Original Research

Confirmation of factors that influence antiretroviral regimen change and the subsequent patient outcomes at a Regional Hospital in rural KwaZulu-Natal

Vereesha Soorju, Panjasaram Naidoo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 8, No 1 | a1171 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v8i1.1171 | © 2016 Vereesha Soorju, Panjasaram Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 February 2016 | Published: 31 October 2016

About the author(s)

Vereesha Soorju, Madadeni Hospital, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panjasaram Naidoo, Madadeni Hospital, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Background: Treatment failure (TF) and adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are the main indications for antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen change. Identification of factors influencing regimen change and subsequent health outcomes of patients after regimen change is essential in providing a sustainable and effective antiretroviral roll-out campaign.
Aim: To confirm the factors that influence antiretroviral regimen change and to evaluate patient outcomes post regimen change.
Methods: A retrospective chart analysis of 269 HIV-infected non-pregnant patients (age >18 years), who underwent an antiretroviral (ARV) regimen change and were followed up for approximately one year since initiation, was undertaken at a Provincial Hospital ARV Clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, from January 2008 to December 2012.
Results: Of the 269 patients, there were 200 females (75%). Most patients were between the ages 30 and 44 (57.6%). Only five patients had coexisting tuberculosis (TB) infection (2%). The most common first-line ART regimen to be changed was stavudine (D4T)/lamivudine(3TC)/ efavirenz(EFV) n = 111(41%). The most common regimen patients were changed to was tenofovir (TDF)/3TC/EFV n = 89(33%). Stavudine was the most commonly substituted drug (35.5%). Lipodystrophy was the most common ADR (56.8%). ADR was the indication for ART regimen change in 175 patients (65%), whilst TF accounted for ART regimen change in 94 patients (35%). Immunological success (CD4 counts) was shown after regimen change (374.21 ± 243.16 vs. 456.09 ± 250.07, CI: 0.95, p < 0.001). Undetectable viral loads were measured in 172/205 (83.9%) patients post regimen change.
Conclusion: ADRs were the main cause for antiretroviral regimen change. Stavudine was the most substituted drug with lipodystrophy being the most common side effect. Coexisting TB infection did not influence regimen change. Immunological and virological success was shown after regimen modification.


HIV; ART; Regimen Change; TB; Factors


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