Us Military Hiv Research Program

Rockville, MD, United States

Us Military Hiv Research Program

Rockville, MD, United States
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Nowak R.G.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Orazulike I.,International Center for Advocacy for the Right to Health | Keshinro B.,Us Military Hiv Research Program | Ake J.,Us Military Hiv Research Program | And 5 more authors.
The Lancet HIV | Year: 2015

Background In January, 2014, the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act was signed into law in Nigeria, further criminalising same-sex sexual relationships. We aimed to assess the immediate eff ect of this prohibition act on stigma, discrimination, and engagement in HIV prevention and treatment services in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Nigeria. Methods The TRUST cohort study uses respondent-driven sampling to assess the feasibility and eff ectiveness of engagement of MSM in HIV prevention and treatment services at a clinical site located with a community-based organisation trusted by the MSM community. TRUST is a prospective implementation research cohort of MSM (=16 years) in Abuja, Nigeria. We compared HIV clinical outcomes and stigma, including fear and avoidance of health care, across baseline and quarterly visits before and after implementation of the the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. Outcomes assessed were measures of stigma and discrimination, loss to follow-up, antiretroviral therapy status, and viral load. We compared outcomes before and after the legislation with χ2 statistics, and estimated incident stigma-related events and loss to follow-up with Poisson regression. Findings Between March 19, 2013, and Aug 7, 2014, 707 MSM participated in baseline study procedures, contributing to 756 before legislation (prelaw) and 420 after legislation (postlaw) visits. Reported history of fear of seeking health care was signifi cantly higher in postlaw visits than in prelaw visits (n=161 [38%] vs n=187 [25%]; p<0 0001), as was avoidance of health care (n=118 [28%] vs n=151 [20%]; p=0 001). In incidence analyses, of 192 MSM with follow-up data and no history of an event at baseline, reported fear of seeking health care was higher in the postlaw than the prelaw period (n=144; incidence rate ratio 2 57, 95% CI 1 29-5 10; p=0 007); loss to follow-up and incident healthcare avoidance were similar across periods. Of the 161 (89%) of 181 HIV-infected MSM with HIV viral loads available, those who had disclosed sexual behaviour with a health-care provider were more often virally suppressed at baseline than those with no previous disclosure (18 [29%] of 62 vs 13 [13%] of 99 men; p=0 013). Interpretation These analyses represent individual-level, quantitative, real-time prospective data for the health-related eff ects resulting from the enactment of legislation further criminalising same-sex practices. The negative eff ects of HIV treatment and care in MSM reinforce the unintended consequences of such legislation on global goals of HIV eradication. Strategies to reach MSM less likely to engage in HIV testing and care in highly stigmatised environments are needed to reduce time to HIV diagnosis and treatment.


Lo Y.-R.,World Health Organization | Chu C.,University of California at San Francisco | Chu C.,North University of China | Ananworanich J.,Us Military Hiv Research Program | And 5 more authors.
AIDS Patient Care and STDs | Year: 2015

