Background: Predictors of virological response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) have never been systematically evaluated in a large continental multicenter cohort of unselected human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected people. Objective: To determine the factors related to achieving and maintaining undetectable plasma HIV-1 RNA levels among HIV-1- infected patients first starting protease inhibitor- or nonnucleoside retrotranscriptase inhibitor-containing HAART in Europe. Design: Prospective multicenter cohort study. Selling: Fifty-two clinical centers in 17 European countries included in the EuroSIDA Study Group, from August 1996 to April 1999. Patients: A total of 1469 HIV-positive patients first starting HAART recruited from an unselected cohort of more than 7300 HIV-positive patients. Main Outcome Measure: Detection of factors related to virological success after first starting HAART (baseline) and ensuing failure by standard survival techniques, including Kaplan-Meier techniques and Cox proportional hazards models. All analyses were intention to treat. Results: Most patients (80%) achieved plasma HIV-1 RNA levels of less than 500 copies/mL during follow-up (60.4% at 6 months from the onset of HAART). Patients with higher baseline HIV-1 RNA levels (relative hazard [RH], 0.76 per log higher; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69-0.84; P+ lymphocyte counts (RH per 50% higher, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.02-1.16; P = .008) and the initiation of 3 or more new antiretroviral drugs (RH, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.03-1.61; P = .02) were independent predictors of higher success. Once success was achieved, HIV-1 RNA levels rebounded in more than one third of all patients during follow-up (24% at 6 months). Antiretroviral- naive patients (RH, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.29-0.87; P = .01), older patients (RH, 0.86 per year older; 95% CI, 0.75-0.99; P = .04), and those starting a protease inhibitor other than saquinavir hard gel (RH, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.44- 0.98; P = .04) were at decreased hazard for virological failure. Higher baseline HIV-1 RNA level (RH, 1.18 per log higher; 95% CI, 0.99-1.40; P = .06) and a longer time to achieve virological success (RH per 12 months, 1.53; 95% CI, 0.99-2.38; P = .06) were marginally significant predictors of a decreased hazard of ensuing virological failure. Conclusions: HAART is associated with a favorable virological response if started when the baseline HIV-1 RNA level is low, if at least 2 new nucleoside retrotranscriptase inhibitors are added, and if standard doses of saquinavir hard gel capsule are avoided as a single protease inhibitor. Older patients are more likely to achieve virological success. Thereafter, the higher durability of virological response is predicted by an antiretroviral-naive status and by the use of specific regimens. Lower baseline HIV-1 RNA levels and rapid maximal viral suppression seem to be other important factors in the durability of virological response.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Archives of Internal Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 24 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine