Impact of tuberculosis cotreatment on viral suppression rates among HIV-positive children initiating HAART

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To evaluate the association between treatment of HIV-tuberculosis (TB) coinfection and primary virologic failure among children initiating antiretroviral therapy in South Africa.


We performed a retrospective cohort study of 1029 children initiating antiretroviral therapy at two medical centers in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, a region of very high TB incidence.


Data were extracted from electronic medical records and charts and the impact of TB cotreatment on viral suppression at 6 and 12 months was assessed using logistic regression.


The overall rate of virologic suppression (<400 HIV RNA copies/ml) was 85% at 6 months and 87% at 12 months. Children who received concurrent treatment for TB had a significantly lower rate of virologic suppression at 6 months (79 vs. 88%; P = 0.003). Those who received nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based HAART had similar rates of viral suppression regardless of whether they received concurrent TB therapy. In contrast, children who received protease inhibitor-based HAART had significantly lower viral suppression rates at both 6 and 12 months if treated concurrently for TB (P = 0.02 and 0.03). Multivariate logistic regression revealed that age at initiation, protease inhibitor therapy, and TB coinfection were each independently associated with primary virologic failure.


Concurrent treatment for TB is associated with lower rates of viral suppression among children receiving protease inhibitor-based HAART, but not among those receiving nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based HAART. Guidelines for the care of young HIV-TB coinfected infants should be continually evaluated, as protease inhibitor-based antiviral therapy may not provide optimal viral suppression in this population.

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