Clinical and basic science advances have raised considerable hope for achieving an HIV cure by accelerating research. This research is dominated primarily by issues about the nature and design of current and future clinical trials. Stakeholder engagement for HIV cure remains in its early stages. Our analysis examines timing and mechanisms of historical stakeholder engagement in other HIV research areas for HIV-uninfected individuals [vaccine development and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)], and HIV-infected individuals (treatment as prevention, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and treatment of acute HIV infection) and articulate a plan for HIV cure stakeholder engagement. The experience from HIV vaccine development shows that early engagement of stakeholders helped manage expectations, mitigating the failure of several vaccine trials, while paving the way for subsequent trials. The relatively late engagement of HIV stakeholders in PrEP research may partly explain some of the implementation challenges. The treatment-related stakeholder engagement was strong and community-led from the onset and helped translation from research to implementation. We outline five steps to initiate and sustain stakeholder engagement in HIV cure research and conclude that stakeholder engagement represents a key investment in which stakeholders mutually agree to share knowledge, benefits, and risk of failure. Effective stakeholder engagement prevents misconceptions. As HIV cure research advances from early trials involving subjects with generally favorable prognosis to studies involving greater risk and uncertainty, success may depend on early and deliberate engagement of stakeholders. © Copyright 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Clark D.V.,U.S. Army | Clark D.V.,Naval Medical Research Center | Kibuuka H.,Makerere University | Millard M.,Makerere University | And 16 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Background: The limited data available for long-term Ebola virus disease health outcomes suggest that sequelae persist for longer than 1 year after infection. The magnitude of the present outbreak in west Africa necessitates a more complete understanding of the health effects and future medical needs of these patients. Methods: We invited adult survivors of the 2007 Bundibugyo Ebola virus outbreak in Uganda and their contacts to take part in an observational study roughly 29 months after the outbreak. We collected information about health status, functional limitations, and demographics. We collected blood samples for clinical chemistry, haematology, and filovirus antibodies using ELISA. Analyses were restricted to probable and confirmed survivors and their seronegative contacts. Findings: We recruited 70 survivors of the 2007 Bundibugyo Ebola virus and 223 contacts. We did analyses for 49 probable and confirmed survivors and 157 seronegative contacts. Survivors of the Bundibugyo Ebola virus were at significantly increased risk of ocular deficits (retro-orbital pain [RR 4·3, 95% CI 1·9-9·6; p<0·0001], blurred vision [1·9, 1·1-3·2; p=0·018]), hearing loss (2·3, 1·2-4·5; p=0·010), difficulty swallowing (2·1, 1·1-3·9; p=0·017), difficulty sleeping (1·9, 1·3-2·8; p=0·001), arthralgias (2·0, 1·1-3·6; p=0·020), and various constitutional symptoms controlling for age and sex. Chronic health problems (prevalence ratio [PR] 2·1, 95% CI 1·2-3·6; p=0·008) and limitations due to memory loss or confusion (PR 5·8, 1·5-22·4; p=0·010) were also reported more frequently by survivors of Bundibugyo Ebola virus. Interpretation: Long-term sequelae persist for more than 2 years after Ebola virus disease. Definition of health consequences related to Ebola virus disease could improve patient care for survivors and contribute to understanding of disease pathogenesis. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Kibuuka H.,Makerere University | Berkowitz N.M.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Millard M.,Makerere University | Enama M.E.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | And 22 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2014

Background Ebola virus and Marburg virus cause serious disease outbreaks with high case fatality rates. We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of two investigational DNA vaccines, one (EBO vaccine) encoding Ebola virus Zaire and Sudan glycoproteins and one (MAR) encoding Marburg virus glycoprotein. Methods RV 247 was a phase 1b, double-blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial in Kampala, Uganda to examine the safety and immunogenicity of the EBO and MAR vaccines given individually and concomitantly. Healthy adult volunteers aged 18-50 years were randomly assigned (5:1) to receive three injections of vaccine or placebo at weeks 0, 4, and 8, with vaccine allocations divided equally between three active vaccine groups: EBO vaccine only, MAR vaccine only, and both vaccines. The primary study objective was to investigate the safety and tolerability of the vaccines, as assessed by local and systemic reactogenicity and adverse events. We also assessed immunogenicity on the basis of antibody responses (ELISA) and T-cell responses (ELISpot and intracellular cytokine staining assays) 4 weeks after the third injection. Participants and investigators were masked to group assignment. Analysis was based on the intention-to-treat principle. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00997607. Findings 108 participants were enrolled into the study between Nov 2, 2009, and April 15, 2010. All 108 participants received at least one study injection (including 100 who completed the injection schedule) and were included in safety and tolerability analyses; 107 for whom data were available were included in the immunogenicity analyses. Study injections were well tolerated, with no significant differences in local or systemic reactions between groups. The vaccines elicited antibody and T-cell responses specific to the glycoproteins received and we detected no differences between the separate and concomitant use of the two vaccines. 17 of 30 (57%, 95% CI 37-75) participants in the EBO vaccine group had an antibody response to the Ebola Zaire glycoprotein, as did 14 of 30 (47%, 28-66) in the group that received both vaccines. 15 of 30 (50%, 31-69) participants in the EBO vaccine group had an antibody response to the Ebola Sudan glycoprotein, as did 15 of 30 (50%, 31-69) in the group that received both vaccines. Nine of 29 (31%, 15-51) participants in the MAR vaccine groups had an antibody response to the Marburg glycoprotein, as did seven of 30 (23%, 10-42) in the group that received both vaccines. 19 of 30 (63%, 44-80) participants in the EBO vaccine group had a T-cell response to the Ebola Zaire glycoprotein, as did 10 of 30 (33%, 17-53) in the group that received both vaccines. 13 of 30 (43%, 25-63) participants in the EBO vaccine group had a T-cell response to the Ebola Sudan glycoprotein, as did 10 of 30 (33%, 17-53) in the group that received both vaccines. 15 of 29 (52%, 33-71) participants in the MAR vaccine group had a T-cell response to the Marburg glycoprotein, as did 13 of 30 (43%, 25-63) in the group that received both vaccines. Interpretation This study is the first Ebola or Marburg vaccine trial done in Africa, and the results show that, given separately or together, both vaccines were well tolerated and elicited antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. These findings have contributed to the accelerated development of more potent Ebola virus vaccines that encode the same wild-type glycoprotein antigens as the EBO vaccine, which are being assessed during the 2014 Ebola virus disease outbreak in west Africa. Funding US Department of Defense Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program and US National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Program. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, U.S. Army and Us Military Hiv Research Program
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2017

