Determinants of virological failure and antiretroviral drug resistance in Mozambique


J. Antimicrob. Chemother. (2015) doi: 10.1093/jac/dkv143



The objective of this study was to inform public health actions to limit first-line ART failure and HIV drug resistance in Mozambique. 



This was a cross-sectional study. HIV-1-infected adults on first-line ART for at least 1 year attending routine visits in the Manhiça District Hospital, in a semi-rural area in southern Mozambique with no HIV-1 RNA monitoring available, were evaluated for clinical, socio-demographic, therapeutic, immunological and virological characteristics. Factors associated with HIV-1 RNA ≥1000 copies/mL and HIV drug resistance were determined using multivariate logistic regression. 



The study included 334 adults on first-line ART for a median of 3 years, of which 65% (214/332) had suppressed viraemia, 11% (37/332) had low-level viraemia (HIV-1 RNA 150–999 copies/mL) and 24% (81/332) had overt virological failure (HIV-1 RNA ≥1000 copies/mL). HIV drug resistance was detected in 89% of subjects with virological failure, but in none with low-level viraemia. Younger age [OR = 0.97 per additional year (95% CI = 0.94–1.00), P = 0.039], ART initiation at WHO stage III/IV [OR = 2.10 (95% CI = 1.23–3.57), P = 0.003] and low ART adherence [OR = 2.69 (95% CI = 1.39–5.19), P = 0.003] were associated with virological failure. Longer time on ART [OR = 1.55 per additional year (95% CI = 1.00–2.43), P = 0.052] and illiteracy [OR = 0.24 (95% CI = 0.07–0.89), P = 0.033] were associated with HIV drug resistance. Compared with HIV-1 RNA, clinician's judgement of ART failure, based on clinical and immunological outcomes, only achieved 29% sensitivity and misdiagnosed 1 out of every 4.5 subjects. 



Public health programmes in Mozambique should focus on early HIV diagnosis, early ART initiation and adherence support. Virological monitoring drastically improves the diagnosis of ART failure, enabling a better use of resources. 


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María Rupérez, Christian Pou, Sonia Maculuve, Samandhy Cedeño, Leopoldina Luis, Judith Rodríguez, Emilio Letang, José Moltó, Eusébio Macete, Bonaventura Clotet, Pedro Alonso, Clara Menéndez, Denise Naniche and Roger Paredes.


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Grupos de IrsiCaixa vinculados: Genómica Microbiana