Background: Monoboosted protease inhibitor is being evaluated as a strategy to simplify therapy in virologically suppressed patients who are on complex regimens.
Methods: Children with two consecutive HIV-RNA below 50 copies/ml at least 3 months apart while on double boosted protease inhibitor (dPI) were switched to monoboosted lopinavir/r (mLPV/r). The previous dPI regimen was resumed within 4 weeks in children who experienced virological failure defined as two HIV-RNA at least 500 or three HIV-RNA at least 50 copies/ml. Primary endpoint was the proportion of children still on mLPV/r and having HIV-RNA less than 50 copies/ml at week 48.
Results: Forty children on LPV/r + saquinavir (90%) or LPV/r + indinavir (10%) were enrolled, 50% were female, median [interquartile range (IQR)] age was 11.7 (10.2–13.5) years, and body weight was 29.4 (24.1–40.2 kg). The median (IQR) CD4% was 27 (23.5–29.5%). At 48 weeks, none had died or had HIV disease progression. Thirty-one children were on mLPV/r and 29 (72.5%) had HIV-RNA less than 50 copies/ml. Nine resumed dPI due to mLPV/r failure with four achieving undetectable HIV-RNA. Overall, 31 children (82.5%) had HIV-RNA suppression. Predicting factor for failing mLPV/r was baseline HIV-RNA at least 50 copies/ml. No major protease mutations were found.
Conclusion: By simplifying second-line treatment from dPI to mLPV/r, the majority of children had sustained viral suppression at 48 weeks. Randomized study of simplified mono protease inhibitor therapy in children is warranted.