Multicentre analysis of second-line antiretroviral treatment in HIV-infected children: Adolescents at high risk of failure

Ragna S. Boerma*, Torsak Bunupuradah, Dorothy Dow, Joseph Fokam, Azar Kariminia, Dara Lehman, Cissy Kityo, Victor Musiime, Paul Palumbo, Annelot Schoffelen, Sam Sophan, Brian Zanoni, Tobias F. Rinke De Wit, Job C.J. Calis, Kim C.E. Sigaloff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: The number of HIV-infected children and adolescents requiring second-line antiretroviral treatment (ART) is increasing in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). However, the effectiveness of paediatric second-line ART and potential risk factors for virologic failure are poorly characterized. We performed an aggregate analysis of second-line ART outcomes for children and assessed the need for paediatric third-line ART. Methods: We performed a multicentre analysis by systematically reviewing the literature to identify cohorts of children and adolescents receiving second-line ART in LMIC, contacting the corresponding study groups and including patient-level data on virologic and clinical outcomes. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and Cox proportional hazard models were used to describe cumulative rates and predictors of virologic failure. Virologic failure was defined as two consecutive viral load measurements >1000 copies/ml after at least six months of second-line treatment. Results: We included 12 cohorts representing 928 children on second-line protease inhibitor (PI)-based ART in 14 countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. After 24 months, 16.4% (95% confidence interval (CI): 13.9-19.4) of children experienced virologic failure. Adolescents (10-18 years) had failure rates of 14.5 (95% CI 11.9-17.6) per 100 person-years compared to 4.5 (95% CI 3.4-5.8) for younger children (3-9 years). Risk factors for virologic failure were adolescence (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 3.93, p < 0.001) and short duration of first-line ART before treatment switch (aHR 0.64 and 0.53, p = 0.008, for 24-48 months and >48 months, respectively, compared to <24 months). Conclusions: In LMIC, paediatric PI-based second-line ART was associated with relatively low virologic failure rates. However, adolescents showed exceptionally poor virologic outcomes in LMIC, and optimizing their HIV care requires urgent attention. In addition, 16% of children and adolescents failed PI-based treatment and will require integrase inhibitors to construct salvage regimens. These drugs are currently not available in LMIC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1930
JournalJournal of the international aids society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Cite this