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1.  Nevirapine versus Ritonavir-Boosted Lopinavir for HIV-Infected Children 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(25):2380-2389.
BACKGROUND
Nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy is the predominant (and often the only) regimen available for children in resource-limited settings. Nevirapine resistance after exposure to the drug for prevention of maternal-to-child human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission is common, a problem that has led to the recommendation of ritonavir-boosted lopinavir in such settings. Regardless of whether there has been prior exposure to nevirapine, the performance of nevirapine versus ritonavir-boosted lopinavir in young children has not been rigorously established.
METHODS
In a randomized trial conducted in six African countries and India, we compared the initiation of HIV treatment with zidovudine, lamivudine, and either nevirapine or ritonavir-boosted lopinavir in HIV-infected children 2 to 36 months of age who had no prior exposure to nevirapine. The primary end point was virologic failure or discontinuation of treatment by study week 24.
RESULTS
A total of 288 children were enrolled; the median percentage of CD4+ T cells was 15%, and the median plasma HIV type 1 (HIV-1) RNA level was 5.7 log10 copies per milliliter. The percentage of children who reached the primary end point was significantly higher in the nevirapine group than in the ritonavir-boosted lopinavir group (40.8% vs. 19.3%; P<0.001). Among the nevirapine-treated children with virologic failure for whom data on resistance were available, more than half (19 of 32) had resistance at the time of virologic failure. In addition, the time to a protocol-defined toxicity end point was shorter in the nevirapine group (P = 0.04), as was the time to death (P = 0.06).
CONCLUSIONS
Outcomes were superior with ritonavir-boosted lopinavir among young children with no prior exposure to nevirapine. Factors that may have contributed to the sub-optimal results with nevirapine include elevated viral load at baseline, selection for nevirapine resistance, background regimen of nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors, and the standard ramp-up dosing strategy. The results of this trial present policymakers with difficult choices. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; P1060 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00307151.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1113249
PMCID: PMC3443859  PMID: 22716976
2.  Primary Isoniazid Prophylaxis against Tuberculosis in HIV-Exposed Children 
Background
The dual epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis is a major cause of sickness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of preexposure isoniazid prophylaxis against tuberculosis in HIV-infected children and uninfected children exposed to HIV during the perinatal period.
Methods
We randomly assigned 548 HIV-infected and 804 HIV-uninfected infants (91 to 120 days of age) to isoniazid (10 to 20 mg per kilogram of body weight per day) or matching placebo for 96 weeks. All patients received bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination against tuberculosis within 30 days after birth. HIV-infected children had access to antiretroviral therapy. The primary outcome measures were tuberculosis disease and death in HIV-infected children and latent tuberculosis infection, tuberculosis disease, and death in HIV-uninfected children within 96 to 108 weeks after randomization.
Results
Antiretroviral therapy was initiated in 98.9% of HIV-infected children during the study. Among HIV-infected children, protocol-defined tuberculosis or death occurred in 52 children (19.0%) in the isoniazid group and 53 (19.3%) in the placebo group (P = 0.93). Among HIV-uninfected children, there was no significant difference in the combined incidence of tuberculosis infection, tuberculosis disease, or death between the isoniazid group (39 children, 10%) and the placebo group (45 children, 11%; P = 0.44). The rate of tuberculosis was 121 cases per 1000 child-years (95% confidence interval [CI], 95 to 153) among HIV-infected children as compared with 41 per 1000 child-years (95% CI, 31 to 52) among HIV-uninfected children. There were no significant differences in clinical or severe laboratory toxic effects between treatment groups.
Conclusions
Primary isoniazid prophylaxis did not improve tuberculosis-disease–free survival among HIV-infected children or tuberculosis-infection–free survival among HIV-uninfected children immunized with BCG vaccine. Despite access to antiretroviral therapy, the burden of tuberculosis remained high among HIV-infected children. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and Secure the Future; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00080119.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1011214
PMCID: PMC3164539  PMID: 21732834
3.  Antiretroviral Treatment for Children with Peripartum Nevirapine Exposure 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;363(16):1510-1520.
