Background For second-line antiretroviral therapy, WHO recommends a boosted protease inhibitor plus nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). However, concerns about toxicity and cross-resistance motivated a search for regimens that do not contain NRTIs. We aimed to assess whether boosted lopinavir plus raltegravir would be non-inferior to boosted lopinavir plus NRTIs for virological suppression in resource-limited settings. Methods A5273 was a randomised, open-label, phase 3, non-inferiority study at 15 AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) research sites in nine resource-limited countries (three sites each in India and South Africa, two each in Malawi and Peru, and one each in Brazil, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, and Zimbabwe). Adults with plasma HIV-1 RNA concentrations of at least 1000 copies per mL after at least 24 weeks on a regimen based on a non-NRTI inhibitor were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive oral ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (100 mg ritonavir, 400 mg lopinavir) plus 400 mg raltegravir twice a day (raltegravir group) or to ritonavir-boosted lopinavir plus two or three NRTIs selected from an algorithm (eg, zidovudine after failure with tenofovir and vice versa; NRTI group). Randomised group assignment was done with a computer algorithm concealed to site personnel, and stratified by HIV-1 RNA viral load, CD4 cell count, and intention to use zidovudine, with the groups balanced by each site. The primary endpoint was time to confirmed virological failure (two measurements of HIV-1 RNA viral load >400 copies per mL) at or after week 24 in the intention-to-treat population. Non-inferiority (10% margin) was assessed by comparing the cumulative probability of virological failure by 48 weeks. This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01352715. Findings Between March 13, 2012, and Oct 2, 2013, we randomly assigned 515 participants: 260 to the raltegravir group and 255 to the NRTI group; two participants in the raltegravir group and one in the NRTI group were excluded from analyses because of ineligibility. By the end of follow-up (October, 2014), 96 participants had virological failure (46 in the raltegravir group and 50 in the NRTI group). By 48 weeks, the cumulative probability of virological failure was 10·3% (95% CI 6·5–14·0) in the raltegravir group and 12·4% (8·3–16·5) in the NRTI group, with a weighted difference of −3·4% (−8·4 to 1·5), indicating that raltegravir was non-inferior, but not superior, to NRTIs. 62 (24%) participants in the raltegravir group and 81 (32%) in the NRTI group had grade 3 or higher adverse events; 19 (7%) and 29 (11%), respectively, had serious adverse events. Three participants in each group died, all from HIV-related causes. Interpretation In settings with extensive NRTI resistance but no available resistance testing, our data support WHO's recommendation for ritonavir-boosted lopinavir plus NRTI for second-line antiretroviral therapy. Ritonavir-boosted lopinavir plus raltegravir is an appropriate alternative, especially if NRTI use is limited by toxicity. Funding National Institutes of Health.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases