Lopinavir/ritonavir monotherapy as a nucleoside analogue-sparing strategy to prevent HIV-1 mother-to-child transmission: the ANRS 135 PRIMEVA phase 2/3 randomized trial

Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Sep;57(6):891-902. doi: 10.1093/cid/cit390. Epub 2013 Jun 12.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Lopinavir / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology*
  • Ritonavir / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Lopinavir
  • Ritonavir

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00424814