Modified Vaccinia virus has been shown to be a safe and immunogenic vector platform for delivery of HIV vaccines. Use of this vector is of particular importance to the military, with the implementation of a large scale smallpox vaccination campaign in 2002 in active duty and key civilian personnel in response to potential bioterrorist activities. Humoral immunity to smallpox vaccination was previously shown to be long lasting (up to 75 years) and protective. However, using vaccinia-vectored vaccine delivery for other diseases on a background of anti-vector antibodies (i.e. pre-existing immunity) may limit their use as a vaccine platform, especially in the military. In this pilot study, we examined the durability of vaccinia antibody responses in adult primary vaccinees in a healthy military population using a standard ELISA assay and a novel dendritic cell neutralization assay. We found binding and neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses to vaccinia waned after 5-10 years in a group of 475 active duty military, born after 1972, who were vaccinated as adults with Dryvax. These responses decreased from a geometric mean titer (GMT) of 250 to baseline (<20) after 10-20 years post vaccination. This contrasted with a comparator group of adults, ages 35-49, who were vaccinated with Dryvax as children. In the childhood vaccinees, titers persisted for >30 years with a GMT of 210 (range 112-3234). This data suggests limited durability of antibody responses in adult vaccinees compared to those vaccinated in childhood and further that adult vaccinia recipients may benefit similarly from receipt of a vaccinia based vaccine as those who are vaccinia nave. Our findings may have implications for the smallpox vaccination schedule and support the ongoing development of this promising viral vector in a military vaccination program.


Bergmann-Leitner E.S.,U.S. Army | Chaudhury S.,U.S. Army | Steers N.J.,Us Military Hiv Research Program | Sabato M.,Vital Probes, Inc. | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Vaccine development efforts will be guided by algorithms that predict immunogenic epitopes. Such prediction methods rely on classification-based algorithms that are trained against curated data sets of known B and T cell epitopes. It is unclear whether this empirical approach can be applied prospectively to predict epitopes associated with protective immunity for novel antigens. We present a comprehensive comparison of in silico B and T cell epitope predictions with in vivo validation using an previously uncharacterized malaria antigen, CelTOS. CelTOS has no known conserved structural elements with any known proteins, and thus is not represented in any epitope databases used to train prediction algorithms. This analysis represents a blind assessment of this approach in the context of a novel, immunologically relevant antigen. The limited accuracy of the tested algorithms to predict the in vivo immune responses emphasizes the need to improve their predictive capabilities for use as tools in vaccine design.


Kim J.H.,U.S. Army | Excler J.-L.,U.S. Army | Excler J.-L.,Us Military Hiv Research Program | Michael N.L.,U.S. Army
Annual Review of Medicine | Year: 2015

RV144 remains the only HIV-1 vaccine trial to demonstrate efficacy against HIV-1 acquisition. The prespecified analysis of immune correlates of risk showed that antibodies directed against the V1V2 region of gp120, in particular the IgG1 and IgG3 subclass mediating antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, seem to play a predominant role in protection against HIV-1 acquisition and that plasma envelope (Env)-specific IgA antibodies were directly correlated with risk. RV144 and recent nonhuman primate challenge studies suggest that Env is essential, and perhaps sufficient, to induce protective antibody responses against mucosal HIV-1 acquisition. Follow-up clinical trials are ongoing to further dissect the immune responses elicited by the RV144 ALVAC-HIV and AIDSVAX® B/E regimen. The study of gp120 Env immunogens and immune correlates of risk has resulted in the development of improved antigens. Whether the RV144 immune correlates of risk will generalize to other populations vaccinated with similar immunogens with different modes and intensity of transmission remains to be demonstrated. Efficacy trials are now planned in heterosexual populations in southern Africa and men who have sex with men in Thailand. © 2015 by Annual Reviews.


