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The primary objective of this review was to evaluate the antiviral efficacy of co‐formulated abacavir‐lamivudinezidovudine for initial treatment of HIV infection. The secondary objectives were to evaluate the safety and tolerability of the triple drug combination. We identified 15 potentially eligible studies, four of which met our inclusion criteria. Our findings indicate that co‐formulated abacavir‐lamivudinezidovudine remains a viable option for initiating antiretroviral therapy, especially in HIV‐infected patients with pre‐existing hyperlipidaemia and those who do not tolerate ritonavir.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: March 28, 2013

The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) as treatment for HIV infection has greatly improved mortality and morbidity for adults and adolescents living with HIV around the world. Deciding which treatment regimen to begin for first‐line treatment in ART‐naïve patients, however, remains a significant challenge. Two commonly used medications are tenofovir (TDF) and zidovudine (AZT). The purpose of this review was to assess which of these two medications was the best for initial treatment for people living with HIV, and through our search we identified two randomised controlled trials. We did not find any critical difference between the two medications in regards to serious adverse events or virologic response, but did find that TDF is superior to AZT in terms of immunologic response and adherence and more frequent emergence of resistance. However, these two studies are not directly comparable because they used two related different drugs in addition to TDF and AZT. Future studies and recommendations should focus on specific toxicities and tolerability when comparing these two medications.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 6, 2010

Regimen simplification can be defined as a change in established effective therapy to reduce pill burden and dosing frequency, to enhance tolerability, or to decrease specific food and fluid requirements. Many patients on suppressive antiretroviral therapy may be considered candidates for a simplification strategy and, among them, those who have achieved virologic suppression. We have reviewed clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of abacavir‐containing triple nucleoside combination as a simplification therapy in HIV‐infected adult patients treated with a Protease‐Inhibitor (PI)‐containing regimen and  with undetectable viral load. Patients on a PI‐containing regimen had three possibilities: continue the PI regimen or switch to a simplification maintenance regimen with triple nucleoside combination (abacavir‐zidovudinelamivudine) or with non‐nucleoside (efavirenz or nevirapine) containing regimens. The review included 8 RCTs and 1675 HIV infected patients. Simplification with triple nucleoside regimen showed an overall failure rate comparable to that of  continuing  PI regimen or  to simplification with non‐nucleoside regimens. Rates of failure due to adverse events with triple nucleoside combinations were lower compared to controls, but the difference was not statistically significant. By contrast, rates of virologic failures   were more frequent with  triple nucleoside combination that with PI or NNRTI, but in both the comparisons the differences were  not statistically significant. Simplification with abacavir had a favourable and significant impact on lipid metabolism compared to control group. Simplification with triple nucleoside regimens should be still considered for individuals who are unable to tolerate or have contraindications to NNRTI or PI based regimens

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: June 5, 2013

At the end of 2009, 2.5 million children under the age of 15 years were estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS (WHO 2011). The majority of these children acquired their infections as a result of mother‐to‐child transmission during pregnancy, labor, or breastfeeding. Antiretroviral drugs administered to the HIV‐infected mother and/or to her child during pregnancy, labor, or breastfeeding can reduce mother‐to‐child transmission of HIV. The objective of this review is to determine whether a regimen of antiretroviral drugs leads to a significant reduction in HIV transmission during pregnancy and labor without serious side‐effects.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 6, 2011

Patients starting their first HIV treatment are often given efavirenz in combination with two other drugs. Emtricitabine and tenofovir are one of several pairs of drugs that can be used in this way. In early 2012, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) looked into the advantages and disadvantages of rilpivirine as a single drug (trade name: Edurant) taken together with two other drugs, compared with efavirenz in combination with two other drugs. The results of 815 patients were analyzed. Almost three quarters of them took rilpivirine with emtricitabine and tenofovir, and about one quarter took rilpivirine with zidovudine and lamivudine. Only a few had used rilpivirine plus abacavir and lamivudine.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: April 20, 2017

Dolutegravir (trade name: Tivicay) has been approved in Germany since January 2014 in combination with other antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults and children over 12 years of age.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 27, 2017

Rilpivirine has been approved in Germany since November 2011 as a single agent (trade name: Edurant) and in a fixed-dose combination with emtricitabine and tenofovir (trade name: Eviplera) for the treatment of HIV type 1 in some adults.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: March 29, 2017

Combination antiretroviral therapy can lower the amount of HIV in the blood, improve immune system function, and slow the progress of HIV. It is thought these drugs will need to be used for life. Keeping up this therapy, though, is difficult, and there are concerns about the adverse effects of the drugs and the development of resistance to the drugs over time. Therefore, attempting to use fewer drugs has been tried. However, the review of trials comparing combinations of three or four drugs, in patients who successfully completed initial therapy, with using fewer drugs found that a reduced number of drugs could not suppress the virus as well.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 20, 2003

Worldwide, the primary cause of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in children is mother‐to‐child transmission (MTCT). MTCT of HIV can occur during pregnancy, around the time of delivery, or through breastfeeding. Great strides have been made in reducing MTCT during pregnancy and around the time of delivery. However, without intervention, a significant proportion of children born to HIV–infected mothers acquire HIV through breastfeeding.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 4, 2014

The fixed-dose combination of the four drugs elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide (trade name: Genvoya) has been approved in Germany since November 2015 for the treatment of type 1 HIV (HIV-1) in adults and teenagers over the age of 12.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: May 3, 2018

Pregnant human immunodeficiency virus‐infected (HIV)‐infected women often need treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) for their own health. Mother‐to‐child transmission (MTCT) is the most common way that children worldwide become HIV infected. Treatment of HIV‐infected pregnant women with ART decreases the risk of HIV MTCT. It is possible to decrease the risk of MTCT to 1‐2% with the use of antiretroviral medications, caesarean section before labour begins, and avoiding breastfeeding. When women who require HIV treatment for the benefit of their own health become pregnant, we need to know the most effective therapy, the impact of the drug on the MTCT of HIV, and what the potential complications of the therapy might be for both the mother and her unborn child.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: March 17, 2010

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