BACKGROUND : South African HIV-infected infants below age 6 months and children younger than 3 years on concomitant antimycobacterial treatment received full-dose ritonavir single protease inhibitor (RTV-sPI), together with 2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, from 2004 until 2008. Use of RTV-sPI has been described as a risk factor for PI drug resistance, but the extent of this resistance is unknown.
AIM : This research assesses clinical and virological outcome of a pediatric RTV-sPI cohort at a large South African antiretroviral therapy (ART) site in a high-burden tuberculosis setting, including resistance mutations in those failing ART.
METHODS: All children initiated at Kalafong hospital before December
2008, who ever received RTV-sPI–based regimens, were assessed for
patient outcome, virological failure and drug resistance. HIV viral loads
were done 6-monthly and HIV genotyping since 2009.
RESULTS : There were 178 children who ever received RTV-sPI, with a mean age at ART initiation of 1.4 years. Of the 135 children (76%) with >6 months follow-up, 17 children (13%) never had viral suppression, whereas another 25 (18%) developed virological failure later. Nineteen of 26 children (73%) with genotypic resistance results had major PI mutations.
CONCLUSIONS : Treatment failure is not a universal feature in children with prior exposure to RTV-sPI regimens, but the significant proportion (31%) with virological failure is of concern due to high prevalence of major
PI- and multiclass mutations. These children currently have no treatment
options in the South African public sector, highlighting the urgent need for
access to alternative ART regimens to ensure improved outcomes.
Poster presentation at SA HIV Clinicians Society Conference 2012, Cape Town, South Africa, November 25–28, 2012.