Crawford K.W.,Johns Hopkins University | Crawford K.W.,Us Military Hiv Research Program | Ripin D.H.B.,Clinton Health Access Initiative | Levin A.D.,Clinton Health Access Initiative | And 2 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

It is expected that funding limitations for worldwide HIV treatment and prevention in resource-limited settings will continue, and, because the need for treatment scale-up is urgent, the emphasis on value for money has become an increasing priority. The Conference on Antiretroviral Drug Optimization-a collaborative project between the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-brought together process chemists, clinical pharmacologists, pharmaceutical scientists, physicians, pharmacists, and regulatory specialists to explore strategies for the reduction of antiretroviral drug costs. The antiretroviral drugs discussed were prioritised for consideration on the basis of their market impact, and the objectives of the conference were framed as discussion questions generated to guide scientific assessment of potential strategies. These strategies included modifications to the synthesis of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and use of cheaper sources of raw materials in synthesis of these ingredients. Innovations in product formulation could improve bioavailability thus needing less API. For several antiretroviral drugs, studies show efficacy is maintained at doses below the approved dose (eg, efavirenz, lopinavir plus ritonavir, atazanavir, and darunavir). Optimising pharmacoenhancement and extending shelf life are additional strategies. The conference highlighted a range of interventions; optimum cost savings could be achieved through combining approaches. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Charurat M.E.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Emmanuel B.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Akolo C.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Akolo C.,Institute of Human Virology Nigeria | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes | Year: 2015

Background: Experimental evidence has shown that treatment of HIV infection with antiretroviral therapy (ART) prevents heterosexual transmission of HIV to an uninfected partner. However, the "real-world" application of this strategy to key populations such as menwho have sex with men (MSM) has been limited. We report findings on acceptability of a treatment as prevention (TasP) strategy among HIV-infected MSM at a Trusted Community Center providing comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment services to MSM in Abuja, Nigeria. Methods: Using respondent-driven sampling (RDS), MSM who were 16 years and older and have engaged in either receptive or insertive anal intercourse within the previous 12 months were recruited into a prospective combination HIV prevention and treatment study (TRUST). Two weeks after enrollment, HIV testing and counseling was conducted. At each 3-month follow-up visits, HIV-infected individuals underwent clinical and laboratory evaluation, including CD4 count, plasma HIV viral load, immediate 3 weekly sessions of ART preparation, and then ART initiation per TasP strategy irrespective of CD4 count. Reasons for not engaging in pre-TasP preparation and TasP were documented. Characteristics associated with TasP engagement and loss to follow-up (LTFU) were determined using logistic and Cox regression, respectively. Results: Of 186 HIV-positive MSM enrolled, 58 (31.2%) were on ART at the time of recruitment, whereas 128 (68.8%) were ART-naive and provided opportunity for engaging TasP. Of these, 70 (54.7%) engaged in TasP. Compared with MSM who did not engage in TasP, those who engaged had significantly lower mean CD4 count (P = 0.001), were more likely to be Christian (P = 0.01), and had disclosed being MSM to family (P = 0.02) or health care providers (P = 0.02). In multivariate models, disclosure of being MSM to health care providers remained significantly associated with uptake of TasP. Among individuals engaged in TasP, 10% were LTFU in care at 18 months since enrollment. Being engaged in TasP (relative hazards = 0.08, P < 0.001) and on ART (relative hazards = 0.17, P < 0.001) were associated with decreased risk of LTFU. Conclusions: Although there was high acceptance of HIV testing and low LTFU among individuals who were already on ART or engaged in TasP, a higher than expected proportion did not engage in TasP, suggesting the need for customized treatment preparation and an increase in enabling environments to support HIV treatment access with this key population. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Manocheewa S.,University of Washington | Swain J.V.,University of Washington | Lanxon-Cookson E.,University of Washington | Rolland M.,University of Washington | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The recently available x-ray crystal structure of HIV-1 capsid hexamers has provided insight into the molecular interactions crucial for the virus's mature capsid formation. Amino acid changes at these interaction points are likely to have a strong impact on capsid functionality and, hence, viral infectivity and replication fitness. To test this hypothesis, we introduced the most frequently observed single amino acid substitution at 30 sites: 12 at the capsid hexamerization interface and 18 at non-interface sites. Mutations at the interface sites were more likely to be lethal (Fisher's exact test p = 0.027) and had greater negative impact on viral replication fitness (Wilcoxon rank sum test p = 0.040). Among the interface mutations studied, those located in the cluster of hydrophobic contacts at NTD-NTD interface and those that disrupted NTD-CTD inter-domain helix capping hydrogen bonds were the most detrimental, indicating that these interactions are particularly important for maintaining capsid structure and/or function. These functionally constrained sites provide potential targets for novel HIV drug development and vaccine immunogen design. © 2013 Manocheewa et al.

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