Recent Publications

HIV Treatment as Prevention: Modelling the Cost of Antiretroviral Treatment-State of the Art and Future Directions

Abstract: Policy discussions about the feasibility of massively scaling up antiretroviral therapy (ART) to reduce HIV transmission and incidence hinge on accurately projecting the cost of such scale-up in comparison to the benefits from reduced HIV incidence and mortality. We review the available literature on modelled estimates of the cost of providing ART to different populations around the world, and suggest alternative methods of characterising cost when modelling several decades into the 

HIV Treatment as Prevention: Models, Data, and Questions—Towards Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Abstract Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for those infected with HIV can prevent onward transmission of infection, but biological efficacy alone is not enough to guide policy decisions about the role of ART in reducing HIV incidence. Epidemiology, economics, demography, statistics, biology, and mathematical modelling will be central in framing key decisions in the optimal use of ART. PLoS Medicine, with the HIV Modelling Consortium, has commissioned a set of articles that examine different 

HIV Treatment Produces Economic Returns Through Increased Work And Education, And Warrants Continued US Support

Abstract: Federal expenditures are under scrutiny in the United States, and the merits of continuing and expanding the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to support access to antiretroviral therapy have become a topic of debate. A growing body of research on the economic benefits of treatment with antiretroviral therapy has important implications for these discussions. For example, research conducted since the inception of PEPFAR shows that HIV-infected adults who receive 

Prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in antiretroviral therapy naïve HIV-positive patients and the impact on treatment outcomes – a retrospective study from a large urban cohort in Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract: Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is associated with advanced HIV disease and may be a complication of antiretroviral therapy (ART) or anti-tuberculosis (TB) drugs, specifically isoniazid (INH). The effect of non-ART-drug-related PN on treatment outcomes is yet to be determined. We analysed prospectively collected cohort data for HIV-infected ART-naive adults initiating ART at the Themba Lethu Clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa from June 2004 to June 2009. Patients who presented with signs 

Laser irradiation with 648 nm light stimulates autophagic human skin keratinocytes

Abstract: Background: Laser phototherapy promotes cell viability, cell proliferation and migration. This study aimed to determine if laser irradiation could stimulate cellular responses of stressed cells to promote cell survival. Materials and Methods: Human keratinocytes were treated with 200 µM hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or 0.4 µg/ml oligomycin to induce autophagy and 5% absolute ethanol (EtOH) or 12 µM tertbutylhydroperoxide (tBHP) to induce apoptosis (control). Cells were irradiated 

The impact and cost of scaling up GeneXpert MTB/RIF in South Africa

Abstract: Objective: We estimated the incremental cost and impact on diagnosis and treatment uptake of national rollout of Xpert MTB/RIF technology (Xpert) for the diagnosis of pulmonary TB above the cost of current guidelines for the years 2011 to 2016 in South Africa. Methods: We parameterised a population-level decision model with data from national-level TB databases (n = 199,511) and implementation studies. The model follows cohorts of TB suspects from diagnosis to treatment under current 

How to estimate the cost of point-of-care CD4 testing in program settings: An example using the Alere PimaTM analyser in South Africa

Abstract: Integrating POC CD4 testing technologies into HIV counseling and testing (HCT) programs may improve post-HIV testing linkage to care and treatment. As evaluations of these technologies in program settings continue, estimates of the costs of POC CD4 tests to the service provider will be needed and estimates have begun to be reported. Without a consistent and transparent methodology, estimates of the cost per CD4 test using POC technologies are likely to be difficult to compare and may 

Prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infection in HBV serologically-negative South African HIV patients and retrospective evaluation of the clinical course of mono- and co-infection

Abstract: Objectives: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection with undetectable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) has been reported in HIV patients, but the clinical significance is unknown. This study presents the prevalence of HBV DNA in HIV-positive patients negative for all HBV serological markers and a retrospective evaluation of the clinical course of mono- and co-infection. Methods: Of 502 HIV-positive patients, 222 tested negative for HBsAg, antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen 

Prevalent tuberculosis and mortality among HAART initiators

Abstract: The effect of tuberculosis on mortality in people initiating highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) remains unclear; here, we strengthened a previous cohort analysis. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the association of baseline tuberculosis and time to all-cause mortality among HAART initiators. In reanalysis, treatment for tuberculosis at time of HAART initiation remained unassociated with increased risks of all-cause mortality, with adjusted 

Polymorphisms of innate immunity genes influence disease progression in HIV-1-infected children

Abstract: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and defensins (DEFs) play a crucial role in the host's innate immunity and may influence HIV-1 disease progression. We investigated the impact of TLR9 +1174G > A, 1635A > G and DEFβ1 -44C > G, -52G > A single nucleotide polymorphisms on the clinical outcome of 95 HIV-1-infected children. The TLR9 1635AG genotype and TLR9 haplotype were associated with rapid disease progression, whereas the DEFβ1 -44CG genotype and DEFβ1