Background: In the Prevention of Malaria and HIV disease in Tororo pediatrics trial, HIV-infected Ugandan children randomized to receive lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r)-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) experienced a lower incidence of malaria compared with children receiving nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based ART. Here we present the results of the noninferiority analysis of virologic efficacy and comparison of immunologic outcomes.
Methods: ART-naive or -experienced (HIV RNA <400 copies/mL) children aged 2 months to 6 years received either LPV/r or NNRTI-based ART. The proportion of children with virologic suppression (HIV RNA <400 copies/mL) at 48 weeks was compared using a prespecified noninferiority margin of −11% in per-protocol analysis. Time to virologic failure by 96 weeks, change in CD4 counts and percentages, and incidence of adverse event rates were also compared.
Results: Of 185 children enrolled, 91 initiated LPV/r and 92 initiated NNRTI-based ART. At baseline, the median age was 3.1 years (range, 0.4–5.9), and 131 (71%) children were ART-naive. The proportion of children with virologic suppression at 48 weeks was 80% (67/84) in the LPV/r arm vs. 76% (59/78) in the NNRTI arm, a difference of 4% (95% confidence interval: −9% to +17%). Time to virologic failure, CD4 changes, and the incidence of Division of AIDS grade III/IV adverse events were similar between arms.
Conclusions: LPV/r-based ART was not associated with worse virologic efficacy, immunologic efficacy, or adverse event rates compared with NNRTI-based ART. Considering these results and the reduction in malaria incidence associated with LPV/r previously reported for this trial, wider use of LPV/r to treat HIV-infected African children in similar malaria-endemic settings could be considered.