Background: Optimal sequencing of zidovudine and stavudine in antiretroviral therapy has not been elucidated.
Objective: To examine the impact of the sequence of therapeutic regimens containing zidovudine and stavudine on HIV-1 RNA and CD4 lymphocyte counts over 12 months.
Design: Observational, multicenter, longitudinal cohort study.
Setting: Four large outpatient, HIV practices participating in the community-based Collaborations in HIV Outcomes Research-U.S. (CHORUS) cohort study.
Participants: 940 HIV-infected patients.
Methods: Comparison of HIV-1 RNA and CD4 lymphocyte responses in patients sequenced from zidovudine to stavudine or from stavudine to zidovudine using repeated measures regression models fit to outcomes by application of generalized estimating equation (GEE) methodology.
Results: Patients treated with zidovudine prior to stavudine (n = 834) achieved a greater mean drop from baseline HIV-1 RNA (p = .01) and higher proportion of undetectable HIV-1 RNA results (p = .05) over 12 months than those sequenced from stavudine to zidovudine (n = 106). CD4+ lymphocyte increases did not differ between the groups (p = .6).
Conclusions: Prior zidovudine therapy was not associated with long-term attenuation of HIV-1 RNA or CD4 response to subsequent stavudine-containing regimens. Zidovudine before stavudine may have benefit in a strategic long-term therapeutic plan.
(C) 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.