Apr, 2016

High prevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV)- type 2 co-infection among HIVpositive women in Ukraine, but no increased HIV mother-to-child transmission risk


Authors: Aebi-Popp K, Bailey H, Malyuta R, Volokha A, Thorne C. Ukraine European Collaborative Study in EuroCoord.

Published in: BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016;27;16:94

Background Over 3500 HIV-positive women give birth annually in Ukraine, a setting with high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections. Herpes simplex virus Type 2 (HSV-2) co-infection may increase HIV mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) risk. We explored factors associated with HSV-2 seropositivity among HIV-positive women in Ukraine, and its impact on HIV MTCT.

Methods Data on 1513 HIV-positive women enrolled in the Ukraine European Collaborative Study from 2007 to 2012 were analysed. Poisson and logistic regression models respectively were fit to investigate factors associated with HSV-2 seropositivity and HIV MTCT.

Results Median maternal age was 27 years (IQR 24–31), 53 % (796/1513) had been diagnosed with HIV during their most recent pregnancy and 20 % had a history of injecting drugs. Median antenatal CD4 count was 430 cells/mm3 (IQR 290–580). Ninety-six percent had received antiretroviral therapy antenatally. HSV-2 seroprevalence was 68 % (1026/1513). In adjusted analyses, factors associated with HSV-2 antibodies were history of pregnancy termination (APR 1.30 (95 % CI 1.18–1.43) for ≥2 vs. 0), having an HIV-positive partner (APR 1.15 (95 % CI 1.05–1.26) vs partner’s HIV status unknown) and HCV seropositivity (APR 1.23 (95 % CI 1.13–1.35)). The overall HIV MTCT rate was 2.80 % (95 % CI 1.98–3.84); no increased HIV MTCT risk was detected among HSV-2 seropositive women after adjusting for known risk factors (AOR 1.43 (95 % CI 0.54–3.77).

Conclusion No increased risk of HIV MTCT was detected among the 68 % of HIV-positive women with antibodies to HSV-2, in this population with an overall HIV MTCT rate of 2.8 %. Markers of ongoing sexual risk among HIV-positive HSV-2 seronegative women indicate the importance of interventions to prevent primary HSV-2 infection during pregnancy in this high-risk group.



Apr, 2016

Neurocognition and quality of life after reinitiating antiretroviral therapy in children randomized to planned treatment interruption


Authors: Ananworanich J, Melvin D, Ramos Amador JT, et al; on behalf of the PENTA 11 study group.

Published in: AIDS. 2016;30(7):1075-81.

Objective Understanding the effects of antiretroviral treatment (ART) interruption on neurocognition and quality of life (QoL) are important for managing unplanned interruptions and planned interruptions in HIV cure research.

Design Children previously randomized to continuous (continuous ART, n = 41) vs. planned treatment interruption (PTI, n = 47) in the Pediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA) 11 study were enrolled. At study end, PTI children resumed ART. At 1 and 2 years following study end, children were assessed by the coding, symbol search and digit span subtests of Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (6–16 years old) or Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (≥17 years old) and by Pediatrics QoL questionnaires for physical and psychological QoL. Transformed scaled scores for neurocognition and mean standardized scores for QoL were compared between arms by t-test and Mann–Whitney U test, respectively. Scores indicating clinical concern were compared (<7 for neurocognition and <70 for QoL tests).

Results Characteristics were similar between arms with a median age of 12.6 years, CD4+ of 830 cells/μl and HIV RNA of 1.7 log10copies/ml. The median cumulative ART exposure was 9.6 in continuous ART vs. 7.7 years in PTI (P = 0.02). PTI children had a median of 12 months off ART and had resumed ART for 25.2 months at time of first assessment. Neurocognitive scores were similar between arms for all tests. Physical and psychological QoL scores were no different. About 40% had low neurocognitive and QoL scores indicating clinical concern.

Conclusion No differences in information processing speed, sustained attention, short-term memory and QoL functioning were observed between children previously randomized to continuous ART vs. PTI in the PENTA 11 trial.


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