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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0242405


BACKGROUND: Choice of initial antiretroviral therapy regimen may help children with HIV maintain optimal, continuous therapy. We assessed treatment-naïve children for differences in time to treatment disruption across randomly-assigned protease inhibitor versus non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based initial antiretroviral therapy.

METHODS: We performed a secondary analysis of a multicenter phase 2/3, randomized, open-label trial in Europe, North and South America from 2002 to 2009. Children aged 31 days toyears, who were living with HIV-1 and treatment-naive, were randomized to antiretroviral therapy with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors plus a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. Time to first documented treatment disruption to any component of antiretroviral therapy, derived from treatment records and adherence questionnaires, was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier estimators and Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS: The modified intention-to-treat analysis included 263 participants. Seventy-two percent (n = 190) of participants experienced at least one treatment disruption during study. At 4 years, treatment disruption probabilities were 70% (protease inhibitor) vs. 63% (non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor). The unadjusted hazard ratio (HR) for treatment disruptions comparing protease inhibitor vs. non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based regimens was 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.88-1.61 (adjusted HR 1.24, 95% CI 0.91-1.68). By study end, treatment disruption probabilities converged (protease inhibitor 81%, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor 84%) with unadjusted HR 1.11, 95% CI 0.84-1.48 (adjusted HR 1.13, 95% CI 0.84-1.50). Reported reasons for treatment disruptions suggested that participants on protease inhibitors experienced greater tolerability problems.

CONCLUSIONS: Children had similar time to treatment disruption for initial protease inhibitor and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based antiretroviral therapy, despite greater reported tolerability problems with protease inhibitor regimens. Initial pediatric antiretroviral therapy with either a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor may be acceptable for maintaining optimal, continuous therapy.

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PLoS One





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