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

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Abstract

Objective:

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

Design:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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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