Data are limited on the selection and sequencing of second-line and third-line pediatric antiretroviral treatment (ART) in resource-limited settings. This study aimed to evaluate characteristics of African pediatric patients initiated on darunavir (DRV) and/or etravirine (ETR) through a specific drug donation program.Methods:
This was a cross-sectional study of baseline immunologic, virologic and demographic characteristics of children and adolescents initiating DRV-based and/or ETR-based ART. Descriptive statistics were used.Results:
Study enrolled 48 patients (45.8% women; median age = 15 years [interquartile range 17.7–10.3]) at 9 clinical sites in Zambia, Swaziland, Kenya and Lesotho. The majority (87.5%; n = 42) had received ≥2 prior ART regimens; most (81.2%) had received lopinavir/ritonavir-based ART before switch. All patients had detectable HIV RNA (median = 56,653 copies/mL). Forty seven patients (98.9%) had HIV genotype results: 41 (87.2%) had ≥1 nucleos(t)ide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-resistance mutation (RM), predominantly M184V (76.6%; n = 36); 31 (65.9%) had ≥1 non-NRTI-RM, including 27 (57.4%) with ≥1 ETR-RM; 30 (63.8%) had ≥3 protease inhibitor RM, including 20 (42.6%) with ≥1 DRV-RM. For new ART regimens, DRV and raltegravir were most frequently prescribed (83.3%; n = 40 on DRV and raltegravir, each). Eighteen patients (37.5%) were initiated on the NRTI-sparing ART.Conclusions:
In our study, a significant proportion of treatment-experienced African children and adolescents had one or more DRV-RM and ETR-RM. For the new regimen, more than a third of pediatric patients failing second-line ART were prescribed NRTI-sparing regimens. Better understanding of the current approaches to pediatric ART sequencing in resource-limited settings is needed.