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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2007 Apr 1;44(4):456-62.

Clinical toxicity of highly active antiretroviral therapy in a home-based AIDS care program in rural Uganda.

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  • 1Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



We evaluated clinical toxicity in HIV-infected persons receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Uganda.


From May 2003 through December 2004, adults with a CD4 cell count < or =250 cells/microL or World Health Organization stage 3/4 HIV disease were prescribed ART. We calculated probabilities for time to toxicity and single-drug substitution as well as multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios for development of toxicity.


ART (stavudine plus lamivudine with nevirapine [96%] or efavirenz [4%]) was prescribed for 1029 adults, contributing 11,268 person-months of observation. Toxicities developed in 543 instances in 411 (40%) patients (incidence rate = 4.47/100 person-months): 36% peripheral neuropathy (9% severe); 6% rash (2% severe); 2% hypersensitivity reaction; < or =0.5% acute hepatitis, anemia, acute pancreatitis, or lactic acidosis; and 13% other. Probabilities of remaining free from any toxicity at 6, 12, and 18 months were 0.76, 0.59, and 0.47 and from any severe toxicity at 6, 12, and 18 months were 0.92, 0.86, and 0.85, respectively. For 217 patients (21%), 222 single-drug substitutions were made, mostly because of peripheral neuropathy or rash.


Clinical toxicities were common, but no patients discontinued ART because of toxicity. The most common toxicities, peripheral neuropathy and rash, were managed with single-drug substitutions. In resource-limited settings, toxicity from ART regimens containing stavudine or nevirapine is manageable but more tolerable regimens are needed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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