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Lilongwe, Malawi

Kim M.H.,Baylor College of Medicine | Ahmed S.,Baylor College of Medicine | Buck W.C.,Baylor College of Medicine | Preidis G.A.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 10 more authors.
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2012

Introduction: Loss to follow-up is a major challenge in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme in Malawi with reported loss to follow-up of greater than 70%. Tingathe-PMTCT is a pilot intervention that utilizes dedicated community health workers (CHWs) to create a complete continuum of care within the PMTCT cascade, improving service utilization and retention of mothers and infants.We describe the impact of the intervention on longitudinal care starting with diagnosis of the mother at antenatal care (ANC) through final diagnosis of the infant. Methods: PMTCT service utilization, programme retention and outcomes were evaluated for pregnant women living with HIV and their exposed infants enrolled in the Tingathe-PMTCT programme between March 2009 and March 2011. Multivariate logistic regression was done to evaluate maternal factors associated with failure to complete the cascade. Results: Over 24 months, 1688 pregnant women living with HIV were enrolled. Median maternal age was 27 years (IQR, 23.8 to 30.8); 333 (19.7%) were already on ART. Among the remaining women, 1328/1355 (98%) received a CD4 test, with 1243/1328 (93.6%) receiving results. Of the 499 eligible for ART, 363 (72.8%) were successfully initiated. Prior to, delivery there were 93 (5.7%) maternal/foetal deaths, 137 (8.1%) women transferred/moved, 51 (3.0%) were lost and 58 (3.4%) refused ongoing PMTCT services. Of the 1318 live births to date, 1264 (95.9%) of the mothers and 1285 (97.5%) of the infants received ARV prophylaxis; 1064 (80.7%) infants were tested for HIV by PCR and started on cotrimoxazole. Median age at PCR was 1.7 months (IQR, 1.5 to 2.5). Overall transmission at first PCR was 43/1047 (4.1%). Of the 43 infants with positive PCR results, 36 (83.7%) were enrolled in ART clinic and 33 (76.7%) were initiated on ART. Conclusions: Case management and support by dedicated CHWs can create a continuum of longitudinal care in the PMTCT cascade and result in improved outcomes. Copyright: © 2012 Kim MH et al; licensee International AIDS Society. Source

Ahmed S.,Baylor College of Medicine | Kim M.H.,Baylor College of Medicine | Dave A.C.,Baylor College of Medicine | Sabelli R.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 9 more authors.
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2015

Background: Early identification and entry into care is critical to reducing morbidity and mortality in children with HIV. The objective of this report is to describe the impact of the Tingathe programme, which utilizes community health workers (CHWs) to improve identification and enrolment into care of HIV-exposed and infected infants and children. Methods: Three programme phases are described. During the first phase, Mentorship Only (MO) (March 2007-February 2008) on-site clinical mentorship on paediatric HIV care was provided. In the second phase, Tingathe-Basic (March 2008-February 2009), CHWs provided HIV testing and counselling to improve case finding of HIV-exposed and infected children. In the final phase, Tingathe-PMTCT (prevention of mother-to-child transmission) (March 2009-February 2011), CHWs were also assigned to HIV-positive pregnant women to improve mother-infant retention in care. We reviewed routinely collected programme data from HIV testing registers, patient mastercards and clinic attendance registers from March 2005 to March 2011. Results: During MO, 42 children (38 HIV-infected and 4 HIV-exposed) were active in care. During Tingathe-Basic, 238 HIV-infected children (HIC) were newly enrolled, a six-fold increase in rate of enrolment from 3.2 to 19.8 per month. The number of HIV-exposed infants (HEI) increased from 4 to 118. During Tingathe-PMTCT, 526 HIC were newly enrolled over 24 months, at a rate of 21.9 patients per month. There was also a seven-fold increase in the average number of exposed infants enrolled per month (9.5-70 patients per month), resulting in 1667 enrolled with a younger median age at enrolment (5.2 vs. 2.5 months; p <0.001). During the Tingathe-Basic and Tingathe-PMTCT periods, CHWs conducted 44, 388 rapid HIV tests, 7658 (17.3%) in children aged 18 months to 15 years; 351 (4.6%) tested HIV-positive. Over this time, 1781 HEI were enrolled, with 102 (5.7%) found HIV-infected by positive PCR. Additional HIC entered care through various mechanisms (including positive linkage by CHWs and transfer-ins) such that by February 2011, a total of 866 HIC were receiving care, a 23-fold increase from 2008. Conclusions: A multipronged approach utilizing CHWs to conduct HIV testing, link HIC into care and provide support to PMTCT mothers can dramatically improve the identification and enrolment into care of HIV-exposed and infected children. Copyright: - 2015 Ahmed S et al. Source

