Long-term clinical and immunologic outcomes of HIV-infected women with and without previous exposure to nevirapine

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To determine and compare the clinical and immunologic outcomes for HIV-infected women initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART), with and without previous exposure to single-dose nevirapine in the MTCT-Plus programme - Kampala, Uganda, from 2003 to 2011.


Retrospective comparison of prospectively collected programmatic data of clinical and immunologic treatment outcomes among HIV-infected Ugandan women, with and without prior exposure to sdNVP, who received NNRTI-based ART for a median follow-up of 6 years.


Of the 408 women in the programme, 289 (70.8%) were started on ART, of whom 205 (70.9%) had prior exposure to sdNVP. Clinical, immunologic and combined (clinical and or immunologic) treatment failure occurred in 29 (10.0%), 132 (45.7%) and 142 (49.1%) women, respectively. There was no significant difference in the distribution of time to immunologic failure for women by exposure to sdNVP (log-rank P = 0.98). In Cox proportional hazard modelling, exposure to sdNVP was not associated with immunologic failure [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 0.89, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.61-1.30]. CD4 count >100 cells/mm3 at initiation was associated with reduced incidence of immunologic failure in adjusted analyses (HR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.22-0.48).


HIV-infected Ugandan women initiated on an NVP-based ART regimen had similar immunologic treatment outcomes irrespective of previous NVP exposure. CD4 cell count prior to initiating HAART was a key prognostic factor for successful long-term immunologic treatment outcomes. In poor settings, regular follow-up of patients on HAART with adequate counselling to promote adherence and safe disclosure may promote low clinical failure rates.

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