[HIV-1 therapy in the Netherlands; virological and immunological response to antiretroviral therapy].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2001 Aug 18; 145(33):1591-7.NT
To evaluate the effect of treatment of HIV-1 infection with combination therapy consisting of since 1996 in the Netherlands available protease and reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
Prospective cohort study.
In an observational clinical cohort of HIV-1-infected individuals, the short-term successful treatment end point of antiviral therapy including at least one antiretroviral drug licensed in the Netherlands since July 1, 1996 (protease inhibitors and reverse transcriptase inhibitors), was HIV-1 RNA plasma levels < or = 500 copies/ml (virological success). Cox proportional hazard models were used to identify prognostic markers for therapy success. The study included 2,148 infected individuals with a median follow-up of 135 weeks of treatment; 1,049 had been pre-treated with antiretroviral drugs before starting their new regimen and 1,099 were treatment naive.
Plasma HIV-1 RNA levels < or = 500 copies/ml at 24 weeks of treatment were seen in 61% of all patients. The chance of therapy success for naive patients was twice that for pre-treated patients (relative risk: 1.8; p < or = 0.001). Following the first 24 weeks, the chance of virological success was higher in the naive group (78% versus 63%; p < or = 0.001), and the number of naive patients failing therapy after initial success was smaller compared to pre-treated patients (22% versus 45%; p < or = 0.001). In the naive group, the CD4+ T-cell number increased from 239 to 440 (x 10(6) cells/l) in case of success, and decreased from 150 to 320 in case of treatment failure. HIV-1 related morbidity declined from 0.26 to 0.05 and mortality dropped from 0.07 to 0.03 per person-year of follow-up. Regimens were changed at least once in 76% of patients. Toxicity and therapy failure were the main reasons for regimen changes in naive and pre-treated patients, respectively.
A combination of antiretroviral drugs, including at least one of the drugs licensed since 1996, led to a drop in HIV-1 plasma concentrations. Morbidity and mortality also decreased. The chance of a better immunological and virological response to the new drug regimens was greatest in therapy-naive patients.