A major problem in HIV/AIDS studies is the development of drug resistance to antiretroviral (ARV) drug or therapy. Estimating the time at which such drug resistance would develop is usually sought. The goal of this article is to perform this estimation by developing growth mixture models with change-points and skew-t distributions based on longitudinal data. For such data, following ARV treatment, the profile of each subject's viral load tends to follow a 'broken stick' like growth trajectory, indicating multiple phases of decline and increase in viral loads. These multiple phases with multiple change-points are captured by subject-specific random parameters of growth curve models. To account for heterogeneity of drug resistance among subjects, the change-points are also allowed to differ by subgroups (subpopulations) of patients classified into latent classes on the basis of trajectories of observed viral loads. The proposed methods are illustrated using real data from an AIDS clinical study.
Keywords: Bayesian inference; mixed-effects models; mixture distribution; skew distribution.