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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2007 Jan 1;44(1):20-9.

Relationship between antiretroviral prescribing patterns and treatment guidelines in treatment-naive HIV-1-infected US veterans (1992-2004).

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  • 1AIDS Research Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA 94340, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze temporal patterns of antiretroviral (ARV) prescribing practices relative to nationally defined guidelines in treatment-naive patients with HIV-1 infection.

DESIGN:

Retrospective cohort study.

METHODS:

We evaluated ARV prescribing patterns among ARV treatment-naive veterans who were receiving care within the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from 1992 through 2004 in comparison to evolving adult HIV-1 treatment guidelines.

RESULTS:

A total of 15,934 patients initiated ARV treatment. Since 1999, >94% of patients initiated at least a 3-ARV medication combination, although the percentage of patients who initiated a guideline "preferred" or "alternative" regimen never rose to greater than 72% and was significantly associated with being black and with region of care. After 1999, 20% of patients started 4 or more active ARV agents in combination, which was significantly associated with lower baseline CD4 cell count, higher viral load, and receiving care in the western United States. The proportion of patients receiving guideline "not recommended" regimens (virologically undesirable or overlapping toxicities) was <1% after 1997. VA prescribing trends generally predated guideline recommendations by 6 to 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

VA prescribing patterns for ARV initiation adhere to treatment guidelines that maximize safety. Guidelines designed to maximize efficacy were not followed as stringently. Evaluating clinical practice patterns against contemporary treatment guidelines can inform guideline development.

PMID:
17091020
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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