Weight Gain Associated With Integrase Stand Transfer Inhibitor Use in Women

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 27;71(3):593-600. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz853.


Background: Integrase strand-transfer inhibitor (INSTI)-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) is recommended for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) management. Although studies have suggested associations between INSTIs and weight gain, women living with HIV (WLHIV) have been underrepresented in research. We evaluated the effect of switching or adding INSTIs among WLHIV.

Methods: Women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) from 2006-2017 who switched to or added an INSTI to ART (SWAD group) were compared to women on non-INSTI ART (STAY group). Body weight, body mass index (BMI), percentage body fat (PBF), and waist, hip, arm, and thigh circumferences were measured 6-12 months before and 6-18 months after the INSTI switch/add in SWAD participants, with comparable measurement time points in STAY participants. Linear regression models compared changes over time by SWAD/STAY group, adjusted for age, race, WIHS site, education, income, smoking status, and baseline ART regimen.

Results: We followed 1118 women (234 SWAD and 884 STAY) for a mean of 2.0 years (+/- 0.1 standard deviation [SD]; mean age 48.8 years, SD +/- 8.8); 61% were Black. On average, compared to the STAY group, the SWAD group experienced mean greater increases of 2.1 kg in body weight, 0.8 kg/m2 in BMI, 1.4% in PBF, and 2.0, 1.9, 0.6, and 1.0 cm in waist, hip, arm, and thigh circumference, respectively (all P values < .05). No differences in magnitudes of these changes were observed by INSTI type.

Conclusions: In WLHIV, a switch to INSTI was associated with significant increases in body weight, body circumferences, and fat percentages, compared to non-INSTI ART. The metabolic and other health effects of these changes deserve further investigation.

Keywords: HIV positive; integrase strand transfer inhibitors; weight gain; women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Integrase Inhibitors* / therapeutic use
  • HIV Integrase*
  • Humans
  • Integrases
  • Middle Aged
  • Weight Gain


  • HIV Integrase Inhibitors
  • HIV Integrase
  • Integrases