HAART rollout in Latin America and the Caribbean has increased from approximately 210,000 in 2003 to 390,000 patients in 2007, covering 62% (51%-70%) of eligible patients, with considerable variation among countries. No multi-cohort study has examined rates of and reasons for change of initial HAART in this region.
Antiretroviral-naïve patients >or= 18 years who started HAART between 1996 and 2007 and had at least one follow-up visit from sites in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico and Peru were included. Time from HAART initiation to change (stopping or switching any antiretrovirals) was estimated using Kaplan-Meier techniques. Cox proportional hazards modeled the associations between change and demographics, initial regimen, baseline CD4 count, and clinical stage.
Of 5026 HIV-infected patients, 35% were female, median age at HAART initiation was 37 years (interquartile range [IQR], 31-44), and median CD4 count was 105 cells/uL (IQR, 38-200). Estimated probabilities of changing within 3 months and one year of HAART initiation were 16% (95% confidence interval (CI) 15-17%) and 28% (95% CI 27-29%), respectively. Efavirenz-based regimens and no clinical AIDS at HAART initiation were associated with lower risk of change (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.7 (95% CI 1.1-2.6) and 2.1 (95% CI 1.7-2.5) comparing neverapine-based regimens and other regimens to efavirenz, respectively; HR = 1.3 (95% CI 1.1-1.5) for clinical AIDS at HAART initiation). The primary reason for change among HAART initiators were adverse events (14%), death (5.7%) and failure (1.3%) with specific toxicities varying among sites. After change, most patients remained in first line regimens.
Adverse events were the leading cause for changing initial HAART. Predictors for change due to any reason were AIDS at baseline and the use of a non-efavirenz containing regimen. Differences between participant sites were observed and require further investigation.