Effectiveness of Generic Fixed-Dose Combinations of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy for Treatment of HIV Infection in India

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Objective:To assess clinical and immunologic effectiveness and acute toxicity to nevirapine (NVP)-based fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) in antiretroviral-naive HIV-1-infected patients in India.Design:Observational study of patients initiated on NVP-based combination therapy delivered as FDCs.Methods:Antiretroviral-naive HIV-1-infected patients initiated on FDCs (zidovudine/lamivudine [3TC]/NVP or stavudine/3TC/NVP) were assessed clinically and with CD4 counts periodically. Adverse events to NVP were assessed clinically and by laboratory markers. Frequency and risk factors for development of adverse events and clinical outcomes were determined.Results:Of the 1291 patients started on therapy, 1253 completed a minimum of 3 months of follow-up. Rash and hepatitis were documented in 6.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.5-8.3) and 3.2% (95% CI: 2.3-4.8) of patients initiating therapy, respectively. There was significant improvement in CD4 counts over 2 years. Fourty-eight patients died, and 186 clinical events were documented in these patients. Tuberculosis was the most common cause of morbidity and mortality. Self-reported adherence was high.Conclusion:Fixed-dose formulations of NVP-based combination therapy are safe and produced durable clinical and immunologic benefit.

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