Methods: Study end points were as follows: (1) a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 followed by a CD4 count ≥200 cells/mm3 (transient CD4 <200); (2) CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 confirmed within 6 months (confirmed CD4 <200); and (3) a new or recurrent World Health Organization (WHO) stage 3 or 4 illness (clinical failure). Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression were used to evaluate rates and predictors of transient CD4 <200, confirmed CD4 <200, and clinical failure among virally suppressed children aged 5-15 years who were enrolled in the TREAT Asia Pediatric HIV Observational Database.
Results: Data from 967 children were included in the analysis. At the time of confirmed viral suppression, median age was 10.2 years, 50.4% of children were female, and 95.4% were perinatally infected with HIV. Median CD4 cell count was 837 cells/mm3, and 54.8% of children were classified as having WHO stage 3 or 4 disease. In total, 18 transient CD4 <200 events, 2 confirmed CD4 <200 events, and10 clinical failures occurred at rates of 0.73 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.46-1.16), 0.08 (95% CI, 0.02-0.32), and 0.40 (95% CI, 0.22-0.75) events per 100 patient-years, respectively. CD4 <500 cells/mm3 at the time of viral suppression confirmation was associated with higher rates of both CD4 outcomes.
Conclusions: Regular CD4 testing may be unnecessary for virally suppressed children aged 5-15 years with CD4 ≥500 cells/mm3.
METHODS: The study population consisted of HIV-infected patients enrolled in the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD). Individuals were included in this analysis if they started combination antiretroviral treatment (cART) after 2002, were being treated at a centre that documented a median rate of viral load monitoring ≥0.8 tests/patient/year among TAHOD enrolees, and experienced a minor or major treatment substitution while on virally suppressive cART. The primary endpoint to evaluate outcomes was clinical or virological failure (VF), followed by an ART class change. Clinical failure was defined as death or an AIDS diagnosis. VF was defined as confirmed viral load measurements ≥400 copies/mL followed by an ART class change within six months. Minor regimen substitutions were defined as within-class changes and major regimen substitutions were defined as changes to a drug class. The patterns of substitutions and rate of clinical or VF after substitutions were analyzed.
RESULTS: Of 3994 adults who started ART after 2002, 3119 (78.1%) had at least one period of virological suppression. Among these, 1170 (37.5%) underwent a minor regimen substitution, and 296 (9.5%) underwent a major regimen substitution during suppression. The rates of clinical or VF were 1.48/100 person years (95% CI 1.14 to 1.91) in the minor substitution group, 2.85/100 person years (95% CI 1.88 to 4.33) in the major substitution group and 2.53/100 person years (95% CI 2.20 to 2.92) among patients that did not undergo a treatment substitution.
CONCLUSIONS: The rate of clinical or VF was low in both major and minor substitution groups, showing that regimen substitution is generally effective in non-clinical trial settings in Asian countries.