Objective. To evaluate the effect of treatment of HIV-I infection with combination therapy consisting of since 1996 in the Netherlands available protease and reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Design. Prospective cohort study. Methods. In an observational clinical cohort of HIV-I-infected individuals, the short-term successful treatment end point of antiviral therapy including at least one antiretroviral drug licensed in the Netherlands since July 1, 1996 (protease inhibitors and reverse transcriptase inhibitors), was HIV-I RNA plasma levels ≤ 500 copies/ml (virological success). Cox proportional hazard models were used to identify prognostic markers for therapy success. The study included 2,148 infected individuals with a median follow-up of 135 weeks of treatment; 1,049 had been pre-treated with antiretroviral drugs before starting their new regimen and 1,099 were treatment naive. Results. Plasma HIV-I RNA levels ≤ 500 copies/ml at 24 weeks of treatment were seen in 61% of all patients. The chance of therapy success for naive patients was twice that for pretreated patients (relative risk: 1.8; p ≤ 0.001. Following the first 24 weeks, the chance of virological success was higher in the naive group (78% versus 63%; p ≤ 0.001), and the number of naive patients failing therapy after initial success was smaller compared to pre-treated patients (22% versus 45%; p ≤ 0.001). In the naive group, the CD4+ T-cell number increased from 239 to 440 (× 106 cells/l) in case of success, and decreased from 150 to 320 in case of treatment failure. HIV-I related morbidity declined from 0.26 to 0.05 and mortality dropped from 0.07 to 0.03 per person-year of follow-up. Regimens were changed at least once in 76% of patients. Toxicity and therapy failure were the main reasons for regimen changes in naive and pre-treated patients, respectively. Conclusion. A combination of antiretroviral drugs, including at least one of the drugs licensed since 1996, led to a drop in HIV-I plasma concentrations. Morbidity and mortality also decreased. The chance of a better immunological and virological response to the new drug regimens was greatest in therapy-naive patients.
|Translated title of the contribution||Treatment of HIV-I infection in the Netherlands: Virological and immunological response to antiretroviral therapy|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Aug 2001|