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Infectious Diseases - Pediatrics and Child Health - Virology

Pediatric Response to Second-Line Antiretroviral Therapy in South Africa
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Author: Brian C. Zanoni et al.

by Brian C. Zanoni, Henry Sunpath, Margaret E. Feeney


With improved access to pediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-limited settings, more children could experience first-line ART treatment failure.


We performed a retrospective cohort analysis using electronic medical records from HIV-infected children who initiated ART at McCord Hospital's Sinikithemba Clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, from August 2003 to December 2010. We analyzed all records from children who began second-line ART due to first-line treatment failure. We used logistic regression to compare viral outcomes in Protease Inhibitor (PI)-based versus Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NNRTI)-based second-line ART, controlling for time on first-line ART, sex, and whether HIV genotyping guided the regimen change.


Of the 880 children who initiated ART during this time period, 80 (9.1%) switched to second-line ART due to therapeutic failure of first-line ART after a median of 95 weeks (IQR 65–147 weeks). Eight (10%) of the failures received NNRTI-based second-line ART, all of whom failed a PI-based first-line regimen. Seventy (87.5%) received PI-based second-line ART, all of whom failed a NNRTI-based first-line regimen. Two children (2.5%) received non-standard dual therapy as second-line ART. Six months after switching ART regimens, the viral suppression rate was significantly higher in the PI group (82%) than in the NNRTI group (29%; p?=?0.003). Forty-one children (51%) were tested for genotypic resistance prior to switching to second-line ART. There was no significant difference in six month viral suppression (p?=?0.38) between children with and without genotype testing.Conclusion: NNRTI-based second-line ART carries a high risk of virologic failure compared to PI-based second-line ART.