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Intern Med. 2011;50(7):699-705. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

Open-label randomized multicenter selection study of once daily antiretroviral treatment regimen comparing ritonavir-boosted atazanavir to efavirenz with fixed-dose abacavir and lamivudine.

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AIDS Clinical Center, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Japan.



The side-effects of anti-retroviral drugs are different between Japanese and Caucasian patients. Severe central nerve system (CNS) side-effects to efavirenz and low rate of hypersensitivity against abacavir characterize the Japanese.


The objective of this study was to select a once daily regimen for further non-inferior study comparing the virological efficacy and safety of the first line once daily antiretroviral treatment regimens in the current HIV/AIDS guideline.


The study design was a randomized, open label, multicenter, selection study. One arm was treated with efavirenz and the other with ritonavir-boosted atazanavir. A fixed-dose lamivudine plus abacavir were used in both arms. The primary endpoint was virologic success (viral load less than 50 copies/mL) rate at 48 weeks. Patients were followed-up to 96 weeks with safety as the secondary endpoint. Clinicaltrials.Gov (NCT00280969) and the University hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN000000243).


A total of 71 participants were enrolled. Virologic success rates in both arms were similar at week 48 [efavirenz arm 28/36 (77.8%); atazanavir arm 27/35 (77.1%)], but were decreased at week 96 to 55.6% in the efavirenz arm and 68.8% in the atazanavir arm (p=0.33). At the 96-week follow-up, 52.8% of the EFV arm and 34.3% of the ATV/r arm reached total cholesterol more than 220 mg/dL and required treatment. None of the patients developed cardiovascular complications in this study by week 96.


There was no significant difference in the efficacy of efavirenz and ritonavir-boosted atazanavir combined with lamivudine plus abacavir at 48 weeks. The evaluation of safety was extended to 96 weeks, which also showed no significant difference in both arms.

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