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HIV Clin Trials. 2011 Jul-Aug;12(4):175-89. doi: 10.1310/HCT1204-175.

Comparative effectiveness of efavirenz, protease inhibitors, and raltegravir-based regimens as first-line treatment for HIV-infected adults: a mixed treatment comparison.

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Mapi Values, Boston, MA, USA.



Compare the efficacy of 2 NRTIs combined with raltegravir (RAL), efavirenz (EFV), or protease inhibitors (PI) in the management of antiretroviral-naïve HIV adult patients.


By means of a systematic literature view, 7 randomized controlled trials were identified: 2 RAL vs EFV trials; 1 ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/RTV) vs EFV trial; 1 ritonavir-boosted atazanavir (ATV/RTV) vs LPV/RTV trial; 1 ritonavir-boosted darunavir (DRV/RTV) vs LPV/RTV trial; 1 ritonavir-boosted fosamprenavir (FPV/RTV) vs LPV/RTV trial; and 1 FPV/RTV vs ATV/RTV trial. Endpoints concerned virological suppression and immunologic efficacy. Trials were analyzed with Bayesian mixed treatment comparison meta-analysis.


For up to 24 weeks of treatment, a PI-based regimen resulted in a lower proportion of patients with virological response than an EFV-based regimen, whereas RAL seems more efficacious than EFV up to at least 12 weeks. After 48 weeks, the odds ratio (OR) of virological suppression with RAL relative to EFV was 1.34 (95% credible interval [CrI], 0.87-2.07). ORs for PIs relative to EFV varied from 0.68 (0.41-1.07) with LPV/RTV to 0.99 (0.52-1.84) with DRV/RTV. RAL demonstrated a greater improvement in CD4+ T cell counts than EFV at 48 weeks. The PI regimens showed all similar improvements relative to EFV.


Based on available RCTs, the fastest virological suppression is expected with RAL followed by EFV and PIs. Over time, RAL appears to be at least as good as PI and EFV regimens. CD4+ cell recovery seems the greatest with LPV/RTV, DRV/RTV, and RAL. Given the limited number of RCTs, additional studies are recommended.

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