Virologic Failure Among People Living With HIV Initiating Dolutegravir-Based Versus Other Recommended Regimens in Real-World Clinical Care Settings

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019 Aug 15;81(5):572-577. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002075.


Background: Guidelines for initial antiretroviral treatment (ART) regimens have evolved, with integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs) increasingly prominent. Research on virologic failure (VF) with INSTI therapy is predominantly from clinical trials not care settings, especially for recently approved medications including dolutegravir. We compared outcomes among people living with HIV (PLWH) who initiated recommended regimens in clinical care across the United States.

Setting: We examined 2 groups of PLWH at 8 clinics who initiated ART regimens (August 1, 2013-March 31, 2017): those ART treatment-naive at initiation, and those treatment-experienced.

Methods: The outcome in this longitudinal cohort study was VF, defined as a viral load of ≥400 copies/mL ≥6 months after ART initiation. We examined the proportion of individuals who remained on, switched, or discontinued the regimen. Associations between regimens and outcomes were examined with adjusted Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: Among 5177 PLWH, a lower proportion experienced VF on dolutegravir- versus other INSTI- or darunavir-based regimens for previously treatment-naive (7% vs. 12% vs. 28%) and treatment-experienced PLWH (6% vs. 10% vs. 21%). In adjusted analyses, hazard ratios were similar across regimens for the combined outcome of regimen discontinuation or treatment switch. The hazard ratios for VF comparing dolutegravir- to darunavir-based regimens was 0.30 (95% CI: 0.2 to 0.6) among previously treatment-naive PLWH and was 0.60 (95% CI: 0.4 to 0.8) among treatment-experienced PLWH.

Conclusions: The proportion of previously treatment-naive PLWH remaining on recommended ART regimens did not differ by regimen. The likelihood of VF was lower with dolutegravir- than darunavir-based regimens for previously treatment-naive and treatment-experienced PLWH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Integrase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • HIV Integrase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring / administration & dosage
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxazines
  • Piperazines
  • Pyridones
  • Treatment Failure


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • HIV Integrase Inhibitors
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring
  • Oxazines
  • Piperazines
  • Pyridones
  • dolutegravir