Switch from tenofovir disoproxil fumarate combination to dolutegravir with rilpivirine improves parameters of bone health

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Bone mineral density (BMD) loss, a risk factor for osteoporosis, has been attributed to HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART), including regimens containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.


Study 202094 is an open-label, parallel-group, sub-study of the phase III SWORD-1 and SWORD-2 studies (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT02478632).


HIV-1-infected adults with HIV-1 RNA less than 50 copies/ml who received ART containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate for at least 6 months were randomized to receive dolutegravir with rilpivirine or continue current ART regimen. Total hip and lumbar spine BMD were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans. The primary endpoint was percentage change from baseline in total hip BMD.


DXA scans were evaluable for 81 participants at baseline and Week 48. Percentage increase in total hip BMD was significantly greater in participants who switched to dolutegravir with rilpivirine (1.34%) compared with participants who continued current ART (0.05%; treatment difference, +1.29%; 95% CI 0.27–2.31; P = 0.014). Lumbar spine BMD significantly increased in the dolutegravir with rilpivirine group by 1.46% (95% CI 0.65–2.28) compared with 0.15% (95% CI –0.79 to 1.09) in the current ART group (treatment difference, 1.32; 95% CI 0.07–2.57; P = 0.039). Participants in the dolutegravir with rilpivirine group experienced significantly greater reductions in bone formation and resorption biomarkers compared with the current ART group.


Switch to dolutegravir with rilpivirine was associated with significant improvement in BMD and bone turnover markers compared with tenofovir-based three-drug regimens, providing a robust option for preserving bone health while continuing suppressive ART.

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