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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2008 Nov;24(11):1347-55. doi: 10.1089/aid.2008.0083.

Short-term discontinuation of HAART regimens more common in vulnerable patient populations.

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  • 1University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294, USA.


The durability of HAART regimens is often limited by antiretroviral toxicity and nonadherence, which lead to virologic failure. We sought to determine sociodemographic and psychosocial patient factors predictive of short-term discontinuation of HAART regimens overall and stratified by the reason for discontinuation. A retrospective cohort study of the UAB 1917 Clinic Cohort evaluated short-term HAART regimen discontinuation (within 12 months of regimen initiation) between 1/1995 and 8/2004 classified as (1) gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity, (2) non-GI toxicity, (3) virologic failure or nonadherence (VF/NA), (4) loss to follow-up, and (5) other. Multivariable multinomial logistic regression models accounting for dependent observations were fit to assess the relationship between patient factors and type-specific regimen discontinuation. Among the 738 study participants, 1026 of 1852 HAART regimens (55%) were discontinued within 12 months of initiation. In multivariable analysis, discontinuation for GI toxicity was more common in patients lacking private health insurance and those with a history of intravenous (IV) drug use, whereas non-GI toxicity was more common in younger patients and females. African-American patients and those with a history of IV drug use were more likely to stop a regimen due to VF/NA. Loss to follow-up was more common in younger patients, individuals who were uninsured, and those with a history of IV drug use. Short-term discontinuation of HAART regimens is more common in vulnerable populations that bear a disproportionate burden of the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic. More vigilant monitoring of patient populations at higher risk of toxicity and virologic failure may allow for improved HAART regimen durability.

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