Penta HIV Trials

13

Dec, 2017

“How Do We Start? And How Will They React?” Disclosing to Young People with Perinatally Acquired HIV in Uganda

 

Authors: Namukwaya S, Paparini S, Seeley J, Bernays S.

Published in: Front Public Health. 2017;5:343.

Abstract: Despite great advances in pediatric HIV care, rates and the extent of full disclosure of HIV status to infected children remain low especially in resource-constrained setting. The World Health Organisation recommends that, by the age of 10-12 years old, children should be made fully aware of their HIV-positive status. However, this awareness is often delayed until much later in their adolescence. Few studies have been conducted to investigate what influences caregivers’ decision-making process in this regard in low-income settings. In this article, we present an analysis of care dyads of caregivers and HIV-positive young people in Kampala, Uganda, as part of the findings of a longitudinal qualitative study about young people’s adherence to antiretroviral therapy embedded in an international clinical trial (BREATHER). Repeat in-depth interviews were conducted with 26 young people living with HIV throughout the course of the trial, and once-off interviews with 16 of their caregivers were also carried out toward the end of the trial. In this article, we examine why and how caregivers decide to disclose a young person’s HIV status to them and explore their feelings and dilemmas toward disclosure, as well as how young people reacted and the influence it had on their relationships with and attitudes toward their caregivers. Caregivers feared the consequences of disclosing the young person’s positive status to them and disclosure commonly occurred hurriedly in response to a crisis, rather than as part of an anticipated and planned process. A key impediment to disclosure was that caregivers feared that disclosing would damage their relationships with the young people and commonly used this as a reason to continue to postpone disclosure. However, young people did not report prolonged feelings of blame or anger toward their caregivers about their own infection, but they did express frustration at the delay and obfuscation surrounding the disclosure process. Our findings can inform the ways in which mainstream HIV services support caregivers through the disclosure process. This includes providing positive encouragement to disclose fully and to be more confident in initiating and sustaining the timely process of disclosure.

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1

Jul, 2017

“Not Taking it Will Just be Like a Sin”: Young People Living with HIV and the Stigmatization of Less-Than-Perfect Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy

 

Authors: Bernays S, Paparini S, Seeley J, Rhodes T.

Published in: Med Anthropol. 2017;36(5):485-499.

Abstract: Global health priorities are being set to address questions on adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy in adolescence. Few studies have explored young people’s perspectives on the complex host of social and relational challenges they face in dealing with their treatment in secret and their condition in silence. In redressing this, we present findings from a longitudinal qualitative study with young people living with HIV in the UK, Ireland, US, and Uganda, embedded within the BREATHER international clinical trial. Drawing from Goffman’s notion of stigma, we analyze relational dynamics in HIV clinics, as rare spaces where HIV is “known,” and how young people’s relationships may be threatened by non-adherence to treatment. Young people’s reflections on and strategies for maintaining their reputation as patients raise questions about particular forms of medicalization of HIV and the moralization of treatment adherence that affect them, and how these may restrict opportunities for care across the epidemic.

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1

Jun, 2016

BREATHER (PENTA 16) short-cycle therapy (SCT) (5 days on/2 days off) in young people with chronic human immunodeficiency virus infection: an open, randomised, parallel-group Phase II/III trial

 

Author: Butler K, Inshaw J, Ford D, et al.

Published in:  Health Technol Assess. 2016;20(49):1-108.

Background For human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adolescents facing lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART), short-cycle therapy (SCT) with long-acting agents offers the potential for drug-free weekends, less toxicity, better adherence and cost savings.

Objectives To determine whether or not efavirenz (EFV)-based ART in short cycles of 5 days on and 2 days off is as efficacious (in maintaining virological suppression) as continuous EFV-based ART (continuous therapy; CT). Secondary objectives included the occurrence of new clinical HIV events or death, changes in immunological status, emergence of HIV drug resistance, drug toxicity and changes in therapy.

Design Open, randomised, non-inferiority trial.

Setting Europe, Thailand, Uganda, Argentina and the USA.

Participants Young people (aged 8–24 years) on EFV plus two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and with a HIV-1 ribonucleic acid level [viral load (VL)] of < 50 copies/ml for > 12 months.

Interventions Young people were randomised to continue daily ART (CT) or change to SCT (5 days on, 2 days off ART).

Main outcome measures Follow-up was for a minimum of 48 weeks (0, 4 and 12 weeks and then 12-weekly visits). The primary outcome was the difference between arms in the proportion with VL > 50 copies/ml (confirmed) by 48 weeks, estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method (12% non-inferiority margin) adjusted for region and age.

