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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2008 Jan;61(1):183-90. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Long-term response to highly active antiretroviral therapy with lopinavir/ritonavir in pre-treated vertically HIV-infected children.

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Laboratorio de Inmuno-Biología Molecular, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain.



Immune recovery after prolonged highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with lopinavir/ritonavir has been reported in adults but not in children. Our study aimed at evaluating the long-term use of lopinavir/ritonavir among children in a clinical setting.


We carried out a retrospective study on 69 protease inhibitor (PI)-experienced vertically HIV-infected children on HAART containing lopinavir/ritonavir. We analysed the changes in percentage CD4+ cell count (%CD4+) and viral load (VL) and identified prognostic factors to achieve CD4+ >25% and undetectable VL (uVL) (<or=400 copies/mL) by logistic regression.


During the first 2 years, we found an increase in the %CD4+ in children with baseline CD4+ between 0% and 15% and those with baseline VL < 30,000 copies/mL. We found a decrease in VL in all groups of children. From second to fourth year, we found an increase in %CD4+ in all the children who had CD4+ <25% and in those with baseline VL > 100,000 copies/mL. We found that %CD4+ at baseline had a strong positive association with achieving CD4+ >25% at 6, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 48 months of follow-up. We also found that length of PI use had a negative association with reaching CD4+ >25% at 24 and 48 months and achieving uVL at 12 and 24 months. VL at baseline had a negative association with achieving uVL at 18 and 24 months.


Our study demonstrates ongoing immune recovery among children on HAART with lopinavir/ritonavir after 4 years of follow-up. Lopinavir/ritonavir, when given as part of a salvage regimen, is safe and well tolerated in HIV-infected children.

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