Background: As antiretroviral regimens for the treatment of HIV infection improve, trials providing data on long-term follow-up are increasingly important.
Methods: A regimen of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), emtricitabine (FTC), and efavirenz (EFV) demonstrated superior virologic, immunologic and morphologic effects compared with a regimen of fixed-dose zidovudine/lamivudine (ZDV/3TC) and EFV through 96 weeks in a randomized open-label trial. After 96 weeks, patients on TDF + FTC transitioned to fixed-dose combination TDF/FTC.
Results: Through 144 weeks, significantly more patients in the TDF/FTC arm reached and maintained an HIV RNA level <400 copies/mL (71% receiving TDF/FTC and EFV vs. 58% receiving ZDV/3TC and EFV; P = 0.004), with a trend toward greater CD4 cell increase in the TDF/FTC arm (312 vs. 271 cells/mm; P = 0.09). Over 144 weeks of follow-up, more patients in the ZDV/3TC arm discontinued therapy because of adverse events (11% vs. 5%; P = 0.01) and no patients discontinued because of renal events. Patients in the ZDV/3TC arm had significantly less limb fat than patients in the TDF/FTC arm (5.4 vs. 7.9 kg; P < 0.001) at 144 weeks.
Conclusions: Cumulative results from 3 years of follow-up suggest that a regimen of TDF/FTC and EFV demonstrates superior durability of viral load suppression and an improved safety and morphologic profile compared with ZDV/3TC and EFV.