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Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Feb 1;66(4):594-603. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix854.

Time to Switch to Second-line Antiretroviral Therapy in Children With Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Europe and Thailand.



Data on durability of first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) in children with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are limited. We assessed time to switch to second-line therapy in 16 European countries and Thailand.


Children aged <18 years initiating combination ART (≥2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors [NRTIs] plus nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor [NNRTI] or boosted protease inhibitor [PI]) were included. Switch to second-line was defined as (i) change across drug class (PI to NNRTI or vice versa) or within PI class plus change of ≥1 NRTI; (ii) change from single to dual PI; or (iii) addition of a new drug class. Cumulative incidence of switch was calculated with death and loss to follow-up as competing risks.


Of 3668 children included, median age at ART initiation was 6.1 (interquartile range (IQR), 1.7-10.5) years. Initial regimens were 32% PI based, 34% nevirapine (NVP) based, and 33% efavirenz based. Median duration of follow-up was 5.4 (IQR, 2.9-8.3) years. Cumulative incidence of switch at 5 years was 21% (95% confidence interval, 20%-23%), with significant regional variations. Median time to switch was 30 (IQR, 16-58) months; two-thirds of switches were related to treatment failure. In multivariable analysis, older age, severe immunosuppression and higher viral load (VL) at ART start, and NVP-based initial regimens were associated with increased risk of switch.


One in 5 children switched to a second-line regimen by 5 years of ART, with two-thirds failure related. Advanced HIV, older age, and NVP-based regimens were associated with increased risk of switch.


HIV; antiretroviral therapy; children; second-line; switch

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