Use of antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited countries in 2006: Distribution and uptake of first- and second-line regimens

Department of HIV/AIDS, World Health Organization, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
AIDS (Impact Factor: 5.55). 08/2007; 21 Suppl 4(Suppl 4):S89-95. DOI: 10.1097/01.aids.0000279711.54922.f0
Source: PubMed


To address the information gap on current use of antiretroviral drugs (ARTs) in developing countries.
The AIDS Medicines and Diagnostics Service of the World Health Organization (WHO) carried out a multi-country survey in early 2006. Questionnaires covered the use of first- and second-line regimens in adults and children, and the rates of switching from first-line to second-line regimen. Weighted percentages of use of ARTs across the cohort of adults and children were calculated and correlated with 2006 WHO guidelines. A second analysis compared demand for ARTs with rates of production of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Twenty-three countries (96%) returned the questionnaires, representing 53% of relevant patients in developing countries as of June 2006, and comprising 92% adults and 8% children receiving ARTs. Response rates were highest for questions regarding first-line use and lowest for those regarding pediatric regimens. The distribution of first-line: second-line use was 96%: 4% among adults and 99%: 1% among children. For adults, 95% of those receiving first-line treatment, but only 25% of those receiving second-line treatment, were on regimens consistent with those preferred by the WHO. Among first-line users, the most common regimen (61%) was stavudine+lamivudine+nevirapine. Among second-line users, abacavir+didanosine+lopinavir/ritonavir was the most common regimen (24%). Among children, compliance with WHO guidelines was high among the respondents, with zidovudine+lamivudine+nevirapine reported as the main option. Estimates of first-year switching rate were highly variable, ranging from 1% to 15%, with only ten responses. Comparison of supply and demand showed that the stated production capacity for active pharmaceutical ingredients is sufficient to meet current demands for ARTs.
This survey has provided valuable information on the uptake of ARTs in developing countries and will help forecast future demand. Reporting for second-line and pediatric antiretroviral therapy should improve as national programs gain more experience. The current availability of active pharmaceutical ingredients appears to be sufficient to meet current demand. Further work is needed for an understanding of switching rates.

