Rates and Predictors of Failure of First-line Antiretroviral Therapy and Switch to Second-line ART in South Africa
To measure rates and predictors of virologic failure and switch to second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa.
: Observational cohort study.
We included ART-naive adult patients initiated on public sector ART (January 2000 to July 2008) at 5 sites in South Africa who completed ≥6 months of follow-up. We estimated cumulative risk of virologic failure (viral load ≥400 copies/mL with confirmation above varying thresholds) and switching to second-line ART.
Nineteen thousand six hundred forty-five patients (29,935 person-years) had a median of 1.3 years of study follow-up (1.8 years on ART) and a median CD4 count of 93 (IQR: 39-155) cells per microliter at ART initiation. About 9.9% (4.5 per 100 person-years) failed ART in median 16 (IQR: 12-23) months since ART initiation, with median 2.7 months (IQR: 1.6-4.7) months between first elevated and confirmatory viral loads. By survival analysis, using a confirmatory threshold of 400 copies per milliliter, 16.9% [95% confidence interval (CI): 15.4% to 18.6%] failed by 5 years on ART, but only 7.8% (95% CI: 6.6% to 9.3%) using a threshold of 10,000. CD4 <25 versus 100-199 (adjusted HR: 1.60; 95% CI: 1.37 to 1.87), ART initiation viral load ≥1,000,000 versus <10,000, (1.32; 0.91 to 1.93), and 2+ gaps in care versus 0 (95% CI: 7.25; 4.95 to 10.6) were predictive of failure. Overall, 10.1% (95% CI: 9.0% to 11.4%) switched to second-line by 5 years on ART. Lower CD4 at failure and higher rate of CD4 decline were predictive of switch (decline 100% to 51% versus 25% to -25%, adjusted HR: 1.96; 95% CI: 1.35 to 2.85).
In resource-limited settings with viral load monitoring, virologic failure rates are highly sensitive to thresholds for confirmation. Despite clear guidelines there is considerable variability in switching failing patients, partially in response to immunologic status and postfailure evolution.
Available from: Richard Lessells
- "We have reported clinical outcomes for adults on ART in this programme that are broadly similar to other public sector programmes in South Africa [11-13]. However, the programme’s systems for detection and management of ART failure have been relatively ineffective, to the extent that, of the 20 000 adults enrolled on ART by the end of 2010, fewer than 100 (0.5%) had been switched to second-line ART regimens despite virological failure rates comparable to other programmes in the region . The implementation of antiretroviral drug resistance testing as part of a research study provided an opportunity to address the backlog of treatment failure cases and provide focused training to staff on the detection and management of treatment failure, whilst simultaneously facilitating drug resistance surveillance and research. "
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ABSTRACT: Antiretroviral drug resistance is becoming increasingly common with the expansion of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment programmes in high prevalence settings. Genotypic resistance testing could have benefit in guiding individual-level treatment decisions but successful models for delivering resistance testing in low- and middle-income countries have not been reported.
An HIV Treatment Failure Clinic model was implemented within a large primary health care HIV treatment programme in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Genotypic resistance testing was offered to adults (>=16 years) with virological failure on first-line antiretroviral therapy (one viral load >1000 copies/ml after at least 12 months on a standard first-line regimen). A genotypic resistance test report was generated with treatment recommendations from a specialist HIV clinician and sent to medical officers at the clinics who were responsible for patient management. A quantitative process evaluation was conducted to determine how the model was implemented and to provide feedback regarding barriers and challenges to delivery.
A total of 508 specimens were submitted for genotyping between 8 April 2011 and 31 January 2013; in 438 cases (86.2%) a complete genotype report with recommendations from the specialist clinician was sent to the medical officer. The median turnaround time from specimen collection to receipt of final report was 18 days (interquartile range (IQR) 13-29). In 114 (26.0%) cases the recommended treatment differed from what would be given in the absence of drug resistance testing. In the majority of cases (n = 315, 71.9%), the subsequent treatment prescribed was in line with the recommendations of the report.
Genotypic resistance testing was successfully implemented in this large primary health care HIV programme and the system functioned well enough for the results to influence clinical management decisions in real time. Further research will explore the impact and cost-effectiveness of different implementation models in different settings.
Available from: Ian Sanne
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ABSTRACT: Background: As the current HIV-positive population ages, the absolute number of patients >50 years on treatment is increasing.
We analyze the differences in treatment outcomes by age category (18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and ≥60) among 9139 HIV-positive adults initiating ART in South Africa.
The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for all-cause mortality increased with increasing age, with the strongest association in the first 12 months of follow-up among patients 50 to 59 years (HR 1.67; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.24-2.23) versus those <30 years. However, patients 50 to 59 years were less likely to be lost during 24 months on antiretroviral therapy ([ART] HR 0.75; 95% CI: 0.59-0.94) versus patients <30 years. By 6 and 12 months on treatment, older patients were less likely to increase their CD4 count by ≥50 cells/mm(3).
Although older patients are at higher risk of mortality and have poorer immunological responses than their younger counterparts, they are more likely to adhere to care and treatment in the first 24 months on ART.
Available from: PubMed Central
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ABSTRACT: (See the Editorial Commentary by Kuritzkes et al, on pages 876–7.)
We systematically reviewed studies of the virological efficacy of the 4 new tenofovir (TDF)-containing regimens recommended for initial antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in the 2010 World Health Organization ARV Treatment Guidelines. Thirty-three studies assessed the efficacy of 1 or more TDF-containing regimens: TDF/lamivudine (3TC)/nevirapine (NVP) (n = 3), TDF/ emtricitabine (FTC)/NVP (n = 9), TDF/3TC/efavirenz (EFV) (n = 6), and TDF/FTC/EFV (n = 19). TDF/3TC/NVP was the least well-studied and appeared the least efficacious of the 4 regimens. In 2 comparative studies, TDF/3TC/NVP was associated with significantly more virological failure than AZT/3TC/NVP; a third study was terminated prematurely because of early virological failure. TDF/FTC/NVP was either equivalent or inferior to its comparator arms. TDF/3TC/EFV was equivalent to its comparator arms. TDF/FTC/EFV was equivalent or superior to its comparator arms. Possible explanations for these findings include the greater antiviral activity of EFV versus NVP and longer intracellular half-life of FTC-triphosphate versus 3TC-triphosphate. Further study of TDF/3TC/NVP is required before it is widely deployed for initial ARV therapy.
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