Gender difference in vital cell count of HIV patients
(Press-News.org) Male HIV patients in rural South Africa reach the low immunity levels required to become eligible for antiretroviral treatment in less than half the time it takes for immunity levels to drop to similar levels in women, according to new research from the University of Southampton.
Researchers also found a link between potential proxy measures of nutritional status and disease progression, with those reporting food shortages and use of nutritional supplements reaching lower levels of immunity faster.
CD4 cell count is a measure of the immune system which indicates the stage of disease progression in an individual with HIV, with a lower count indicating a more advanced stage of the disease. The study is the first to suggest a difference in time to a CD4 cell count of less than 350 between men and women with HIV.
At the time the study was undertaken, guidelines in the country stated that anyone with a CD4 cell count of less than 350 would be eligible for antiretroviral treatment (ART). While it took women on average around three years to go from a cell count of over 500 to a count of less than 350, it took men just 12 months.
Now, South Africa has changed its guidelines so that ART is available with a CD4 cell count of 500 or less, in line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation. It took an average of just over eight months for men to reach this cell count from the start of follow-up, compared to over 17 months in women.
"The finding that time to ART eligibility was significantly shorter for men highlights the need to develop gender oriented strategies throughout HIV care in the African context" says Dr Nuala McGrath at the University of Southampton and lead author of the study. "Firstly men are more likely to present for care with slightly lower CD4 cell counts than women and we need to find ways to get men into care earlier. Once in care, many individuals will become eligible for treatment within one or two pre-ART care visits, especially if visits are less frequent than the recommended six monthly intervals."
The relevance of the findings to the UK is unclear given differences in the HIV-infected population, the subtype of virus and the health system. UK guidelines still have a threshold of 350 cells, although some people are treated above this threshold for various reasons.
Published in the journal HIV Medicine, researchers monitored the cell count of 206 adults from a rural community in South Africa who had been diagnosed with HIV and retained in routine care. Participants were asked to complete a survey assessing a range of social demographic and behavioural factors. Of those who took part, 79 (or 38 per cent) became eligible for treatment within the course of the study.
The findings suggest that having a lower CD4 cell count at the start of the study, being male, residing in a household with food shortages in the last year and use of nutritional supplements were all independently associated with an increased chance of meeting the criteria for starting ART.
Dr McGrath comments: "The use of nutritional supplements and reporting a lack of food in the household could reflect a link between food insecurity, malnutrition and time to CD4 below 350 but determining a cause and effect relationship is difficult due to the complex interplay between HIV and nutrition and the use of supplements as 'immune boosters' in the study context.
"As the study took place within routine care, the people involved could potentially have had more rapid decline in their CD4 count than others in the same community that were not yet diagnosed or not in care, so further research is needed."
Notes for editors
1. For a copy of the paper Time to eligibility for antiretroviral therapy in adults with CD4+ cell count >500 cells/µl in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa McGrath N, Lessells RJ, Newell ML DOI: 10.1111/hiv.12255 please contact Steven Williams, Tel: 023 8059 2128, email: S.Williams@soton.ac.uk
2. For interview opportunities with Nuala McGrath please contact media relations.
3. Through world-leading research and enterprise activities, the University of Southampton connects with businesses to create real-world solutions to global issues. Through its educational offering, it works with partners around the world to offer relevant, flexible education, which trains students for jobs not even thought of. This connectivity is what sets Southampton apart from the rest; we make connections and change the world. http://www.southampton.ac.uk/
For further information contact:
Steven Williams, Media Relations, University of Southampton, Tel: 023 8059 2128, email: S.Williams@soton.ac.uk
Follow us on twitter: http://twitter.com/unisouthampton
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/unisouthampton
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
They are 'strange' materials, insulators on the inside and conductors on the surface. They also have properties that make them excellent candidates for the development of spintronics ('spin-based electronics') and more in general quantum computing. However, they are also elusive as their properties are extremely difficult to observe. Now a SISSA study, published in Physical Review Letters, proposes a new family of materials whose topological state can be directly observed experimentally, thus simplifying things for researchers.