Results In total, 199 young people (11 countries) were randomised (n = 99 SCT group, n = 100 CT group) and followed for a median of 86 weeks. Overall, 53% were male; the median age was 14 years (21% ≥ 18 years); 13% were from the UK, 56% were black, 19% were Asian and 21% were Caucasian; and the median CD4% and CD4 count were 34% and 735 cells/mm3, respectively. By week 48, only one participant (CT) was lost to follow-up. The SCT arm had a 27% decreased drug exposure as measured by the adherence questionnaire and a MEMSCap Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMSCap Inc., Durham, NC, USA) substudy (median cap openings per week: SCT group, n = 5; CT group, n = 7). By 48 weeks, six participants in the SCT group and seven in the CT group had a confirmed VL > 50 copies/ml [difference –1.2%, 90% confidence interval (CI) –7.3% to 4.9%] and two in the SCT group and four in the CT group had a confirmed VL > 400 copies/ml (difference –2.1%, 90% CI –6.2% to 1.9%). All six participants in the SCT group with a VL > 50 copies/ml resumed daily ART, of whom five were resuppressed, three were on the same regimen and two with a switch; two others on SCT resumed daily ART for other reasons. Overall, three participants in the SCT group and nine in the CT group (p = 0.1) changed ART regimen, five because of toxicity, four for simplification reasons, two because of compliance issues and one because of VL failure. Seven young people (SCT group, n = 2; CT group, n = 5) had major non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor mutations at VL failure, of whom two (n = 1 SCT group, n = 1 CT group) had the M184V mutation. Two young people had new Centers for Disease Control B events (SCT group, n = 1; CT group, n = 1). There were no significant differences between SCT and CT in grade 3/4 adverse events (13 vs. 14) or in serious adverse events (7 vs. 6); there were fewer ART-related adverse events in the SCT arm (2 vs. 14; p = 0.02). At week 48 there was no evidence that SCT led to increased inflammation using an extensive panel of markers. Young people expressed a strong preference for SCT in a qualitative substudy and in pre- and post-trial questionnaires. In total, 98% of the young people are taking part in a 2-year follow-up extension of the trial.

Conclusions Non-inferiority of VL suppression in young people on EFV-based first-line ART with a VL of < 50 copies/ml was demonstrated for SCT compared with CT, with similar resistance, safety and inflammatory marker profiles. The SCT group had fewer ART-related adverse events. Further evaluation of the immunological and virological impact of SCT is ongoing. A limitation of the trial is that the results cannot be generalised to settings where VL monitoring is either not available or infrequent, nor to use of low-dose EFV. Two-year extended follow-up of the trial is ongoing to confirm the durability of the SCT strategy. Further trials of SCT in settings with infrequent VL monitoring and with other antiretroviral drugs such as tenofovir alafenamide, which has a long intracellular half-life, and/or dolutegravir, which has a higher barrier to resistance, are planned.

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1

Jun, 2016

Weekends-off efavirenz-based antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected children, adolescents, and young adults (BREATHER): a randomised, open-label, non-inferiority, phase 2/3 trial

 

Author: The BREATHER (PENTA 16) Trial Group

Published inLancet HIV. 2016;3(9):e421-430

Background For HIV-1-infected young people facing lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART), short cycle therapy with long-acting drugs offers potential for drug-free weekends, less toxicity, and better quality-of-life. We aimed to compare short cycle therapy (5 days on, 2 days off ART) versus continuous therapy (continuous ART).

Methods In this open-label, non-inferiority trial (BREATHER), eligible participants were aged 8–24 years, were stable on first-line efavirenz with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and had HIV-1 RNA viral load less than 50 copies per mL for 12 months or longer. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to remain on continuous therapy or change to short cycle therapy according to a computer-generated randomisation list, with permuted blocks of varying size, stratified by age and African versus non-African sites; the list was prepared by the trial statistician and randomisation was done via a web service accessed by site clinician or one of the three coordinating trials units. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants with confirmed viral load 50 copies per mL or higher at any time up to the 48 week assessment, estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method. The trial was powered to exclude a non-inferiority margin of 12%. Analyses were intention to treat. The trial was registered with EudraCT, number 2009-012947-40, ISRCTN, number 97755073, and CTA, number 27505/0005/001-0001.

Findings Between April 1, 2011, and June 28, 2013, 199 participants from 11 countries worldwide were randomly assigned, 99 to the short cycle therapy and 100 to continuous therapy, and were followed up until the last patient reached 48 weeks. 105 (53%) were men, median age was 14 years (IQR 12–18), and median CD4 cell count was 735 cells per μL (IQR 576–968). Six (6%) patients assigned to the short cycle therapy versus seven (7%) assigned to continuous therapy had confirmed viral load 50 copies per mL or higher (difference −1·2%, 90% CI −7·3 to 4·9, non-inferiority shown). 13 grade 3 or 4 events occurred in the short cycle therapy group and 14 in the continuous therapy group (p=0·89). Two ART-related adverse events (one gynaecomastia and one spontaneous abortion) occurred in the short cycle therapy group compared with 14 (p=0·02) in the continuous therapy group (five lipodystrophy, two gynaecomastia, one suicidal ideation, one dizziness, one headache and syncope, one spontaneous abortion, one neutropenia, and two raised transaminases).

