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Johannesburg, South Africa

Brennan A.T.,University of Witwatersrand | Brennan A.T.,Boston University | Long L.,University of Witwatersrand | Maskew M.,University of Witwatersrand | And 5 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2011

Objective: To compare clinical, immunologic and virologic outcomes among stable HIV-positive patients down-referred to a nurse-managed primary healthcare clinic (PHC) for treatment maintenance to those who remained at a doctor-managed treatment-initiation site. Design: We conducted a matched cohort analysis among stable HIV patients at the Themba Lethu Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Eligible patients met the criteria for down-referral [undetectable viral load <10 months, antiretroviral therapy (ART) >11 months, CD4 + cell count 200cells/μl, stable weight and no opportunistic infections], regardless of whether they were down-referred to a PHC for treatment maintenance between February 2008 and January 2009. Patients were matched 1:3 (down-referred:treatment-initiation) using propensity scores. Methods: We calculated rates and hazard ratios (HRs) for the effect of down-referral on loss to follow-up (LTFU) and mortality and the relative risk of down-referral on viral rebound by 12 months of follow-up. Results: Six hundred and ninety-three down-referred patients were matched to 2079 treatment-initiation patients. Two (0.3%) down-referred and 32 (1.5%) treatment-initiation patients died, 10 (1.4%) down-referred and 87 (4.2%) treatment-initiation patients were lost, and 22 (3.3%) down-referred and 100 (5.6%) treatment-initiation patients experienced viral rebound by 12 months of follow-up. After adjustment, patients down-referred were less likely to die [hazard ratio (HR) 0.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.04-0.8], become LTFU (HR 0.3, 95% CI 0.2-0.6) or experience viral rebound (relative risk 0.6, 95% CI 0.4-0.9) than treatment-initiation patients during follow-up. Conclusion: The utilization of nurse-managed PHCs for treatment maintenance of stable patients could decrease the burden on specialized doctor-managed ART clinics. Patient outcomes for down-referred patients at PHCs appear equal, if not better, than those achieved at ART clinics among stable patients. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source


Westreich D.,Duke University | Maskew M.,University of Witwatersrand | Evans D.,University of Witwatersrand | Firnhaber C.,University of Witwatersrand | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: Little is known about the impact of pregnancy on response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in sub-Saharan Africa. We examined the effect of incident pregnancy after HAART initiation on clinical response to HAART. Methods: We evaluated a prospective clinical cohort of adult women initiating HAART in Johannesburg, South Africa between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2011, and followed up until an event, transfer, drop-out, or administrative end of follow-up on 30 September 2011. Women over age 45 and women who were pregnant at HAART initiation were excluded from the study. Main exposure was having experienced pregnancy after HAART initiation; main outcome was death and (separately) death or new AIDS event. We calculated adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence limits (CL) using marginal structural Cox proportional hazards models. Results: The study included 7,534 women, and 20,813 person-years of follow-up; 918 women had at least one recognized pregnancy during follow-up. For death alone, the weighted (adjusted) HR was 0.84 (95% CL 0.44, 1.60). Sensitivity analyses confirmed main results, and results were similar for analysis of death or new AIDS event. Incident pregnancy was associated with a substantially reduced hazard of drop-out (HR = 0.62, 95% CL 0.51, 0.75). Conclusions: Recognized incident pregnancy after HAART initiation was not associated with increases in hazard of clinical events, but was associated with a decreased hazard of drop-out. High rates of pregnancy after initiation of HAART may point to a need to better integrate family planning services into clinical care for HIV-infected women. © 2013 Westreich et al. Source


Di Bisceglie A.M.,Saint Louis University | Maskew M.,University of Witwatersrand | Schulze D.,University of Witwatersrand | Reyneke A.,University of Witwatersrand | And 2 more authors.
Antiviral Therapy | Year: 2010

There are approximately 33 million individuals with HIV infection worldwide. The majority of infections are in southern Africa where hepatitis B is also known to be endemic. As access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) increases, the possibility for hepatitis B treatment resistance increases because most ART regimens contain lamivudine. Patients coinfected with HBV are therefore receiving monotherapy for HBV infection, leading to possible HBV-resistant mutants and the concurrent public health effect thereof. Additional information is needed on the prevalence of HIV-HBV coinfection and treatment response to ART. We present a summary of the information available from South Africa to date. ©2010 International Medical Press. Source


Westreich D.,Duke University | Evans D.,University of Witwatersrand | Firnhaber C.,University of Witwatersrand | Majuba P.,Right to Care | Maskew M.,University of Witwatersrand
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes | Year: 2012

Objective: Pregnancy is a common indication for initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in sub-Saharan Africa. Our objective was to evaluate how pregnancy at treatment initiation predicts virologic response to HAART. Methods: We evaluated an open cohort of 9173 patients who initiated HAART between April 2004 and September 2009 in the Themba Lethu Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Risk ratios were estimated using log-binomial regression; hazard ratios were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models; time ratios were estimated using accelerated failure time models. We controlled for calendar date, age, ethnicity, employment status, history of smoking, tuberculosis, WHO stage, weight, body mass index, hemoglobin, CD4 count and CD4 percent, and whether clinical care was free. Extensive sensitivity and secondary analyses were performed. Results: During follow-up, 822 nonpregnant women and 70 pregnant women experienced virologic failure. In adjusted analyses, pregnancy at baseline was associated with reduced risk of virologic failure by 6 months [risk ratio 0.66, 95% confidence limits (CL): 0.35 to 1.22] and with reduced hazard of virologic failure over follow-up (hazard ratio: 0.69, 95% CL: 0.50 to 0.95). The adjusted time ratio for failure was 1.44 (95% CL: 1.13 to 1.84), indicating 44% longer time to event among women pregnant at baseline. Sensitivity analyses generally confirmed main findings. Conclusions: Pregnancy at HAART initiation is not associated with increased risk of virologic failure at 6 months or during longer follow-up. © 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source


Larson B.A.,Boston University | Schnippel K.,University of Witwatersrand | Ndibongo B.,University of Witwatersrand | Xulu T.,Right to Care | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: A mobile HIV counseling and testing (HCT) program around Johannesburg piloted the integration of point-of-care (POC) CD4 testing, using the Pima analyzer, to improve linkages to HIV care. We report results from this pilot program for patients testing positive (n = 508) from May to October 2010. METHODS: We analyzed 3 primary outcomes: assignment to testing group (offered POC CD4 or not), successful follow-up (by telephone), and completed the referral visit for HIV care within 8 weeks after HIV testing if successfully followed up. Proportions for each outcome were calculated, and relative risks were estimated using a modified Poisson approach. RESULTS: Three hundred eleven patients were offered the POC CD4 test, and 197 patients were not offered the test. No differences in patient characteristics were observed between the 2 groups. Approximately 62.7% of patients were successfully followed up 8 weeks after HIV testing, with no differences observed between testing groups. Among those followed up, 54.4% reported completing their referral visit. Patients offered the POC CD4 test were more likely to complete the referral visit for further HIV care (relative risk 1.25, 95% confidence interval: 1.00 to 1.57). CONCLUSIONS: In this mobile HCT setting, patients offered POC CD4 testing as part of the HCT services were more likely to visit a referral clinic after testing, suggesting that rapid CD4 testing technology may improve linkage to HIV care. Future research can evaluate options for adjusting HCT services if POC CD4 testing was included permanently and the cost-effectiveness of the POC CD4 testing compared with other approaches for improving linkage of care. Copyright © 2012 by Lippincott Williams &Wilkins. Source

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