This Week In HIV Research


This Week in HIV Research: Leading Causes of Hospital Visits; Risk Factors of Poor Sleep; Challenges of Retention; and More

August 14, 2015

This week we look at a large study that examines the leading causes of hospital admission among people living with HIV. We read a study that looks into risk factors of poor sleep among HIV-positive adults. And an essay calls out the need for updated data on HIV treatment and retention. To beat HIV, you have to follow the science!

Comorbidities and Complications

Causes of Hospital Admission Among People Living With HIV Worldwide

AIDS-related illnesses and bacterial infections were among the leading causes of hospital admission for adults and children living with HIV, according to a meta-analysis of data from 106 cohorts worldwide. The analysis, which included reported causes of hospital admission for 313,006 adults and 6,182 children living with HIV, found that the mortality rate was 20% for adults and 14% for children admitted to hospitals.

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Sleep Disturbance in a Large HIV-Infected Adult Population

According to a study following 1,345 HIV-positive patients in France, factors significantly associated with sleep disturbances for individuals living with HIV were: depression, being male, having active employment, living alone, smoking, duration of HIV infection, and HIV regimens that include nevirapine (Viramune) or efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin).


The Challenge of Retention Within Antiretroviral Treatment Programs and the Need for Recent Data

In this letter, Anna Grimsrud, M.P.H., Lynne Wilkinson, M.Sc., and Morna Cornell, M.P.H., Ph.D., call out the importance of understanding the retention of patients in care, in particular with more recent data. The authors argue that, in recent years, with the scale up of antiretroviral therapy, changes in care models and treatment options available to patients, there is a greater need for updated data on treatment cohorts.

The Irreversibility of HIV Drug Resistance

In this paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers Roger D. Kouyos, Ph.D., and Huldrych Gunthard, M.D., examine the hypothesis that untreated patients living with HIV are now the major source of HIV transmitted drug resistance (TDR). This hypothesis is particularly relevant in resource-rich settings where there has been a strong reduction in treatment failure and drug resistance in patients doing well on treatment.

Disparities in Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy and Virologic Suppression

A study following 1,156 HIV-positive, treatment-naive patients found that despite health improvements over time after starting treatment, those who were African American, younger or reported injection drug use had less favorable health outcomes.

Raltegravir in HIV-Positive Pregnant Women: Pharmacokinetics, Safety and Efficacy

The use of raltegravir (Isentress) for pregnant women living with HIV was found to be effective and well tolerated, according to a phase-4 study of 22 patients. About 86% of the women achieved an undetectable viral load by the time they were nearing delivery, with zero transmissions to the children. "Raltegravir can be used in standard dosages in HIV-infected pregnant women," the researchers concluded.

Is there a development this week in HIV research that you think we missed? Send us a tip!

Warren Tong is the senior science editor for and

Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.

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