Background: Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is usually based on zidovudine-containing regimens, despite potential toxicities. This multicenter trial evaluated whether lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) monotherapy in HIV type 1-infected women not requiring antiretrovirals for themselves could control maternal viral load (VL).
Methods: Overall, 105 pregnant women with baseline VL <30 000 copies/mL and CD4 ≥350 cells/µL were randomized to start open-label LPV/r 400/100 mg twice daily alone (monotherapy group, n = 69) or combined with zidovudine/lamivudine 300/150 mg twice daily (triple therapy group, n = 36) from 26 gestational weeks to delivery. According to a Fleming 2-stage phase 2 design, monotherapy was considered to be efficacious if at least 59 patients achieved VL <200 copies/mL at 8 weeks of treatment (primary endpoint). Secondary endpoints were VL at delivery and tolerance.
Results: Monotherapy was efficacious as defined: 62 women in the monotherapy group achieved VL <200 copies/mL at 34 weeks' gestation (ie, 8 weeks of treatment; 89.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 80.2%-95.8%). At delivery, proportions with VL <200 copies/mL were similar in the monotherapy and triple therapy groups (92.8% vs 97.2%; P = .66); however, fewer had VL <50 copies/mL in the monotherapy group (78.3% vs 97.2%; P = .01). Changes for intolerance were less frequent in the monotherapy than in the triple therapy group (1.4% vs 11.1%, respectively; P = .046). Cesarean delivery and preterm delivery rates did not differ. All children were liveborn; 1 case of HIV-1 transmission occurred in the triple therapy group, none in the monotherapy group (95% CI upper limit = 5.2%).
Conclusions: LPV/r monotherapy achieved satisfactory virologic efficacy in women treated solely for PMTCT, providing proof of concept for future nucleoside-sparing strategies.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00424814.
Keywords: HIV; PMTCT; lopinavir/ritonavir; monotherapy; zidovudine.