Gao F.,Duke University | Bonsignori M.,Duke University | Liao H.-X.,Duke University | Kumar A.,Duke University | And 24 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2014

Development of strategies for induction of HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) by vaccines is a priority. Determining the steps of bnAb induction in HIV-1-infected individuals who make bnAbs is a key strategy for immunogen design. Here, we study the B cell response in a bnAb-producing individual and report cooperation between two B cell lineages to drive bnAb development. We isolated a virus-neutralizing antibody lineage that targeted an envelope region (loop D) and selected virus escape mutants that resulted in both enhanced bnAb lineage envelope binding and escape mutant neutralization - traits associated with increased B cell antigen drive. Thus, in this individual, two B cell lineages cooperated to induce the development of bnAbs. Design of vaccine immunogens that simultaneously drive both helper and broadly neutralizing B cell lineages may be important for vaccine-induced recapitulation of events that transpire during the maturation of neutralizing antibodies in HIV-1-infected individuals. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Preidis G.A.,Baylor College of Medicine | McCollum E.D.,Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative | Kamiyango W.,Baylor College of Medicine | Garbino A.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes | Year: 2013

OBJECTIVE: To determine how routine inpatient provider-initiated HIV testing differs from traditional community-based client-initiated testing with respect to clinical characteristics of children identified and outcomes of outpatient HIV care. DESIGN: Prospective observational cohort. METHODS: Routine clinical data were collected from children identified as HIV-infected by either testing modality in Lilongwe, Malawi, in 2008. After 1 year of outpatient HIV care at the Baylor College of Medicine Clinical Center of Excellence, outcomes were assessed. RESULTS: Of 742 newly identified HIV-infected children enrolling into outpatient HIV care, 20.9% were identified by routine inpatient HIV testing. Compared with community-identified children, hospital-identified patients were younger (median 25.0 vs 53.5 months), with more severe disease (22.2% vs 7.8% WHO stage IV). Of 466 children with known outcomes, 15.0% died within the first year of HIV care; median time to death was 15.0 weeks for community-identified children vs 6.0 weeks for hospital-identified children. The strongest predictors of early mortality were severe malnutrition (hazard ratio, 4.3; 95% confidence interval, 2.2-8.3), moderate malnutrition (hazard ratio, 3.2; confidence interval, 1.6-6.6), age < 12 months (hazard ratio, 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-7.2), age 12 to 24 months (hazard ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-5.7), and WHO stage IV (hazard ratio, 2.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-4.6). After controlling for other variables, hospital identification did not independently predict mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Routine inpatient HIV testing identifies a subset of younger HIV-infected children with more severe, rapidly progressing disease that traditional community-based testing modalities are currently missing. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Rutstein S.E.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Kamwendo D.,UNC Project | Lugali L.,Johns Hopkins University | Thengolose I.,UNC Project | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Virology | Year: 2014

Background: Viral suppression is a key indicator of antiretroviral therapy (ART) response among HIV-infected patients. Dried blood spots (DBS) are an appealing alternative to conventional plasma-based virologic testing, improving access to monitoring in resource-limited settings. However, validity of DBS obtained from fingerstick in field settings remains unknown. Objectives: Investigate feasibility and accuracy of DBS vs plasma collected by healthcare workers in real-world settings of remote hospitals in Malawi. Compare venous DBS to fingerstick DBS for identifying treatment failure. Study design: We recruited patients from ART clinics at two district hospitals in Malawi, collecting plasma, venous DBS (vDBS), and fingerstick DBS (fsDBS) cards for the first 149 patients, and vDBS and fsDBS only for the subsequent 398 patients. Specimens were tested using Abbott RealTime HIV-1 Assay (lower detection limit 40 copies/ml (plasma) and 550 copies/ml (DBS)). Results: 21/149 (14.1%) had detectable viremia (>1.6 log copies/ml), 13 of which were detectable for plasma, vDBS, and fsDBS. Linear regression demonstrated high correlation for plasma vs. DBS (vDBS: β=1.19, R2=0.93 (p<0.0001); fsDBS β=1.20, R2=0.90 (p<0.0001)) and vDBS vs. fsDBS (β=0.88, R2=0.73, (p<0.0001)). Mean difference between plasma and vDBS was 1.1 log copies/ml [SD: 0.27] and plasma and fsDBS 1.1 log copies/ml [SD: 0.31]. At 5000 copies/ml, sensitivity was 100%, and specificity was 98.6% and 97.8% for vDBS and fsDBS, respectively, compared to plasma. Conclusions: DBS from venipuncture and fingerstick perform well at the failure threshold of 5000 copies/ml. Fingerstick specimen source may improve access to virologic treatment monitoring in resource-limited settings given task-shifting in high-volume, low-resource facilities. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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