As we play catch up on updating our website, we have several new staff members to welcome! We are delighted to have Bethany Berkowitz, Katie Doherty, Yoriko Nakamura, Alison Erlwanger, and Eric Ross joining the RA team. We also have a new project coordinator, Julia Maxwell, a new administrative manager, Liz Barks, a programmer, Taige Hou, research fellow Emily Hyle, and our newest addition to the team, Pam Pei, who will be our Clinical Research Program/Project Manager!

Goodbye, Erin!  Our illustrious programmer, Erin Rhode, has departed for greener pastures in San Francisco.  In her honor, the research assistants, led by Angela Wong and her ukulele, performed a song for her.  Not realizing that they were going to do that, Erin had prepared her own farewell ukelele song with some whistling assistance from the audience and a shout out to Bobby McFerrin).  Pleased to see that her ukulele skills have been passed on, she hopes that someone will carry on the April Fools tradition as well...

CEPAC Goat In honor of the holiday season, a goat has been donated in CEPAC's name to Heifer International.

Welcome Naishin!  Naishin arrives from Harvard School of Public Health as our new Project Coordinator!  We are excited to work with her!

 


Happy Halloween Happy Halloween from all of us at CEPAC, including Pippi Longstocking and the Care Bears! Happy Halloween

The Obama administration recently released a national HIV/AIDS strategy that cites CEPAC work:

Click here for the abstract of Bruce Schackman's article describing the lifetime cost of HIV care in the United States.

Click here for the abstract of Elena Losina's article describing the disparities in survival outcomes of Black, Hispanic, and White HIV-infected individuals.

An article by Rochelle Walensky and Dan Kuritzkes was featured in an op-ed piece by Desmond Tutu in the New York Times regarding the number of avoidable deaths that are estimated to occur over the next 5 years under President Obama's PEPfAR strategy. Click here for the original article by Rochelle.

Two interns have joined the CEPAC group for the summer. Last year's summer intern, Will Grogan, is back a year older and wiser after completing his freshman year at Harvard University. In addition, Julia Levinson, a high school student at Concord Academy, has joined us as well. We look forward to the work they will do!


Heather Hsu and CEPAC investigators published an article in HIV Medicine. This paper quantifies the benefits (life expectancy gains) and risks (efavirenz-related teratogenicity) associated with using efavirenz in HIV-infected women of childbearing age in the USA. Click here for the abstract.

Rochelle Walensky and CEPAC-US investigators published an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. This paper evaluates survival outcomes of various combinations of HIV screening and ART initiation strategies in the Washington DC setting. Click here for the abstract.

Our project coordinator, John Chiosi, departed on July 2 in preparation for medical school at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York in the fall. Good luck, John! You will be missed.  In honor of his and Jennifer Chu's departures, a song was written and performed for them (with apologies to Jim Henson).


Ingrid Bassett and Rochelle Walensky published a rewiew article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. This paper reviews the benefits of knowledge of HIV serostatus and evidence from multiple countries surrounding the successes and pitfalls of provider-initiated testing in health care and home-based settings. Click here for the abstract.

Ingrid Bassett and CEPAC-International investigators published an article in HIV Medicine. This paper evaluates the strategy of using pooled HIV plasma RNA to diagnose acute HIV infection in patients with negative or discordant rapid HIV antibody tests in Durban, South Africa. Click here for the abstract.

Our project coordinator, Jennifer Chu, departed on June 18 in preparation for medical school at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA in the fall.  Good luck, Jenn!  You will be missed.


CEPAC investigators and collaborators were well-represented at the 2010 International AIDS Society Conference in Vienna, Austria with 8 abstracts/presentations:

(LINKS TO BE UPDATED)

(Online poster) First Author: Xavier Anglaret

Loss to follow-up and mortality among those co-infected with TB at ART initiation in Durban, South Africa. First Author: Ingrid Bassett

Effect of receiving a rapid negative HIV test results on subsequent HIV testing in Durban, South Africa. First Author: Sue Regan

Clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of laboratory monitoring to detect ART failure in India. First Author: Callie Scott

Lifetime cost of care for HIV-infected adults in France. First Author: Caroline Sloan  

Cost-effectiveness of HIV testing strategies among tuberculosis patients in India. First Author: Lauren Uhler

Scaling up WHO recommendations for HIV therapy in resource-limited settings: What to do first. First Author: Rochelle Walensky

Ben Linas and CEPAC investigators published an article in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis. This paper analyzes data from the ACTG Longitudinal Linked Randomized Trials (ALLRT) cohort to estimate resource utilization and disability among HIV/HCV co-infected patients and compare them to rates seen in HIV mono-infected patients. Click here for the abstract.

