Simplified therapy with zidovudine, lamivudine and abacavir for very nonadherent, treatment-failing patients

Hernando Knobel*, Gabriel Vallecillo, Ana Guelar, Enric Pedrol, Ana Soler, Alexia Carmona, Pere Saballs, Alicia Gonzalez, Juan Luis Gimeno, José Luis López Colomés

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a simplified therapy for very nonadherent patients who had previously failed with HAART. Method: We performed a prospective open-label study of anti retroviral-experienced patients. Dosing schedule comprised (co-formulated) zidovudine, lamivudine, and abacavir bid. Eligible patients had to have plasma HIV RNA >5000 copies/mL, previous therapy, and very poor adherence to the medication regimen. Results: Eighty-five patients were included (mean viral load, 4.4 log/mL; mean CD4, 240 cells/mL; IDUs, 78%; methadone maintenance program, 42%; AIDS, 28%). Number of previous therapies: one, 53%; two, 28%; three or more, 19%. In the intent-to-treat analysis at 1 year, 38 patients (44.7%) achieved viral load below 500 copies/mL. Adherence greater than 90% of prescribed drugs was reported in 49% of patients, adverse events were reported in 17.6%, mortality in 6%, and lost to follow-up in 26%. The factors associated with virologic failure were nonadherence (odds ratio [OR], 4.4; 95% CI 1.5-12.3), baseline CD4 cell count <200 cells/mL (OR, 3.4; 95% CI 1.3-8.9; p = .01), and more than one previous treatment (OR, 2.7; 95% CI 1.1-6.9). Conclusion: Regarding previously very nonadherent patients, this simplified combination therapy containing three NRTIs obtained satisfactory results in ART-experienced patients. However, more aggressive interventions to enhance adherence are needed to improve results.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalHIV Clinical Trials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Adherence
  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Reverse transcriptase inhibitors


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