The knowledge of HIV incidence is essential to better understand patterns of HIV transmission. We estimated HIV incidence over 2010-2012 in the eastern European country of Georgia. Mathematical modeling using Spectrum software and assay-based recent infection testing algorithm were applied. The study included 1155 HIV patients newly diagnosed in 2010-2012 (84% of total diagnoses). Of them, 231 were determined to be recently infected on the recent infection testing algorithm. The proportion of recent cases did not differ between 2010, 2011 and 2012 (20.4% vs. 19.4% vs. 20.2%, p?=?0.94). Both study methods derived comparable estimates ranging from 0.2 to 0.3%, which is up to twice as high as rates of new diagnosis reported in the same period. Despite the relatively stable HIV incidence over 2010-2012, the epidemic continues to grow because of the increasing gap between HIV-infected and diagnosed persons. Increased efforts are needed to reduce the number of people with undiagnosed HIV.
Since 2004, the country of Georgia has provided antiretroviral therapy (ART) to all patients in need. A nationwide retrospective cohort study was conducted to assess the effect of universal access to ART on patterns of mortality and causes of death among HIV-infected individuals in Georgia. All known HIV-infected adult individuals (age ?18 years) diagnosed from 1989 through 2012 were included. Rates and causes of death were determined using routinely collected data from the national HIV/AIDS database. Causes of death were classified according to the Coding of Death in HIV (CoDe) protocol. Between 1989 and 2012, 3,554 HIV-infected adults were registered in Georgia contributing to 13,572 person-years (PY) of follow-up. A total of 779 deaths were registered during follow-up. The mortality rate peaked in 2004 with 10.74 deaths per 100 PY (95% CI: 7.92-14.24) and significantly decreased after the universal availability of ART to 4.02 per 100 PY (95% CI: 3.28-4.87) in 2012. In multivariate analysis the strongest predictor of mortality was having AIDS at the time of HIV diagnosis (hazard ratio: 5.69, 95% CI: 4.72-6.85). AIDS-related diseases accounted for the majority of deaths (n=426, 54.7%). Tuberculosis (TB) was the leading cause of death accounting for 21% of the total deaths reported. Universal access to ART significantly reduced mortality among HIV-infected patients in Georgia. However, overall mortality rates remain high primarily due to late diagnosis, and TB remains a significant cause of death. Improving rates of early HIV diagnosis and ART initiation may further decrease mortality as well as prevent new HIV and TB infections.
Data on the effectiveness of second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-limited countries of Eastern Europe is limited. Objective of this study was to evaluate virological outcomes of second-line ART in Georgia.
Since 2004, Georgia achieved universal access to free antiretroviral therapy (ART). A retrospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate the outcomes of Georgias ART program. The study included adult patients enrolled in the ART program from 2004 through 2009. Of 752 patients, 76% were men, 60% were injection drug users (IDU), 59% had a history of an AIDS-defining illness, and 53% were coinfected with hepatitis C. The median baseline CD4 cell count was 141?cells/mm(3). During followup, 152 (20%) patients died, with the majority of deaths occurring within 12 months of ART initiation. Mortality was associated with advanced immunodeficiency or the presence of incurable disease at baseline. Among patients remaining on treatment, the median CD4 gain was 216?cell/mm(3) and 86% of patients had viral load <400 copies/ml at the last clinical visit. The Georgia ART program has been successful in treating injection drug users infected with HIV.
HIV infection is the major public health, social and economic problem in Georgia. Although the HIV epidemic is in its nascent phase in the country, the potential risk for development of a wide spread HIV epidemic is very high. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of ARV treatment principles in Georgia, including treatment and monitoring methods.
In May of 2011, an enteroaggregative Escherichia coli O104:H4 strain that had acquired a Shiga toxin 2-converting phage caused a large outbreak of bloody diarrhea in Europe which was notable for its high prevalence of hemolytic uremic syndrome cases. Several studies have described the genomic inventory and phylogenies of strains associated with the outbreak and a collection of historical E. coli O104:H4 isolates using draft genome assemblies. We present the complete, closed genome sequences of an isolate from the 2011 outbreak (2011C-3493) and two isolates from cases of bloody diarrhea that occurred in the Republic of Georgia in 2009 (2009EL-2050 and 2009EL-2071). Comparative genome analysis indicates that, while the Georgian strains are the nearest neighbors to the 2011 outbreak isolates sequenced to date, structural and nucleotide-level differences are evident in the Stx2 phage genomes, the mer/tet antibiotic resistance island, and in the prophage and plasmid profiles of the strains, including a previously undescribed plasmid with homology to the pMT virulence plasmid of Yersinia pestis. In addition, multiphenotype analysis showed that 2009EL-2071 possessed higher resistance to polymyxin and membrane-disrupting agents. Finally, we show evidence by electron microscopy of the presence of a common phage morphotype among the European and Georgian strains and a second phage morphotype among the Georgian strains. The presence of at least two stx2 phage genotypes in host genetic backgrounds that may derive from a recent common ancestor of the 2011 outbreak isolates indicates that the emergence of stx2 phage-containing E. coli O104:H4 strains probably occurred more than once, or that the current outbreak isolates may be the result of a recent transfer of a new stx2 phage element into a pre-existing stx2-positive genetic background.
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