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A new study indicates that even in a community whose children had high levels of a drug that can cause fatal kidney failure, the residents’ overall well-being improved, and this effect was related to their children’s levels of the drug.
The findings, published in the online journal, BMJ, provide further evidence supporting the connection between the quality of children’s care and their health in a community with a communitywide HIV/AIDS program.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Washington used data from an HIV health screening program to study outcomes of residents and parents whose children had high, borderline, or moderately high levels of anti-HIV drug resistance — a marker of the presence of resistant HIV in a community — in a community in the Bay Area in 2010 and 2012.
The study compared the health of residents at 36 sites in the Bay Area — San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and San Jose — with a community in the Washington, D.C., area. Each of these 36 sites had a health screening program that evaluated residents with HIV for resistance to the drugs that cause AIDS.
High levels of anti-HIV drug resistance in the Bay Area were linked with a range of poorer outcomes, including higher levels of hypertension, higher suicide rates, and worse health outcomes, such as death rates and higher rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as increases in the use of antiretroviral therapies (ARTs). High levels of resistance have long been associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. Antiretroviral resistance was found in almost 30 percent of samples from a previous study from San Francisco, suggesting that a significant proportion of the residents surveyed in the Bay Area — including, in some cases, those in nursing homes — were infected with HIV.
“This was a surprising result,” said lead author David A. Smith, PhD, associate professor in the department of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We knew that certain drugs could potentially be associated with poor health status, but this study is the first to show this association between children and drug resistance. This study also provides important information that a communitywide HIV and ARDS prevention and screening program could be a critical driver in supporting this positive association.”
Among the 13,000 children in the community recruited, nearly 5,000 (7.3 percent) were eligible
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