Outcomes following virological failure and predictors of switching to second-line antiretroviral therapy in a South African treatment program.

Johnston, V; Fielding, KL; Charalambous, S; Churchyard, G; Phillips, A; Grant, AD; (2012) Outcomes following virological failure and predictors of switching to second-line antiretroviral therapy in a South African treatment program. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 61 (3). pp. 370-80. ISSN 1525-4135 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0b013e318266ee3f

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OBJECTIVES Without resistance tests, deciding which patients with virological failure should switch to second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) is difficult. The factors influencing this decision are poorly understood. We assess predictors of switching regimens after virological failure. DESIGN Retrospective cohort study using clinical data from a South African ART program with 6-monthly viral load (VL) monitoring. METHODS We constructed a dataset of patient visits occurring following first-line virological failure, and used random effects logistic regression (accounting for individual-level and clinic-level clustering) to assess predictors of switching at each visit. RESULTS One thousand six hundred sixty-eight patients with virological failure (73% male, mean age 41 years, median CD4 184 cells/mm, mean log10 VL 4.3) contributed 1922 person-years of viremia. 12 months after failure, the cumulative incidence of switching regimen, viral resuppression, or death was 16.9%, 13.2%, and 4.6%, respectively. In adjusted analysis, switching was more likely at the third or subsequent visit after failure; in visits occurring in 2008 versus 2003 to 2007; and in patients with ART experience pre-programme, current high VL or low CD4 count. Switching was less likely in patients with no clinic contact for 4 months, or declining VL. Switching rates varied between clinics with clinic-level clustering evident in the final model (P <0.001). CONCLUSIONS Despite 6-monthly virological monitoring and recommendations to switch after adherence interventions and confirmed viremia, patients experienced delayed switching. Individual-level covariates influenced switching but did not account for variable switching rates between clinics, suggesting differences in guideline implementation. In certain circumstances delays may be warranted; however understanding barriers to guideline implementation will limit unnecessary delays.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Tropical Epidemiology Group
PubMed ID: 22820803
Web of Science ID: 310519300021
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/612468


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