HIV biomarkers and demographics were obtained from the nationally representative household 2004 and 2008 Botswana AIDS Impact Surveys (N=7018). In 1996, Botswana reformed the grade structure of secondary school, expanding access to grade ten and increasing educational attainment for affected cohorts. Using exposure to the policy reform as an instrumental variable, we used two-stage least squares to estimate the causal effect of years of schooling on the cumulative probability that an individual contracted HIV up to their age at the time of the survey. We also assessed the cost-effectiveness of secondary schooling as an HIV prevention intervention in comparison to other established interventions. Findings: Each additional year of secondary schooling caused by the policy change led to an absolute reduction in the cumulative risk of HIV infection of 8·1 percentage points (p=0·008), relative to a baseline prevalence of 25·5% in the pre-reform 1980 birth cohort. Effects were particularly large in women (11·6 percentage points, p=0·046). Results were robust to a wide array of sensitivity analyses. Secondary school was cost effective as an HIV prevention intervention by standard metrics (cost per HIV infection averted was US$27 753). Interpretation: Additional years of secondary schooling had a large protective effect against HIV risk in Botswana, particularly for women. Increasing progression through secondary school could be a cost-effective HIV prevention measure in HIV-endemic settings, in addition to yielding other societal benefits. Funding: Takemi Program in International Health at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, Belgian American Educational Foundation, Fernand Lazard Foundation, Boston University, National Institutes of Health. © 2015 De Neve et al. Open access article distributed under the terms of CC BY.


Lockman S.,Brigham and Women's Hospital | Lockman S.,IID Inc | Lockman S.,Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership | Hughes M.D.,IID Inc | And 27 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2010

Background: Peripartum administration of single-dose nevirapine reduces mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) but selects for nevirapineresistant virus. Methods: In seven African countries, women infected with HIV-1 whose CD4+ T-cell counts were below 200 per cubic millimeter and who either had or had not taken singledose nevirapine at least 6 months before enrollment were randomly assigned to receive antiretroviral therapy with tenofovir - emtricitabine plus nevirapine or tenofovir- emtricitabine plus lopinavir boosted by a low dose of ritonavir. The primary end point was the time to confirmed virologic failure or death. Results: A total of 241 women who had been exposed to single-dose nevirapine began the study treatments (121 received nevirapine and 120 received ritonavir-boosted lopin avir). Significantly more women in the nevirapine group reached the primary end point than in the ritonavir-boosted lopinavir group (26% vs. 8%) (adjusted P = 0.001). Virologic failure occurred in 37 (28 in the nevirapine group and 9 in the ritonavir-boosted lopinavir group), and 5 died without prior virologic failure (4 in the nevirapine group and 1 in the ritonavir-boosted lopinavir group). The group differences appeared to decrease as the interval between single-dose nevirapine exposure and the start of antiretroviral therapy increased. Retrospective bulk sequencing of baseline plasma samples showed nevirapine resistance in 33 of 239 women tested (14%). Among 500 women without prior exposure to single-dose nevirapine, 34 of 249 in the nevirapine group (14%) and 36 of 251 in the ritonavir-boosted lopinavir group (14%) had virologic failure or died. Conclusions: In women with prior exposure to peripartum single-dose nevirapine (but not in those without prior exposure), ritonavir-boosted lopinavir plus tenofovir - emtricitabine was superior to nevirapine plus tenofovir - emtricitabine for initial antiretroviral therapy. Copyright © 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society.


PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry of Health, Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Harvard University and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The lancet. HIV | Year: 2016

HIV programmes face challenges achieving high rates of HIV testing and treatment needed to optimise health and to reduce transmission. We used data from the Botswana Combination Prevention Project study survey to assess Botswanas progress toward achieving UNAIDS targets for 2020: 90% of all people living with HIV knowing their status, 90% of these receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 90% of those having virological suppression (90-90-90).A population-based sample of individuals was recruited and interviewed in 30 rural and periurban communities from Oct 30, 2013, to Nov 24, 2015, as part of a large, ongoing community-randomised trial designed to assess the effect of a combination prevention package on HIV incidence. A random sample of about 20% of households in each community was selected. Consenting household residents aged 16-64 years who were Botswana citizens or spouses of citizens responded to a questionnaire and had blood drawn for HIV testing in the absence of documentation of positive HIV status. Viral load testing was done in all HIV-infected participants, irrespective of treatment status. We used modified Poisson generalised estimating equations to obtain prevalence ratios, corresponding Huber robust SEs, and 95% Wald CIs to examine associations between individual sociodemographic factors and a binary outcome indicating achievement of the three individual and combined overall 90-90-90 targets. The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01965470.81% of enumerated eligible household members took part in the survey (10% refused and 9% were absent). Among 12610 participants surveyed, 3596 (29%) were infected with HIV, and 2995 (833%, 95% CI 814-852) of these individuals already knew their HIV status. Among those who knew their HIV status, 2617 (874%, 95% CI 858-890) were receiving ART (95% of those eligible by national guidelines, and 73% of all infected people). Of the 2609 individuals receiving ART with a viral load measurement, 2517 (965%, 95% CI 960-970) had viral load of 400 copies per mL or less. Overall, 702% (95% CI 675-730) of HIV-infected people had virological suppression, close to the UNAIDS target of 73%.UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets are achievable even in resource-constrained settings with high HIV burden.US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


PubMed | University of KwaZulu - Natal, Stellenbosch University and Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Viruses | Year: 2015

In this paper, we review serological and molecular based methods to identify HIV infection recency. The accurate identification of recent HIV infection continues to be an important research area and has implications for HIV prevention and treatment interventions. Longitudinal cohorts that follow HIV negative individuals over time are the current gold standard approach, but they are logistically challenging, time consuming and an expensive enterprise. Methods that utilize cross-sectional testing and biomarker information have become an affordable alternative to the longitudinal approach. These methods use well-characterized biological makers to differentiate between recent and established HIV infections. However, recent results have identified a number of limitations in serological based assays that are sensitive to the variability in immune responses modulated by HIV subtypes, viral load and antiretroviral therapy. Molecular methods that explore the dynamics between the timing of infection and viral evolution are now emerging as a promising approach. The combination of serological and molecular methods may provide a good solution to identify recent HIV infection in cross-sectional data. As part of this review, we present the advantages and limitations of serological and molecular based methods and their potential complementary role for the identification of HIV infection recency.


PubMed | Botswana UPenn Partnership, McMaster University, University of Botswana, St Josephs Healthcare and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease | Year: 2016

We compared the performance of flocked and matched traditional rectal swabs collected from 236 children admitted with gastroenteritis in Botswana. All samples were tested using real time multiplex-PCR assays for nine enteric pathogens. There was a 20% higher detection of Shigella from flocked swabs, but most other pathogens had similar detection rates.


PubMed | Ministry of Health, Marshall University, Bennett Statistical Consulting Inc., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Less than one-third of HIV-infected pregnant women eligible for combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally initiate treatment prior to delivery, with lack of access to timely CD4 results being a principal barrier. We evaluated the effectiveness of an SMS-based intervention to improve access to timely antenatal ART.We conducted a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial of a low-cost programmatic intervention in 20 antenatal clinics in Gaborone, Botswana. From July 2011-April 2012, 2 clinics were randomly selected every 4 weeks to receive an ongoing clinic-based educational intervention to improve CD4 collection and to receive CD4 results via an automated SMS platform with active patient tracing. CD4 testing before 26 weeks gestation and ART initiation before 30 weeks gestation were assessed.Three-hundred-sixty-six ART-nave women were included, 189 registering for antenatal care under Intervention and 177 under Usual Care periods. Of CD4-eligible women, 100 (59.2%) women under Intervention and 79 (50.6%) women under Usual Care completed CD4 phlebotomy before 26 weeks gestation, adjusted odds ratio (aOR, adjusted for time that a clinic initiated Intervention) 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI]0.47-1.63, P = 0.67). The SMS-based platform reduced time to clinic receipt of CD4 test result from median of 16 to 6 days (P<0.001), was appreciated by clinic staff, and was associated with reduced operational cost. However, rates of ART initiation remained low, with 56 (36.4%) women registering under Intervention versus 37 (24.2%) women under Usual Care initiating ART prior to 30 weeks gestation, aOR 1.06 (95%CI 0.53-2.13, P = 0.87).The augmented SMS-based intervention delivered CD4 results more rapidly and efficiently, and this type of SMS-based results delivery platform may be useful for a variety of tests and settings. However, the intervention did not appear to improve access to timely antenatal CD4 testing or ART initiation, as obstacles other than CD4 impeded ART initiation during pregnancy.


