Characteristics and early outcomes of children and adolescents treated with darunavir/ritonavir-, raltegravir- or etravirine-containing antiretroviral therapy in the Western Cape Province of South Africa
Background. There is an increasing need for third-line treatment regimens in HIV-infected children with antiretroviral treatment (ART) failure. Data are limited on darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r)-, raltegravir (RAL)- and etravirine (ETR)-containing regimens in treatmentexperienced children from resource-constrained settings receiving these drugs as part of routine care.
Objective. To describe the characteristics and early outcomes of treatment-experienced children (<20 years of age) in the Western Cape Province of South Africa treated with DRV/r-, RAL- or ETR-containing regimens.
Methods. This was a retrospective review of treatment-experienced children receiving a DRV/r-, RAL- or ETR-containing regimen as recommended by a paediatric expert review committee, based on HIV drug resistance testing.
Results. Thirty-five children of median age 8.8 years (interquartile range (IQR) 5.5 - 11) who had received ART for a median of 6.9 years (IQR 5 - 9.9) and started a DRV/r-, RAL- or ETR-containing regimen were included. Before starting such a regimen, the median CD4+ lymphocyte count and HIV-1 RNA level were 405.5 cells/μL (IQR 251.5 - 541) and 28 314 copies/mL (IQR 5 595.5 – 120 186.5) (log 4.5 (IQR 3.7 - 5)), respectively, in 24 subjects with available results. After a median of 2 years (IQR 1.3 - 4) on treatment, 29/30 (96.7%) and 23/30 (76.7%) subjects with available results had HIV-1 RNA levels of <400 and <50 copies/mL, respectively.
Conclusions. This study found DRV/r-, RAL- and ETR-containing regimens to be effective in a group of treatment-experienced children and adolescents with multidrug-resistant HIV. Although the treatment regimens in this study were individualised based on HIV genotyping results, further research evaluating the safety and efficacy of standardised third-line treatment regimens in children of all ages is needed.