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J Infect Dis. 2007 Apr 15;195(8):1169-76. Epub 2007 Mar 6.

Plasma HIV-1 RNA dynamics in antiretroviral-naive subjects receiving either triple-nucleoside or efavirenz-containing regimens: ACTG A5166s.

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Section of Retroviral Therapeutics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.



We sought to compare clearance rates of plasma human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA in men and women starting triple-nucleoside-based versus efavirenz (EFV)-based regimens.


First- and second-phase decay rates of plasma HIV-1 were compared in men and women initiating a triple nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) regimen versus regimens that included EFV plus an NRTI. Subjects (n=64) were randomized to receive zidovudine/lamivudine/abacavir (triple-nucleoside regimen), zidovudine/lamivudine plus EFV (3-drug EFV regimen) or zidovudine/lamivudine/abacavir plus EFV (4-drug EFV regimen). Plasma HIV-1 RNA levels were fitted to a biexponential viral-dynamics model using a nonlinear mixed-effects model. Nonparametric Wilcoxon tests compared empirical Bayes estimates of first- and second-phase viral decay rates between treatment arms and sex.


Median first-phase viral decay rates were significantly faster in subjects receiving the 3-drug EFV regimen (0.67/day), compared with those receiving the triple-nucleoside regimen (0.56/day; P=.02). The second-phase viral decay rate was also faster in the 3-drug EFV group than in the triple-nucleoside group (P=.09). Decay rates in the 4-drug EFV group were intermediate. Viral decay rates were not significantly different in men and women. CONCLUSIONS Faster initial viral decay in subjects randomized to a 3-drug EFV-based regimen corresponded to the overall superior efficacy of that regimen. Viral decay rates did not differ by sex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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