Enhanced prophylaxis plus antiretroviral therapy for advanced HIV infection in Africa

August 11, 2017 at 8:27 am

N Engl J Med July 20, 2017 V.377 P.233-245.

James Hakim, F.R.C.P., Victor Musiime, Ph.D., Alex J. Szubert, M.Sc., Jane Mallewa, M.D., Abraham Siika, M.Med., Clara Agutu, M.B., Ch.B., M.P.H., Simon Walker, M.Sc., Sarah L. Pett, Ph.D., Mutsa Bwakura-Dangarembizi, M.Med., Abbas Lugemwa, M.D., Symon Kaunda, M.B., Ch.B., Mercy Karoney, M.Sc., Godfrey Musoro, M.Sc., Sheila Kabahenda, M.B., Ch.B., Kusum Nathoo, M.B., Ch.B., Kathryn Maitland, Ph.D., Anna Griffiths, Ph.D., Margaret J. Thomason, Ph.D., Cissy Kityo, M.Sc., Peter Mugyenyi, Ph.D., Andrew J. Prendergast, D.Phil., A. Sarah Walker, Ph.D., and Diana M. Gibb, M.D., for the REALITY Trial Team*

BACKGROUND

In sub-Saharan Africa, among patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the rate of death from infection (including tuberculosis and cryptococcus) shortly after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is approximately 10%.

METHODS

In this factorial open-label trial conducted in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Kenya, we enrolled HIV-infected adults and children 5 years of age or older who had not received previous ART and were starting ART with a CD4+ count of fewer than 100 cells per cubic millimeter. They underwent simultaneous randomization to receive enhanced antimicrobial prophylaxis or standard prophylaxis, adjunctive raltegravir or no raltegravir, and supplementary food or no supplementary food. Here, we report on the effects of enhanced antimicrobial prophylaxis, which consisted of continuous trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole plus at least 12 weeks of isoniazid–pyridoxine (coformulated with trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole in a single fixed-dose combination tablet), 12 weeks of fluconazole, 5 days of azithromycin, and a single dose of albendazole, as compared with standard prophylaxis (trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole alone). The primary end point was 24-week mortality.

RESULTS

A total of 1805 patients (1733 adults and 72 children or adolescents) underwent randomization to receive either enhanced prophylaxis (906 patients) or standard prophylaxis (899 patients) and were followed for 48 weeks (loss to follow-up, 3.1%). The median baseline CD4+ count was 37 cells per cubic millimeter, but 854 patients (47.3%) were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. In the Kaplan–Meier analysis at 24 weeks, the rate of death with enhanced prophylaxis was lower than that with standard prophylaxis (80 patients [8.9% vs. 108 [12.2%]; hazard ratio, 0.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55 to 0.98; P=0.03); 98 patients (11.0%) and 127 (14.4%), respectively, had died by 48 weeks (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.99; P=0.04). Patients in the enhanced-prophylaxis group had significantly lower rates of tuberculosis (P=0.02), cryptococcal infection (P=0.01), oral or esophageal candidiasis (P=0.02), death of unknown cause (P=0.03), and new hospitalization (P=0.03). However, there was no significant between-group difference in the rate of severe bacterial infection (P=0.32). There were nonsignificantly lower rates of serious adverse events and grade 4 adverse events in the enhanced-prophylaxis group (P=0.08 and P=0.09, respectively). Rates of HIV viral suppression and adherence to ART were similar in the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Among HIV-infected patients with advanced immunosuppression, enhanced antimicrobial prophylaxis combined with ART resulted in reduced rates of death at both 24 weeks and 48 weeks without compromising viral suppression or increasing toxic effects. (Funded by the Medical Research Council and others; REALITY Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN43622374.)

abstract

http://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1615822

PDF

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1615822

 

N Engl J Med  July 20, 2017 V.377 P.283-284

EDITORIAL – The enduring challenge of advanced HIV infection.

Nathan Ford, M.P.H., Ph.D., and Meg Doherty, M.D., Ph.D.

Until recently, progress in the fight against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection was primarily measured in terms of the number of patients who were started on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Major efforts to increase access to ART in the low- and middle-income countries that are most affected by HIV infection began in 2000, and over the following 15 years, an estimated 8 million HIV-related deaths were averted. In countries with a high burden of disease, this decline translated into important increases in life expectancy.1

Notwithstanding these gains, the decrease in HIV-associated deaths appears to have plateaued in recent years. HIV still causes more than 1 million deaths per year worldwide and remains a leading cause of death and complications in sub-Saharan Africa.1 A key explanation for this enduring high mortality is that despite an evolution toward offering treatment earlier in the course of the disease,2 HIV continues to be identified in a substantial number of patients with advanced infection (which is defined by the World Health Organization [WHO] as a CD4+ count of fewer than 200 cells per cubic millimeter). A recent study of trends across 55 countries showed that more than a third (37%) of the patients who initiated ART in 2015 already had advanced HIV infection.3 Such patients are at high risk for death, even after starting ART (which can increase the inflammatory response), and the risk increases with a decreasing CD4+ count.3 A worrisome new trend that has been observed in countries with long-standing HIV treatment programs is an increase in the number of patients who present for care with advanced HIV infection after a period of treatment interruption…..

abstract

http://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMe1707598

PDF

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMe1707598

 

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Entry filed under: Antirretrovirales, Epidemiología, HIV/SIDA, HIV/SIDA HAART, Infecciones virales, Metodos diagnosticos, REPORTS, Update.

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