Background Very few data are available on treatment in HIV Late presenter population that still represents a clinical challenge. Methods Prospective, multicenter, randomized open-label, 2 arm, phase-3 trial comparing the 48-week virological response of two different regimens: abacavir/lamivudine + darunavir/r vs abacavir/lamivudine + raltegravir in antiretroviral naive with CD4+ counts <200/mm3 and a viral load (VL)500,000 copies/mL and 3 for HLAB5701 positivity. The snapshot analysis at 48 weeks showed a virologic success of 77.3% in raltegravir and 66.7% in darunavir/r. Time to starting treatment was 34.5 days in raltegravir and 53 days in darunavir/r. At the as treated analysis, the median CD4 counts at 48 weeks was 297 cells/μL in raltegravir and 239 cells/μL in darunavir/r. No difference in total cholesterol, while triglycerides were higher in the darunavir/r arm. No statistical analyses were performed due to the low number of patients enrolled. Conclusions Late presenter patients are frequent but very difficult to enroll in clinical trials, especially in western countries. These regimens and the conditions of many patients could not allow the test and treat strategy. The rate of virologic success was higher than 65% in both arms with a median CD4 cell count >200/μL at week 48. © 2019 Mussini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.