Sandrine Loubiere and CEPAC-International investigators published a review article in the Clinical Infectious Diseases. This paper describes the growing number of cost-effectiveness analyses of HIV treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-limited settings, focusing on studies that evaluate when to start therapy, what therapy to start with and what to switch to based on what criteria. Click here for the abstract.

Yazdan Yazdanpanah and CEPAC-International investigators published an article in Antiviral Therapy. This paper evaluates the effect of structured treatment interruption (STI) strategies compared to continuous antiretroviral treatment in resource-limited settings. Click here for the abstract.

Rochelle Walensky and CEPAC-International investigators published a review article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. This paper describes the use of cost‐effectiveness analysis in resource‐limited settings and reviews the cost‐effectiveness literature with regard to monitoring the CD4 cell count and HIV RNA level in Africa. Click here for the abstract.

April Kimmel and CEPAC-International investigators published an article in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. This paper assesses the outcomes and cost-effectiveness of laboratory monitoring to guide switching ART. Click here for the abstract.

Welcome Alexis Sypek, our new Research Assistant!  Alexis comes to us by way of Duke University in Durham, NC.  We're looking forward to working with her!

Hazel Williams-Roberts and CEPAC investigators published an article in Virulence. This paper examines the correlates of prior HIV testing in a study of participants in a routine HIV testing program. Click here for the abstract.

Elena Losina and CEPAC-International investigators published an article in PLoS One. This paper aims to determine pre-treatment losses to care in newly identified HIV-infected individuals in South Africa. Click here for the abstract.

Ingrid Bassett and CEPAC-International investigators published an article in AIDS. This paper evaluate rates of antiretroviral therapy initiation within 12 months of a new HIV diagnosis in Durban, South Africa. Click here for the abstract.

CEPAC investigators presented at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in San Francisco, CA with 2 abstracts:

Test and Treat: Forecasting the Clinical and Epidemiological Impact of Expanded HIV Screening and Immediate ART in Sub-Saharan Africa. First Author: Callie Scott

Strong Association between Medication Possession Ratio and Early Virological Outcomes in Adults on ART in Côte d'Ivoire. First Author: Eugène Messou

Gregory Robbins and CEPAC-US investigators published an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. This paper uses data captured in the electronic health record to develop a prediction rule for virologic failure among patients being treated for HIV infection. Click here for the abstract.

Rochelle Walensky published a Viewpoint in Clinical Infectious Diseases. This piece addresses the substantial impact the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPfAR) has achieved in general and more specifically toward improving maternal and child health and why continued PEPfAR investment remains essential. Click here for the abstract.

Melissa Bender and CEPAC-International collaborators published an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. This paper evaluates the clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of first-line ART using tenofovir in India, compared with the current practice of using stavudine or zidovudine. Click here for the abstract.

Ishani Ganguli and members of the CEPAC team published an article in Current HIV/AIDS Reports. This paper reviews the mechanisms and literature to date of home-based HIV testing strategy in resource-limited settings. Click here for the abstract.

Andrea Ciaranello and co-authors published an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. This paper uses a literature review and meta-analysis to derive estimates of the virologic suppression and CD4 cell gain for children initiating ART in resource-limited settings. Click here for the abstract.

CEPAC investigators and collaborators presented at the 49th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco, CA with an abstract:

Routine HIV Screening in France: Clinical Impact and Cost-Effectiveness. First Author: Yazdan Yazdanpanah

(If link does not work, please click here to search for the abstract on the conference website.)

CEPAC investigators and collaborators presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in Philadelphia, PA with 3 abstracts/presentations:

The Survival Cost of Opt-In Consent for HIV Testing. First Author: Michael D. April

Clinical Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of Treatment for Latent Tuberculosis in HIV+ Patients in India. First Author: Mai Pho

Virologic Suppression on 2nd-Line Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in a Community-Based Program in South Africa. First Author: Julie Levison

(If links do not work, please click here to search for the abstracts on the conference website.)

Welcome new biostatistician Farzad Noubary!  Currently getting his PhD at the Harvard School of Public Health, Farzad joined the CEPAC team part-time in October to help with all of our biostatistics needs!

Elena Losina and co-authors published an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. This paper evaluates sex and racial/ethnic disparities in life-years lost as a result of risk behavior, late presentation, and early discontinuation of HIV care, and compares these survival losses for HIV-infected persons with losses attributable to high-risk behavior and HIV disease itself. Click here for the abstract.

Elena Losina and the CEPAC-International team published an article in PLoS Medicine. This paper projects the clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of loss to follow-up (LTFU) prevention programs in Côte d'Ivoire (such as eliminating ART co-payments, eliminating charges to patients for opportunistic infection-related drugs, improving personnel training, and providing meals and reimbursing for transportation for participants) from a payer perspective. Click here for the abstract.

Welcome new RAs Jessica Becker and Ji-Eun Park and new biostatistician Farzad Noubary! A recent Harvard graduate, Jessica joined the CEPAC team on September 23.  Ji-Eun Park, an MIT alum, joined the team on October 7 after finishing two years teaching on the Navaho Nation in New Mexico. Farzad Noubary is currently getting his PhD at the Harvard School of Public Health and joined the CEPAC team part-time in October to help with all of our biostatistics needs!


Elena and co-authors published an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. This paper assesses the relationship of immunologic and clinical biomarker responses with rates of CD4 cell decline in individuals infected with HIV-1 subtype C. Click here for the abstract.

CEPAC investigators and collaborators were well-represented at the 2009 International AIDS Society Conference in Cape Town, South Africa with 7 abstracts/presentations:

Lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r)- compared to nevirapine (NVP)-based ART following receipt of single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission in South Africa: a cost-effectiveness analysis of the OCTANE (ACTG A5208) trial. First Author: Andrea Ciaranello

Who starts ART in Durban, South Africa?...Not everyone who should! First Author: Ingrid Bassett

Cost-effectiveness of preventing loss to follow-up in HIV treatment programs: a Côte d'Ivoire appraisal. First Author: Elena Losina

A strategy of early antiretroviral therapy for patients with acute opportunistic infections: a cost-effectiveness analysis of ACTG 5164. First Author: Paul Sax

Effectiveness of pediatric antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. First Author: Andrea Ciaranello

Test and treat DC: modeling the impact of a comprehensive HIV strategy in the US Capitol. First Author: Rochelle Walensky

Could early antiretroviral therapy (ART) entail more risks than benefits for HIV-infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa? First Author: Xavier Anglaret

Congratulations to Ingrid Bassett on her Young Investigator Award! She received this award at the 2009 International AIDS Conference in Cape Town, South Africa for her abstract entitled "Who starts ART in Durban, South Africa?...not everyone who should!"

Rochelle Walensky and the CEPAC-International team published an article in Annals of Internal Medicine. This paper evaluates the optimal CD4 threshold in which to initiate antiretroviral therapy in South Africa so to inform HIV treatment decisions while the international clinical trials focusing on this issue are in progress. Click here for the abstract.

Our summer intern, Will Grogan, has left us to begin his studies as a freshman at Harvard University.  Good luck, Will -- you and your ability to find good lunch options will be missed!


Ben Linas and co-authors published an article in JAIDS. This paper analyzes the eligibility requirements for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs in the United States that would minimize morbidity and mortality as well as contain costs. Click here for the abstract.

Welcome new RA Angela Wong!  A recent Brown graduate, Angela joined the CEPAC team on July 13 all ready to dive right in to the exciting world of HIV modeling!


Our US Project Coordinator, Caroline Sloan, is leaving us for Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire at the end of the summer to pursue research as a Fulbright Scholar.  Current RA John Chiosi has taken over her duties as US Project Coordinator alongside our current International Project Coordinator, Lauren Uhler.


Welcome new RA Sarah Bancroft!  A recent Harvard graduate, Sarah joined the CEPAC team on June 30 all ready to dive right in to the exciting world of HIV modeling!


CEPAC investigators and collaborators presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making in Hollywood, CA with 2 abstracts:

Laboratory Monitoring to Guide Switching Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource-Limited Settings: Clinical Benefits and Cost-Effectiveness. First Author: April Kimmel

Cost-Effective Strategies for Isoniazid-Based Tuberculosis (TB) Preventive Therapy for HIV-Infected ART-Naïve Patients in Southern India. First Author: Mai Pho