Objectives: HIV treatment guidelines endorse switching or simplification of antiretroviral therapy in therapy-experienced patients with suppressed viraemia; ritonavir discontinuation may also enhance tolerability and reduce long-term adverse events (AEs). This open-label, multicentre, noninferiority study enrolled HIV-1-infected, treatment-experienced adults with confirmed HIV-1 RNA ≤ 75 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL currently receiving tenofovir/emtricitabine + atazanavir/ritonavir (TDF/FTC + ATV/r) for ≥ 6 months with no reported history of virological failure.
Methods: Participants were randomized 1:2 to continue current treatment or switch to abacavir/lamivudine + atazanavir (ABC/3TC + ATV). Endpoints included the proportion of participants with HIV-1 RNA < 50 copies/mL by time to loss of virological response (TLOVR), AEs, fasting lipids, and inflammatory, coagulation, bone and renal biomarkers.
Results: After 48 weeks, 76% (152 of 199) of ABC/3TC + ATV-treated and 79% (77 of 97) of TDF/FTC + ATV/r-treated participants had HIV-1 RNA < 50 copies/mL (TLOVR; P = 0.564). Other efficacy analyses yielded similar results. Rates of new grade 2-4 AEs were 45% in both groups, but an excess of hyperbilirubinaemia made the rate of treatment-emergent grade 3-4 laboratory abnormalities higher with TDF/FTC + ATV/r (36%) compared with ABC/3TC + ATV (19%). Most fasting lipid levels remained stable over time; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol increased modestly in ABC/3TC + ATV-treated participants. Bone and renal biomarkers improved significantly between baseline and week 48 in participants taking ABC/3TC + ATV and were stable in participants taking TDF/FTC + ATV/r. No significant changes occurred in any inflammatory or coagulation biomarker within or between treatment groups.
Conclusions: The ABC/3TC + ATV treatment-switch group had similar viral suppression rates up to 48 weeks to the TDF/FTC + ATV/r comparator group, with lower rates of moderate- to high-grade hyperbilirubinaemia and improvements in bone and renal biomarkers.
Keywords: HIV; abacavir; bone biomarkers; renal biomarker; tenofovir.
© 2015 ViiV Healthcare. HIV Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British HIV Association.