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Effect of changing antiretroviral therapy on human immunodeficiency virus viral load: experience with fifty-four perinatally infected children.


Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1999 Jun;18(6):512-6. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

BACKGROUND: Experience in adults has shown that combination therapy including HIV protease inhibitors (PI) can profoundly affect viral replication and slow progression of HIV-associated disease. Trials defining the influence of PI and combination therapies on long term outcome of HIV infection in children have not yet been completed. Experience with infants and children who were receiving routine care in an HIV specialty clinic was reviewed to characterize the effect of changes involving one, two or three antiretrovirals. METHODS: Clinical and laboratory findings of children in whom antiretroviral therapy was changed were retrospectively reviewed. Successful response was defined as a reduction of viral load of at least 0.7 log10 RNA copies/ml lasting for at least 3 months. Differences in characteristics and the character of the response associated with successful and unsuccessful changes were analyzed. RESULTS: Of the 72 changes in therapy that were made in 54 children, 29 resulted in a successful response. A change involving 3 antiretrovirals was more likely to produce a successful response than a change involving 1 agent (6 of 9 vs. 6 of 24; P < 0.04). Reduction of viral load by > 100-fold or to undetectable amounts occurred more frequently in children who responded to a regimen containing a PI than in children who responded to reverse transcriptase inhibitors (11 of 21 vs. 1 of 8; P=0.05). Furthermore successful responses associated with addition of a PI were associated with a greater reduction in viral load than those that involved reverse transcriptase inhibitors (1.63+/-0.60 vs. 0.99+/-0.12 log10; P=0.003). CONCLUSIONS: This experience suggests that changing antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected children to regimens containing three drugs is more likely to result in a successful virologic outcome than changes in therapy involving one drug. This experience further supports the conclusion that including a PI as part of an antiretroviral regimen is more likely to result in a greater reduction in viral load in children.

JOURNAL ARTICLE Anti-HIV Agents/*THERAPEUTIC USE Child Child, Preschool Disease Transmission, Vertical Drug Therapy, Combination Female Human HIV Infections/CONGENITAL/*DRUG THERAPY/IMMUNOLOGY/TRANSMISSION HIV Protease Inhibitors/THERAPEUTIC USE Male Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors/THERAPEUTIC USE Support, Non-U.S. Gov't *Viral Load


Information in this article was accurate in October 30, 1999. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.