Time to first positive HIV-1 DNA PCR may differ with antiretroviral regimen in infants infected with non-B subtype HIV-1

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To evaluate the association of type and timing of prophylactic maternal and infant antiretroviral regimen with time to first positive HIV-1 DNA PCR test, in nonbreastfed HIV-infected infants, from populations infected predominantly with HIV-1 non-B subtype virus.


Analysis of combined data on nonbreastfed HIV-infected infants from prospective cohorts in Botswana, Thailand, and the United Kingdom (N = 405).


Parametric models appropriate for interval-censored outcomes estimated the time to first positive PCR according to maternal or infant antiretroviral regimen category and timing of maternal antiretroviral initiation, with adjustment for covariates.


Maternal antiretroviral regimens included: no antiretrovirals (n = 138), single-nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor (n = 165), single-dose nevirapine with zidovudine (n = 66), and combination prophylaxis with 3 or more antiretrovirals [combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), n = 36]. Type of maternal/infant antiretroviral regimen and timing of maternal antiretroviral initiation were each significantly associated with time to first positive PCR (multivariate P < 0.0001). The probability of a positive test with no antiretrovirals compared with the other regimen/timing groups was significantly lower at 1 day after birth, but did not differ significantly after age 14 days. In a subgroup of 143 infants testing negative at birth, infant cART was significantly associated with longer time to first positive test (multivariate P = 0.04).


Time to first positive HIV-1 DNA PCR in HIV-1-infected nonbreastfed infants (non-B HIV subtype) may differ according to maternal/infant antiretroviral regimen and may be longer with infant cART, which may have implications for scheduling infant HIV PCR-diagnostic testing and confirming final infant HIV status.

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