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    • "While a large majority of patients on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs achieve sustained virological suppression, some experience a treatment failure eventually leading to treatment change. Treatment switches to second–line ARV regimens in RLS occur at a lower rate than expected due to several constraints: limited access to virological monitoring, limited availability of suitable ARV drugs, pill burden, toxicity and cost, thus limiting the use of second-line ART regimens even in failing patients [1-4]. Overall, it is estimated that second–line ART accounts for <5% of total ARV use in RLS at the present time [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Changes in CD4 cell counts are poorly documented in individuals with low or moderate-level viremia while on antiretroviral treatment (ART) in resource-limited settings. We assessed the impact of on-going HIV-RNA replication on CD4 cell count slopes in patients treated with a first-line combination ART. Method Naïve patients on a first-line ART regimen with at least two measures of HIV-RNA available after ART initiation were included in the study. The relationships between mean CD4 cell count change and HIV-RNA at 6 and 12 months after ART initiation (M6 and M12) were assessed by linear mixed models adjusted for gender, age, clinical stage and year of starting ART. Results 3,338 patients were included (14 cohorts, 64% female) and the group had the following characteristics: a median follow-up time of 1.6 years, a median age of 34 years, and a median CD4 cell count at ART initiation of 107 cells/μL. All patients with suppressed HIV-RNA at M12 had a continuous increase in CD4 cell count up to 18 months after treatment initiation. By contrast, any degree of HIV-RNA replication both at M6 and M12 was associated with a flat or a decreasing CD4 cell count slope. Multivariable analysis using HIV-RNA thresholds of 10,000 and 5,000 copies confirmed the significant effect of HIV-RNA on CD4 cell counts both at M6 and M12. Conclusion In routinely monitored patients on an NNRTI-based first-line ART, on-going low-level HIV-RNA replication was associated with a poor immune outcome in patients who had detectable levels of the virus after one year of ART.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 06/2012; 12(1):147. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-12-147 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    • "Despite a well-described toxicity profile and several alternate drug options, stavudine remains widely prescribed in developing countries [28,29]. Recent estimates suggest that 60% of individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy have stavudine as part of their first-line regimens in low- and middle- income countries [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: As stavudine remains an important and widely prescribed drug in resource-limited settings, the effect of a reduced dose of stavudine (from 40 mg to 30 mg) on outcomes of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) remains an important public health question. We analyzed prospectively collected data from the Themba Lethu Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. We assessed the relationship between stavudine dose and six- and/or 12-month outcomes of stavudine substitution, failure to suppress viral load to below 400 copies/ml, development of peripheral neuropathy, lipoatrophy and hyperlactatemia/lactic acidosis. Since individuals with a baseline weight of less than 60 kg were expected to have received the same dose of stavudine throughout the study period, analysis was restricted to individuals who weighed 60 kg or more at baseline. Data were analyzed using logistic regression. Between 1 April 2004 and 30 September 2009, 3910 patients were initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a recorded stavudine dose and were included in the analysis. Of these, 2445 (62.5%) received a 40 mg stavudine dose while 1565 (37.5%) received 30 mg. In multivariate analysis, patients receiving a 40 mg dose were more likely to discontinue stavudine use (adjusted odds ratio, OR 1.71; 95% confidence limits, CI 1.13-2.57) than those receiving 30 mg by 12 months on ART. Additionally, patients receiving 40 mg doses of stavudine were more likely to report peripheral neuropathy (OR 3.12; 95% CI 1.86-5.25), lipoatrophy (OR 11.8; 95% CI 3.2-43.8) and hyperlactatemia/lactic acidosis (OR 8.37; 95% CI 3.83-18.29) in the same time period. Failure to suppress HIV viral load within 12 months of HAART initiation was somewhat more common among those given 40 mg doses (OR 1.62; 95% CI 0.88, 2.97) although this result lacked precision. Sensitivity analyses accounting for death and loss to follow up generally supported these estimates. Lower stavudine dosage is associated with fewer reports of several stavudine-associated adverse events and also a lower risk of stavudine discontinuation within the first year on ART.
    Journal of the International AIDS Society 03/2012; 15(1):13. DOI:10.1186/1758-2652-15-13 · 5.09 Impact Factor
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    • "Despite the fact that stavudine is associated with significant complications, a large proportion of low and middle-income countries still use stavudine based HAART as first line therapy [8,9], mainly because of the cost implications of alternative drugs. In the present study nearly 30% of patients had to switch to non-stavudine based regimens, due to major side effects. "
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    ABSTRACT: There has been major improvement in the survival of HIV-1 infected individuals since the South African Government introduced highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) in the public sector in 2004. This has brought new challenges which include the effects of stavudine-related toxicities. Prospective analysis of a cohort of 9040 HIV-infected adults who were initiated on HAART at the Themba Lethu Clinic (TLC) in Johannesburg between April 1, 2004 to December 31, 2007, and followed up until June 30, 2008. Amongst the 9040 study subjects, 8497(94%) were on stavudine based therapy and 5962 (66%) were women. The median baseline CD4 count was 81 cells/mm3 (IQR 29-149). Median follow up on HAART was 19 months (IQR: 9.1-31.6). The proportion of HAART-related side effects for stavudine compared to non-stavudine containing regimens were, respectively: peripheral neuropathy,17.1% vs. 11.2% (p < 0.001); symptomatic hyperlactataemia, 5.7% vs. 2.2% (p < 0.0005); lactic acidosis, 2.5 vs. 1.3% (p = 0.072); lipoatrophy, 7.3% vs. 4.6% (p < 0.05). Among those on stavudine-based regimens, incidence rates for peripheral neuropathy were 12.1 cases/100 person-years (95%CI 7.0-19.5), symptomatic hyperlactataemia 3.6 cases/100 person-years (95%CI 1.2-7.5), lactic acidosis 1.6 cases/100 person-years (95%CI 0.4-5.2) and lipoatrophy 4.6 cases/100 person-years (95%CI 2.1-9.6). Females experienced more toxicity when compared to males in terms of symptomatic hyperlactataemia (p < 0.0001), lactic acidosis (p < 0.0001), lipoatrophy (p < 0.0001) and hypertension (p < 0.05). We demonstrate significant morbidity associated with stavudine. These data support the latest WHO guidelines, and provide additional evidence for other resource limited HAART rollout programs considering the implementation of non-stavudine based regimens as first line therapy.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 09/2011; 11(1):244. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-11-244 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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