PubMed | Bennett Statistical Consulting Inc., Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership and Harvard University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of clinical microbiology | Year: 2016

Routine monitoring of HIV-1 RNA or viral load (VL) in patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) is important, but there are multiple impediments to VL testing in resource-constrained settings. An accurate point-of-care (POC) HIV-1 VL test could alleviate many of these challenges. We compared the performance of the Cepheid Xpert HIV-1 VL assay against the laboratory-based Abbott m2000sp/m2000rt assay (Abbott assay). ART-naive individuals participating in the Botswana Combination Prevention Project in 20 communities provided EDTA-blood specimens during household surveys. Both the POC Xpert HIV-1 VL and Abbott assays were performed on specimens sampled from 277 individuals. We found a high correlation between the Xpert HIV-1 VL and Abbott assay results (r


PubMed | Global Viral Cameroon, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CAS Wuhan Institute of Virology, Stanford University and 48 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS medicine | Year: 2015

Regional and subtype-specific mutational patterns of HIV-1 transmitted drug resistance (TDR) are essential for informing first-line antiretroviral (ARV) therapy guidelines and designing diagnostic assays for use in regions where standard genotypic resistance testing is not affordable. We sought to understand the molecular epidemiology of TDR and to identify the HIV-1 drug-resistance mutations responsible for TDR in different regions and virus subtypes.We reviewed all GenBank submissions of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase sequences with or without protease and identified 287 studies published between March 1, 2000, and December 31, 2013, with more than 25 recently or chronically infected ARV-nave individuals. These studies comprised 50,870 individuals from 111 countries. Each set of study sequences was analyzed for phylogenetic clustering and the presence of 93 surveillance drug-resistance mutations (SDRMs). The median overall TDR prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), south/southeast Asia (SSEA), upper-income Asian countries, Latin America/Caribbean, Europe, and North America was 2.8%, 2.9%, 5.6%, 7.6%, 9.4%, and 11.5%, respectively. In SSA, there was a yearly 1.09-fold (95% CI: 1.05-1.14) increase in odds of TDR since national ARV scale-up attributable to an increase in non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) resistance. The odds of NNRTI-associated TDR also increased in Latin America/Caribbean (odds ratio [OR] = 1.16; 95% CI: 1.06-1.25), North America (OR = 1.19; 95% CI: 1.12-1.26), Europe (OR = 1.07; 95% CI: 1.01-1.13), and upper-income Asian countries (OR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.12-1.55). In SSEA, there was no significant change in the odds of TDR since national ARV scale-up (OR = 0.97; 95% CI: 0.92-1.02). An analysis limited to sequences with mixtures at less than 0.5% of their nucleotide positionsa proxy for recent infectionyielded trends comparable to those obtained using the complete dataset. Four NNRTI SDRMsK101E, K103N, Y181C, and G190Aaccounted for >80% of NNRTI-associated TDR in all regions and subtypes. Sixteen nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) SDRMs accounted for >69% of NRTI-associated TDR in all regions and subtypes. In SSA and SSEA, 89% of NNRTI SDRMs were associated with high-level resistance to nevirapine or efavirenz, whereas only 27% of NRTI SDRMs were associated with high-level resistance to zidovudine, lamivudine, tenofovir, or abacavir. Of 763 viruses with TDR in SSA and SSEA, 725 (95%) were genetically dissimilar; 38 (5%) formed 19 sequence pairs. Inherent limitations of this study are that some cohorts may not represent the broader regional population and that studies were heterogeneous with respect to duration of infection prior to sampling.Most TDR strains in SSA and SSEA arose independently, suggesting that ARV regimens with a high genetic barrier to resistance combined with improved patient adherence may mitigate TDR increases by reducing the generation of new ARV-resistant strains. A small number of NNRTI-resistance mutations were responsible for most cases of high-level resistance, suggesting that inexpensive point-mutation assays to detect these mutations may be useful for pre-therapy screening in regions with high levels of TDR. In the context of a public health approach to ARV therapy, a reliable point-of-care genotypic resistance test could identify which patients should receive standard first-line therapy and which should receive a protease-inhibitor-containing regimen.


