HIV-infected patients receiving lopinavir/ritonavir-based antiretroviral therapy achieve high rates of virologic suppression despite adherence rates less than 95%

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2007 May 1;45(1):4-8. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e318050d8c2.


Background: The observation that extremely high levels of medication adherence are required to achieve complete virologic suppression is based largely on studies of treatment-experienced patients receiving HIV protease inhibitor (PI)-based therapy without ritonavir boosting. This study aims to define the level of adherence needed to achieve virologic suppression in patients receiving boosted PI-based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with lopinavir/ritonavir.

Methods: HIV-infected adults receiving a regimen containing lopinavir/ritonavir were recruited into a prospective, observational study of the relation between adherence to lopinavir/ritonavir and virologic outcomes. Adherence was measured using the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS; Aardex, Union City, CA). HIV-1 viral load (VL) was measured at week 24.

Results: The final study population contained 64 subjects. Eighty percent had AIDS, 97% received lopinavir/ritonavir before enrollment, and most had more than 7 years of HAART experience. Mean adherence overall was 73%. Eighty percent and 59% achieved a VL <400 copies/mL and a VL <75 copies/mL, respectively. Mean adherence was 75% in those achieving a VL <75 copies/mL. High rates of virologic suppression were observed in all adherence quartiles, including the lowest quartile (range of adherence: 23.5%-53.3%).

Conclusions: Moderate levels of adherence can lead to virologic suppression in most patients taking lopinavir/ritonavir-based HAART.

Trial registration: NCT00200369.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • HIV-1*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Lopinavir
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pyrimidinones / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ritonavir / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load
  • White People / statistics & numerical data


  • HIV Protease Inhibitors
  • Pyrimidinones
  • Lopinavir
  • Ritonavir

Associated data