"What interests us of topological insulators ...
A gap year between high school and the start of university studies does not weaken young people's enthusiasm to study or their overall performance once the studies have commenced. On the other hand, adolescents who continue to university studies directly after upper secondary school are more resilient in their studies and more committed to the study goals. However, young people who transfer directly to university are more stressed than those who start their studies after a gap year. These research results have been achieved in the Academy of Finland's research programme ...
In a study published this month in Malaria Journal, researchers from Uppsala University and other institutions present a new model for systematically evaluating new malaria treatment programs in routine conditions across multiple countries.
Despite major investments in malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) in recent years, there remains limited evidence of their impact on treatment decisions in routine program conditions. Evidence to date is largely derived from small-scale facility studies conducted within a limited number of countries, notably Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, ...
It is six times more expensive for society - and for you individually - if you travel by car instead of cycling. This has been shown in a Lund University study of Copenhagen, a city of cyclists. It is the first time a price has been put on car use as compared to cycling.
In the comparative study, Stefan Gössling from Lund University and Andy S. Choi from the University of Queensland have investigated a cost-benefit analysis that the Copenhagen Municipality uses to determine whether new cycling infrastructure should be built.
It considers how much cars cost society ...
Offenders enrolled in alcohol treatment programmes as part of their sentence are significantly less likely to be charged or reconvicted in the 12 months following their programme, a study led by Plymouth University has shown.
Researchers from the University's School of Psychology led a project, supported by the European Social Fund, which saw males with alcohol problems related to offending being assigned to a range of different treatments when convicted.
They then calculated the participants' charged and reconviction rates over the following year, with the results ...
This news release is available in German.
Mainz-based researchers have made significant advances with regard to the development of individualized immunotherapy strategies for treating cancer. They have managed to identify the relevant genetic changes or mutations associated with various types of cancer and have determined their individual blueprints. This makes it possible for the scientists to readily produce customized cancer vaccines of the kind that have already been demonstrated to be effective in animal models. Here they have proven effective in the regression ...
PITTSBURGH--Bragging to coworkers about a recent promotion, or posting a photo of your brand new car on Facebook, may seem like harmless ways to share good news.
However, a new study from City University London, Carnegie Mellon University and Bocconi University shows that self-promotion or a "humblebrag" often backfires.
Published in Psychological Science, Irene Scopelliti, George Loewenstein and Joachim Vosgerau wanted to find out why so many people frequently get the trade-off between self-promotion and modesty wrong. They found that self-promoters overestimate how ...
Pollution from historic mining activities in south west England has led to a reduction in genetic diversity of brown trout according to new research from the University of Exeter. The findings, which will be published on Friday 15 May in the journal Evolutionary Applications, indicate that human activity can alter the genetic patterns of wild populations - an important issue in modern conservation.
The prevalence of metal contaminants in rivers across the south west of England is directly linked to mining activities dating back hundreds of years. Exposure to high concentrations ...
Today's imagery from NASA's AIRS instrument on the Aqua satellite indicates more severe weather is in store for the Midwest from Texas to Michigan. There is another extremely strong storm that is stretching from south to north and into Canada, and that system can be seen in this AIRS image from May 11, 2015. The first image (left) was taken at 3:35 am EDT, by the time the second image (right) was taken at 2:41 pm EDT the system had come together and was stretching across the nation vertically across the country.
Current weather forecasting predicts that Monday evening ...
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Researchers have discovered why many animal species can spend their whole lives outdoors with no apparent concern about high levels of solar exposure: they make their own sunscreen.
The findings, published today in the journal eLife by scientists from Oregon State University, found that many fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds can naturally produce a compound called gadusol, which among other biologic activities provides protection from the ultraviolet, or sun-burning component of sunlight.
The researchers also believe that this ability may have ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES: