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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2011 Feb;66(2):363-70. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkq457. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

Comparative gender analysis of the efficacy and safety of atazanavir/ritonavir and lopinavir/ritonavir at 96 weeks in the CASTLE study.

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  • 1Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, 211 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.



To examine whether the overall results of the CASTLE study pertain to both genders, we analysed the efficacy and safety of atazanavir/ritonavir and lopinavir/ritonavir in 277 female and 606 male patients in the open-label, multinational trial over 96 weeks. The trial is registered with, number NCT00272779.


Treatment-naive patients aged ≥ 18 years with HIV-1 RNA ≥ 5000 copies/mL were randomized to receive either atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 mg once daily or lopinavir/ritonavir 400/100 mg twice daily, with fixed-dose tenofovir/emtricitabine 300/200 mg once daily.


At week 96, confirmed virological response rates (HIV RNA <50 copies/mL; intent-to-treat analysis) were higher in women and men receiving atazanavir/ritonavir than those receiving lopinavir/ritonavir and lower in women than men in both treatment arms (67% of women and 77% of men on atazanavir/ritonavir and 63% of women and 71% of men on lopinavir/ritonavir). These differences were not observed in the on-treatment analysis. Mean change in CD4 cell count from baseline to week 96 was 265 cells/mm(3) for women and 269 cells/mm(3) for men on atazanavir/ritonavir and 298 cells/mm(3) for women and 286 cells/mm(3) for men on lopinavir/ritonavir. Discontinuation rates were higher in women than men in each treatment arm (22% of women and 15% of men on atazanavir/ritonavir and 29% of women and 18% of men on lopinavir/ritonavir). In women and men, grade 2-4 nausea and diarrhoea were more frequent in the lopinavir/ritonavir group; jaundice and hyperbilirubinaemia occurred more frequently in the atazanavir/ritonavir group.


Once-daily atazanavir/ritonavir is an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic option for women and men with HIV-1 infection. The sex-based differences in response may be due to higher discontinuation rates in women.

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