The incidence of first-line antiretroviral treatment changes and related factors among HIV-infected sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya

  • Frank Ndaks Ndakala
  • Julius Otieno Oyugi
  • Margaret Ng’wono Oluka
  • Joshua Kimani
  • Georg Martin Norbert Behrens
Keywords: Adverse drug reactions, incidence, cART, sex workers


Introduction: in many settings, several factors including adverse drug reactions and clinical failure can limit treatment choices for combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). The aim of the study was to describe the incidence of first-line cART changes and associated factors in a cohort of Kenyan sex workers.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of medical records collected from 2009 to 2013. The review included records of HIV-infected patients aged ≥ 18 years, who received either stavudine or zidovudine or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-based regimens. Using systematic random sampling, the study selected 1 500 records and censoring targeted the first incident of a drug change from the first-line cART.

Results: The overall incidence rate of cART changes was 11.1 per 100 person-years within a total follow-up period of 3 427.9 person-years. Out of 380 patients who changed cART, 370 (97%) had a drug substitution and 10 (3%) switched regimens. The most commonly cited reasons for changing cART were adverse drug reactions (76%). Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate had a lower drug change rate (1.9 per 100 person years) compared to stavudine (27 per 100 person years). Using zidovudine as the reference group, stavudine-based regimens were significantly associated with an increased hazard of drug changes (adjusted hazards ratio 10.2; 95% CI: 6.02-17.2).

Conclusion: These findings suggest a moderate incidence of cART changes among sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya. Individuals using stavudine were at a higher risk of experiencing a change in their cART, mostly presenting within 20 months, and primarily due to adverse drug reactions.

Keywords: Adverse drug reactions, incidence, cART, sex workers


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688