BACKGROUND
Single-dose nevirapine is the cornerstone of the regimen for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in resource-limited settings, but nevirapine frequently selects for resistant virus in mothers and children who become infected despite prophylaxis. The optimal antiretroviral treatment strategy for children who have had prior exposure to single-dose nevirapine is unknown.
METHODS
We conducted a randomized trial of initial therapy with zidovudine and lamivudine plus either nevirapine or ritonavir-boosted lopinavir in HIV-infected children 6 to 36 months of age, in six African countries, who qualified for treatment according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results are reported for the cohort that included children exposed to single-dose nevirapine prophylaxis. The primary end point was virologic failure or discontinuation of treatment by study week 24. Enrollment in this cohort was terminated early on the recommendation of the data and safety monitoring board.
RESULTS
A total of 164 children were enrolled. The median percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes was 19%; a total of 56% of the children had WHO stage 3 or 4 disease. More children in the nevirapine group than in the ritonavir-boosted lopinavir group reached a primary end point (39.6% vs. 21.7%; weighted difference, 18.6 percentage-points; 95% confidence interval, 3.7 to 33.6; nominal P = 0.02). Baseline resistance to nevirapine was detected in 18 of 148 children (12%) and was predictive of treatment failure. No significant between-group differences were seen in the rate of adverse events.
CONCLUSIONS
Among children with prior exposure to single-dose nevirapine for perinatal prevention of HIV transmission, antiretroviral treatment consisting of zidovudine and lamivudine plus ritonavir-boosted lopinavir resulted in better outcomes than did treatment with zidovudine and lamivudine plus nevirapine. Since nevirapine is used for both treatment and perinatal prevention of HIV infection in resource-limited settings, alternative strategies for the prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child, as well as for the treatment of HIV infection, are urgently required. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00307151.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1000931
PMCID: PMC3021781  PMID: 20942667
4.  Early Antiretroviral Therapy and Mortality among HIV-Infected Infants 
The New England journal of medicine  2008;359(21):2233-2244.
Background
In countries with a high seroprevalence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), HIV infection contributes significantly to infant mortality. We investigated antiretroviral-treatment strategies in the Children with HIV Early Antiretroviral Therapy (CHER) trial.
Methods
HIV-infected infants 6 to 12 weeks of age with a CD4 lymphocyte percentage (the CD4 percentage) of 25% or more were randomly assigned to receive antiretroviral therapy (lopinavir–ritonavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine) when the CD4 percentage decreased to less than 20% (or 25% if the child was younger than 1 year) or clinical criteria were met (the deferred antiretroviral-therapy group) or to immediate initiation of limited antiretroviral therapy until 1 year of age or 2 years of age (the early antiretroviral-therapy groups). We report the early outcomes for infants who received deferred antiretroviral therapy as compared with early antiretroviral therapy.
Results
At a median age of 7.4 weeks (interquartile range, 6.6 to 8.9) and a CD4 percentage of 35.2% (interquartile range, 29.1 to 41.2), 125 infants were randomly assigned to receive deferred therapy, and 252 infants were randomly assigned to receive early therapy. After a median follow-up of 40 weeks (interquartile range, 24 to 58), antiretroviral therapy was initiated in 66% of infants in the deferred-therapy group. Twenty infants in the deferred-therapy group (16%) died versus 10 infants in the early-therapy groups (4%) (hazard ratio for death, 0.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.11 to 0.51; P<0.001). In 32 infants in the deferred-therapy group (26%) versus 16 infants in the early-therapy groups (6%), disease progressed to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stage C or severe stage B (hazard ratio for disease progression, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.41; P<0.001). Stavudine was substituted for zidovudine in four infants in the early-therapy groups because of neutropenia in three infants and anemia in one infant; no drugs were permanently discontinued. After a review by the data and safety monitoring board, the deferred-therapy group was modified, and infants in this group were all reassessed for initiation of antiretroviral therapy.
Conclusions
Early HIV diagnosis and early antiretroviral therapy reduced early infant mortality by 76% and HIV progression by 75%. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00102960.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0800971
PMCID: PMC2950021  PMID: 19020325

Results 1-4 (4)