Benefits of switching to a single-tablet regimen (STR) of emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir (FTC/RPV/TDF) in virologically suppressed antiretroviral treatment (ART) experienced HIV-positive women include pregnancy category B rating and lack of clinically significant drug interactions between RPV and oral contraceptives. Unfortunately, studies involving switching to FTC/RPV/TDF enrolled fewer than 25% women. We undertook this 48-week study to assess the ability of virologically suppressed HIV-positive women switching to RPV STR to remain virologically suppressed and comply with the caloric intake requirement. HIV-positive women on ART with viral load <50 c/mL for 6 months before study entry and no known resistance to FTC, TDF, or RPV were enrolled and switched to STR RPV/FTC/TDF. Caloric intake (≥400 kcal) compliance and concurrency with oral STR RPV/FTC/TDF were evaluated with a 3-day food diary, which was validated by obtaining participant's caloric consumption through phone calls on randomly chosen dates. For each 3-day food diary, the daily median caloric intake and median value for each macronutrient consumed concurrent with FTC/RPV/TDF were computed. Medication adherence was measured using a visual analog scale. We enrolled 33 women, 73% of whom were African American. At week 48, virologic suppression (HIV RNA <40 c/mL) was maintained in 96% of women, including those (n = 4) who reported imperfect ART adherence. The daily median caloric intake concurrent with FTC/RPV/TDF was 820 kcal by food diary and 677 kcal by random phone call. Median kcal intake (food diary) did not change significantly from baseline (684 kcal) to week 48 (820 kcal); median change 102 kcal, p = .15. Women who reported noncompliance with a ≥400 kcal meal did not experience virologic failure. Significant concordance between caloric adherence and virologic suppression was not detected. Our study demonstrated that HIV-positive women who switched to STR FTC/RPV/TDF continued to experience virologic suppression and were readily able to comply with the recommended caloric intake requirement.
Keywords: HIV; HIV-positive women; rilpivirine; single-tablet regimen; switch study.