Analysis of antiretroviral therapy switch rate and switching pattern for people living with HIV from a national database in Japan

Sci Rep. 2022 Feb 2;12(1):1732. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-05816-5.


To report the status of switch rates and time-to-switch of antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens by evaluating anchor drug classes and common switching patterns in Japanese people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, PLWH). This cross-sectional cohort study extracted data of 28,089 PLWH from the National Database of Health Insurance Claims and Specific Health Checkups of Japan (NDB), which contains data representing the entire population of Japan. PLWH with first prescription records of ART administered between January 2011 and March 2019 were identified (n = 16,069). The median time-to-switch and switch rates of anchor drug classes were estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Brookmeyer-Crowley and Greenwood methods were used to estimate 95% confidence intervals for switch rates and median days, respectively. Switch rates were compared between anchor drug classes by year using log-rank tests. A total of 3108 (19.3%) PLWH switched anchor drug classes from first to second regimens. Switch rates increased continuously over 8 years for non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) (14.9-65.5%) and protease inhibitors (PIs) (13.2-67.7%), with median time-to-switch of 1826 and 1583 days, respectively. Integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs) maintained a low switch rate (3.0-7.6%), precluding median-days calculation. Overall, the majority of patients treated initially with NNRTIs and PIs switched to INSTIs regardless of switching times (< 1 year: 67.3% and 85.9%, respectively; ≥ 1 year: 95.5% and 93.6%, respectively). The foremost switching strategies for first-to-second ART regimens are from NNRTIs or PIs to INSTIs regimens that maintain low switch rates long term. There was no observable difference in trend between sex, age and status of AIDS disease at first ART regimen. INSTIs HIV agents may be the most durable anchor drug class for PLWH receiving ART.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Drug Substitution / trends*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-HIV Agents