Scientific Publications Database

Article Title: Use of Systemic Therapies for Treatment of Psoriasis in People Living with Controlled HIV: Inference-Based Guidance from a Multidisciplinary Expert Panel
Authors: Papp, Kim A.; Beecker, Jennifer; Cooper, Curtis; Kirchhof, Mark G.; Pozniak, Anton L.; Rockstroh, Juergen K.; Dutz, Jan P.; Gooderham, Melinda J.; Gniadecki, Robert; Hong, Chih-Ho; Lynde, Charles W.; Maari, Catherine; Poulin, Yves; Vender, Ronald B.; Walmsley, Sharon L.
Journal: DERMATOLOGY AND THERAPY Volume 12 Issue 5
Date of Publication:2022
Plain Language Summary People living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) develop psoriasis as often as everyone else. We asked: what are effective and safe treatments when PLHIV need systemic therapy (pills or injections) for their psoriasis? HIV infection attacks the immune system. When HIV is not treated, the immune system declines. A less effective immune system makes it harder for the body to fight infections and certain cancers. Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by overactive immune cells. Effective psoriasis treatments reduce immune-cell activity. There are some concerns that treatments for psoriasis may not work and could worsen infections or cancers. To answer the question, we gathered 11 dermatologists and 4 HIV specialists. We reviewed the international scientific literature on PLHIV and psoriasis. The absence of direct evidence and volume of information to review made the process challenging. The end results were worthwhile. We concluded that people who are diagnosed early and take antiretroviral therapy to control their HIV infection (PLHIV-c) can live long, healthy lives. Accordingly, we determined that PLHIV-c can likely expect the same safety and efficacy for systemic psoriasis treatments as the general population. Treatment decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis through consultation with the patient and treating physician(s). Pillars of modern medicine are evidence-based care and collaborative decision-making. Too often, neither care provider nor patient are adequately informed. We have tried to fill one information gap for PLHIV and psoriasis. This process may help answer questions in other disease populations where direct evidence is scarce or absent.Background People living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) have a similar prevalence of psoriasis as the general population, though incidence and severity correlate with HIV viral load. Adequately treating HIV early renders the infection a chronic medical condition and allows PLHIV with a suppressed viral load (PLHIV-s) to live normal lives. Despite this, safety concerns and a lack of high-level data have hindered the use of systemic psoriasis therapies in PLHIV-s. Objectives We aim to provide a structured framework that supports healthcare professionals and patients discussing the risks and benefits of systemic psoriasis therapy in PLHIV-s. Our goal was to address the primary question, are responses to systemic therapies for the treatment of psoriasis in PLHIV-s similar to those in the non-HIV population? Methods We implemented an inference-based approach relying on indirect evidence when direct clinical trial data were absent. In this instance, we reviewed indirect evidence supporting inferences on the status of immune function in PLHIV. Recommendations on systemic treatment for psoriasis in PLHIV were derived using an inferential heuristic. Results We identified seven indirect indicators of immune function informed by largely independent bodies of evidence: (1) functional assays, (2) vaccine response, (3) life expectancy, (4) psoriasis manifestations, (5) rate of infections, (6) rate of malignancies, and (7) organ transplant outcomes. Conclusions Drug-related benefits and risks when treating a patient with systemic psoriasis therapies are similar for non-HIV patients and PLHIV with a suppressed viral load and normalized CD4 counts. Prior to initiating psoriasis treatment in PLHIV, HIV replication should be addressed by an HIV specialist. Exercise additional caution for patients with a suppressed viral load and discordant CD4 responses on antiretroviral therapy.