Early clinical and immune response to NNRTI-based antiretroviral therapy among women exposed to single-dose nevirapine for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission


Chi BH, Sinkala M, Stringer EM, Cantrell RA, Mtonga V, Bulterys M, Zulu I, Kankasa C, Wilfert C, Weidle PJ, Vermund SH, Stringer JSA


AIDS 2007; 21:957-64


To determine whether prior exposure to single-dose nevirapine (NVP) for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) is associated with attenuated CD4 cell response, death, or clinical treatment failure in women starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) containing non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI).


Open cohort evaluation of outcomes for women in program sites across Zambia. HIV treatment was provided according to Zambian/World Health Organization guidelines.


Peripartum NVP exposure status was known for 6740 women initiating NNRTI-containing ART, of whom 751 (11%) reported prior use of NVP for PMTCT. There was no significant difference in mean CD4 cell change between those exposed or unexposed to NVP at 6 (+202 versus +182 cells/microl; P = 0.20) or 12 (+201 versus +211 cells/microl; P = 0.60) months. Multivariable analyses showed no significant differences in mortality [adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 1.2; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.8-1.8] or clinical treatment failure (adjusted HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.8-1.5). Comparison of recent NVP exposure with remote exposure suggested a less favorable CD4 cell response at 6 (+150 versus +219 cells/microl; P = 0.06) and 12 (+149 versus +215 cells/microl; P = 0.39) months. Women with recent NVP exposure also had a trend towards elevated risk for clinical treatment failure (adjusted HR, 1.6; 95% CI, 0.9-2.7).


Exposure to maternal single-dose NVP was not associated with substantially different short-term treatment outcomes. However, evidence was suggestive that exposure within 6 months of ART initiation may be a risk factor for poor treatment outcomes, highlighting the importance of ART screening and initiation early in pregnancy

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