The integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI) class of antiretroviral therapy (ART) may result in faster time to virologic suppression compared with regimens that contain protease inhibitors (PIs) or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). However, differences in time to achieve virologic suppression are not well-defined in routine clinical settings with contemporary antiretroviral agents.
Study was a retrospective single-center study of treatment-naïve human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients initiating ART between 2013 and 2016. Among patients on different ART regimen types, we compared rates of and median time to virologic suppression [viral load (VL) <50 copies/mL].
A total of 155 patients—45 (29%) female and 110 (71%) male—met study inclusion criteria. Median age was 42 years (interquartile range 31–52), and median baseline CD4 count was 288 cells/μL and VL was 60,000 copies/mL. Seventy-one (46%) initiated an INSTI-based regimen, 58 (37%) were on NNRTI-based regimens, and 26 (17%) on PI-based regimens. In total, 112 (72%) patients achieved virologic suppression at 12 months. Patients on INSTI-based regimens were more likely to achieve virologic suppression by 3, 6, and 12 months (P < .01), and had lower median time to suppression (60 vs 137 days on NNRTI-based regimens and 147 days on PI-based regimens, P < .01).
Patients on INSTI-based ART regimens in a real-world setting experienced higher rates of virologic suppression and shorter time from ART initiation to virologic suppression. For HIV patients on INSTI-based ART regimens, virologic failure should be suspected in those with VLs >50 copies/mL before the current recommendation of 48 weeks.