Protease inhibitors and preterm delivery: another piece in the puzzle

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Background:Questions remain regarding preterm delivery (PTD) risk in HIV-infected women on antiretroviral therapy (ART), including the role of ritonavir (RTV)-boosted protease inhibitors, timing of ART initiation and immune status.Methods:We examined data from the UK/Ireland National Study of HIV in Pregnancy and Childhood on women with HIV delivering a singleton live infant in 2007–2015, including those pregnancies receiving RTV-boosted protease inhibitor-based (n = 4184) or nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors-based regimens (n = 1889). We conducted logistic regression analysis adjusted for risk factors associated with PTD and stratified by ART at conception and CD4+ cell count to minimize bias by indication for treatment and to assess whether PTD risk differs by ART class and specific drug combinations.Results:Among women conceiving on ART, lopinavir/RTV was associated with increased PTD risk in those with CD4+ cell count 350 cells/μl or less [odds ratio 1.99 (1.02, 3.85)] and with CD4+ cell count more than 350 cells/μl [odds ratio 1.61 (1.07, 2.43)] vs. women on nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors-based (mainly efavirenz and nevirapine) regimens in the same CD4+ subgroup. Associations between other protease inhibitor-based regimens (mainly atazanavir and darunavir) and PTD risk were complex. Overall, PTD risk was higher in women who conceived on ART, had low CD4+ cell count and were older. No trend of association of PTD with tenofovir or any specific drug combinations was observed.Conclusion:Our data support a link between the initiation of RTV-boosted/lopinavir-based ART preconception and PTD in subsequent pregnancies, with implications for treatment guidelines. Continued monitoring of PTD risk is needed as increasing numbers of pregnancies are conceived on new drugs.

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