The effect of efavirenz versus nevirapine-containing regimens on immunologic, virologic and clinical outcomes in a prospective observational study.
Cain LE., Phillips A., Lodi S., Sabin C., Bansi L., Justice A., Tate J., Logan R., Robins JM., Sterne JAC., van Sighem A., de Wolf F., Bucher HC., Elzi L., Touloumi G., Vourli G., Esteve A., Casabona J., del Amo J., Moreno S., Seng R., Meyer L., Pérez-Hoyos S., Muga R., Abgrall S., Costagliola D., Hernán MA., HIV-CAUSAL Collaboration None.
OBJECTIVE: To compare regimens consisting of either efavirenz or nevirapine and two or more nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) among HIV-infected, antiretroviral-naive, and AIDS-free individuals with respect to clinical, immunologic, and virologic outcomes. DESIGN: Prospective studies of HIV-infected individuals in Europe and the US included in the HIV-CAUSAL Collaboration. METHODS: Antiretroviral therapy-naive and AIDS-free individuals were followed from the time they started an NRTI, efavirenz or nevirapine, classified as following one or both types of regimens at baseline, and censored when they started an ineligible drug or at 6 months if their regimen was not yet complete. We estimated the 'intention-to-treat' effect for nevirapine versus efavirenz regimens on clinical, immunologic, and virologic outcomes. Our models included baseline covariates and adjusted for potential bias introduced by censoring via inverse probability weighting. RESULTS: A total of 15 336 individuals initiated an efavirenz regimen (274 deaths, 774 AIDS-defining illnesses) and 8129 individuals initiated a nevirapine regimen (203 deaths, 441 AIDS-defining illnesses). The intention-to-treat hazard ratios [95% confidence interval (CI)] for nevirapine versus efavirenz regimens were 1.59 (1.27, 1.98) for death and 1.28 (1.09, 1.50) for AIDS-defining illness. Individuals on nevirapine regimens experienced a smaller 12-month increase in CD4 cell count by 11.49 cells/μl and were 52% more likely to have virologic failure at 12 months as those on efavirenz regimens. CONCLUSIONS: Our intention-to-treat estimates are consistent with a lower mortality, a lower incidence of AIDS-defining illness, a larger 12-month increase in CD4 cell count, and a smaller risk of virologic failure at 12 months for efavirenz compared with nevirapine.