Payne R.,University of Oxford | Muenchhoff M.,University of Oxford | Mann J.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Roberts H.E.,University of Oxford | And 24 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

It is widely believed that epidemics in new hosts diminish in virulence over time, with natural selection favoring pathogens that cause minimal disease. However, a tradeoff frequently exists between high virulence shortening host survival on the one hand but allowing faster transmission on the other. This is the case in HIV infection, where high viral loads increase transmission risk per coital act but reduce host longevity. We here investigate the impact on HIV virulence of HIV adaptation to HLA molecules that protect against disease progression, such as HLA-B∗57 and HLA-B∗58:01. We analyzed cohorts in Botswana and South Africa, two countries severely affected by the HIV epidemic. In Botswana, where the epidemic started earlier and adult seroprevalence has been higher, HIV adaptation to HLA including HLA-B∗57/58:01 is greater compared with South Africa (P = 7 × 10-82), the protective effect of HLA-B∗57/58:01 is absent (P = 0.0002), and population viral replicative capacity is lower (P = 0.03). These data suggest that viral evolution is occurring relatively rapidly, and that adaptation of HIV to the most protective HLA alleles may contribute to a lowering of viral replication capacity at the population level, and a consequent reduction in HIV virulence over time. The potential role in this process played by increasing antiretroviral therapy (ART) access is also explored. Models developed here suggest distinct benefits of ART, in addition to reducing HIV disease and transmission, in driving declines in HIV virulence over the course of the epidemic, thereby accelerating the effects of HLA-mediated viral adaptation. HLA, HIV, adaptation, antiretroviral therapy, virulence. © 2014, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership and Harvard University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

A single viral variant is transmitted in the majority of HIV infections. However, about 20% of heterosexually transmitted HIV infections are caused by multiple viral variants. Detection of transmitted HIV variants is not trivial, as it involves analysis of multiple viral sequences representing intra-host HIV-1 quasispecies.We distinguish two types of multiple virus transmission in HIV infection: (1) HIV transmission from the same source, and (2) transmission from different sources. Viral sequences representing intra-host quasispecies in a longitudinally sampled cohort of 42 individuals with primary HIV-1C infection in Botswana were generated by single-genome amplification and sequencing and spanned the V1C5 region of HIV-1C env gp120. The Maximum Likelihood phylogeny and distribution of pairwise raw distances were assessed at each sampling time point (n = 217; 42 patients; median 5 (IQR: 4-6) time points per patient, range 2-12 time points per patient).Transmission of multiple viral variants from the same source (likely from the partner with established HIV infection) was found in 9 out of 42 individuals (21%; 95 CI 10-37%). HIV super-infection was identified in 2 patients (5%; 95% CI 1-17%) with an estimated rate of 3.9 per 100 person-years. Transmission of multiple viruses combined with HIV super-infection at a later time point was observed in one individual.Multiple HIV lineages transmitted from the same source produce a monophyletic clade in the inferred phylogenetic tree. Such a clade has transiently distinct sub-clusters in the early stage of HIV infection, and follows a predictable evolutionary pathway. Over time, the gap between initially distinct viral lineages fills in and initially distinct sub-clusters converge. Identification of cases with transmission of multiple viral lineages from the same source needs to be taken into account in cross-sectional estimation of HIV recency in epidemiological and population studies.

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