Interpretation Non-inferiority of maintaining virological suppression in children, adolescents, and young adults was shown for short cycle therapy versus continous therapy at 48 weeks, with similar resistance and a better safety profile. This short cycle therapy strategy is a viable option for adherent HIV-infected young people who are stable on efavirenz-based ART.

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24

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.

1

Jan, 2016

When information does not suffice: young people living with HIV and communication about ART adherence in the clinic

 

Authors: S. Bernays, S. Paparini, D. Gibb & J. Seeley

Published in: Vulnerable Child Youth Stud. 2016;11(1):60-68

Abstract Despite mounting evidence recommending disclosure of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status to young people with perinatally acquired HIV as a central motivating factor for adherence to antiretroviral therapy, many young people continue to experience disclosure as a partial event, rather than a process. Drawing from two longitudinal, interview-based qualitative studies with young people living with HIV (aged 10-24) in five different countries in low and high income settings, we present data regarding disclosure and information about HIV in the clinic. The article highlights the limits of discussions framing disclosure and patient literacy, and young people’s reluctance to voice their adherence difficulties in the context of their relationships with clinical care teams. We suggest that a clinician-initiated, explicit acknowledgment of the social and practical hurdles of daily adherence for young people would aid a more transparent conversation and encourage young people to disclose missed doses and other problems they may be facing with their treatment. This may help to reduce health harms and poor adherence in the longer-term.

 

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18

Sep, 2015

HIV-1 Drug Resistance and Second-line Treatment in Children Randomized to Switch at Low versus Higher RNA Thresholds

 

Authors: Harrison L, Melvin A, Fiscus S, et al. For PENPACT-1 (PENTA 9PACTG 390) Study Team.

Published in: JAIDS 2015;70(1):42-53

Background The PENPACT-1 trial compared virologic thresholds to determine when to switch to second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART). Using PENPACT-1 data, we aimed to describe HIV-1 drug resistance accumulation on first-line ART by virologic threshold.

Methods PENPACT-1 had a 2 × 2 factorial design, randomizing HIV-infected children to start protease inhibitor (PI) versus nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based ART, and switch at a 1000 copies/mL versus 30,000 copies/mL threshold. Switch criteria were not achieving the threshold by week 24, confirmed rebound above the threshold thereafter, or Center for Disease Control and Prevention stage C event. Resistance tests were performed on samples ≥1000 copies/mL before switch, resuppression, and at 4-years/trial end.

Results Sixty-seven children started PI-based ART and were randomized to switch at 1000 copies/mL (PI-1000), 64 PIs and 30,000 copies/mL (PI-30,000), 67 NNRTIs and 1000 copies/mL (NNRTI-1000), and 65 NNRTI and 30,000 copies/mL (NNRTI-30,000). Ninety-four (36%) children reached the 1000 copies/mL switch criteria during 5-year follow-up. In 30,000 copies/mL threshold arms, median time from 1000 to 30,000 copies/mL switch criteria was 58 (PI) versus 80 (NNRTI) weeks (P = 0.81). In NNRTI-30,000, more nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) resistance mutations accumulated than other groups. NNRTI mutations were selected before switching at 1000 copies/mL (23% NNRTI-1000, 27% NNRTI-30,000). Sixty-two children started abacavir + lamivudine, 166 lamivudine + zidovudine or stavudine, and 35 other NRTIs. The abacavir + lamivudine group acquired fewest NRTI mutations. Of 60 switched to second-line, 79% PI-1000, 63% PI-30,000, 64% NNRTI-1000, and 100% NNRTI-30,000 were <400 copies/mL 24 weeks later.

Conclusions Children on first-line NNRTI-based ART who were randomized to switch at a higher virologic threshold developed the most resistance, yet resuppressed on second-line. An abacavir + lamivudine NRTI combination seemed protective against development of NRTI resistance.

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11

Sep, 2015

I was like, oh my God, what happens if it doesn’t work’? Young people living with HIV, clinical trial participation and the truth economy

 

Authors: Bernays S, Seeley J, Paparini S, Rhodes T

Published: BSA Medical Sociology Conference, York, 9-11 September 2015 (Paper ID No: W0012148)

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18

Jul, 2015

I am scared of getting caught up in my lie’: challenges to self-reported adherence for young people living with HIV

 

Authors:  Bernays S, Seeley J, Paparini S, Rhodes T and the ARROW and BREATHER trial teams.

Published in: accepted for presentation at AIDS Impact, Amsterdam 28-31 July, 2015 (abstract 3435)

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18

Jul, 2015

Young people, clinical trials and ‘the HIV experience’: What can similarities across time and place tell us about growing up with HIV?

 

Authors:  Paparini S on behalf of Bernays S, Seeley S,  Rhodes T,  Namukwaya Kihika S,Kawuma-Kigawa R, Nakyambadde H, Kabajaasi O and the BREATHER Trial Team.

Published in: 3rd International ASSHH Conference, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 6-9 July 2015.

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