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Zidovudine and Stavudine Sequencing in HIV Treatment Planning: Findings From the CHORUS HIV Cohort

Becker Stephen L.; Raffanti, Stephen R.; Hansen, Nellie I.; Fusco, Jennifer S.; Fusco, Gregory P.; Slatko, Gary H.; Igboko, Ebere F.; Graham, Neil M. H.; the CHORUS Program Team
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: January 1st, 2001
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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.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Stephen L. Becker, Pacific Horizon Medical Group, 2351 Clay Street, Suite 512, San Francisco, CA 94115 U.S.A.; e-mail:

Manuscript received May 4, 2000; accepted October 26, 2000.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.