The southeastern US is a domestic epicentre for incident HIV with high prevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) coinfection. We estimated the incidence rates (IR) of symptomatic herpetic anogenital ulcer disease (HAUD) and assessed its associations with demographic and clinical characteristics, specifically with immunological markers using median, nadir and trajectory CD4 counts.
Electronic medical records (EMR) of over 7000 people living with HIV (PLWH) attending one of the leading HIV clinics in the southeastern US between 2006 and 2018 were reviewed and analysed. IR of HSV-related HAUD were estimated per 10 000 person years. Joinpoint regressions were performed to examine temporal changes in the trends of IR. All IR and trends were stratified by gender and race. Six CD4 trajectory groups were constructed using the group-based trajectory modelling. Multivariable logistic models were conducted to assess the associations of CD4 counts (nadir, median CD4 and newly defined CD4 trajectory), separately with HAUD.
Of the 4484 PLWH eligible individuals (3429 men, 1031 women and 24 transgender), we observed 425 patients with HSV-related HAUD. The mean log10viral load was higher in HAUD than HAUD-free groups, whereas the median nadir CD4 count (cells/uL) was higher in the non-cases than the case groups (p<0.05). HAUD were more frequent in women than men. Median CD4 (<200 cell/uL) was associated with HAUD (OR=2.1), but there were no significant associations with nadir CD4. Significant associations with declining and sustained low CD4 counts trajectory patterns were observed with HAUD.
There were significant differences between men and women with incident HAUD among PLWH. EMR-based studies can provide innovative trajectory models that can potentially be helpful in guiding screening and clinical care of HAUD among high-risk PLWH.