Longitudinal Changes in Subclinical Vascular Disease in Ugandan Youth With Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Sahera Dirajlal-Fargo*, Chenya Zhao, Danielle Labbato, Abdus Sattar, Christine Karungi, Chris T. Longenecker, Rashidah Nazzinda, Nicholas Funderburg, Cissy Kityo, Victor Musiime, Grace A. McComsey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prospective investigations on the risk of cardiovascular disease among youth with perinatally acquired human immunodeficiency virus (PHIV) in sub-Saharan Africa are lacking. Methods: A prospective observational cohort study was performed in 101 youth (aged 10-18 years) with PHIV and 97 who were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) uninfected (HIV-), from 2017 to 2021 at the Joint Clinical Research Center in Uganda. Participants with PHIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) and had HIV-1 RNA levels ≤400 copies/mL. The common carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) were evaluated at baseline and at 96 weeks. Groups were compared using unpaired t-test, and potential predictors of IMT and PWV were assessed using quantile regression. Results: Of the 198 participants recruited at baseline, 168 (89 with PHIV, 79 HIV-) had measurements at 96 weeks. The median age (interquartile range) age was 13 (11-15) years; 52% were female, and 85% had viral loads <50 copies/mL that remained undetectable at week 96. The baseline mean common carotid artery IMT was slightly higher in participants with PHIV compared with controls (P <. 01), and PWV did not differ between groups (P =. 08). At week 96, IMT decreased and PWV increased in the PHIV group (P ≤. 03); IMT increased in the HIV- group (P =. 03), with no change in PWV (P =. 92). In longitudinal analyses in those with PHIV, longer ART duration was associated with lower PWV (β =. 008 [95% confidence interval, -.008 to. 003]), and abacavir use with greater IMT (β =. 043 [.012-.074]). Conclusions: In healthy Ugandan youth with PHIV, virally suppressed by ART, the common carotid artery IMT did not progress over 2 years. Prolonged and early ART may prevent progression of subclinical vascular disease, while prolonged use of abacavir may increase it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E599-E606
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • cardiovascular disease
  • complications
  • immune activation
  • inflammation
  • perinatally acquired HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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