Impact of injecting drug use on response to highly active antiretroviral treatment in HIV-1-infected patients: a nationwide population-based cohort study

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The objective of this study was to determine the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients infected through injecting drug use (injecting drug users, IDUs) compared to patients infected via other routes (non-IDUs). We conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study of all HIV-infected patients who initiated HAART during the study period of 1 January 1995 to 31 December 2007. We compared changes in CD4(+) cell counts, percentage of full viral suppression (<500 copies/ml) and mortality from start of HAART, as well as differences in initial HAART regimen. Three thousand six hundred and fifteen patients were included in the study, representing 22,804 person-y of observation. A total of 346 (9.6%) were categorized as IDUs. Of IDUs, 55% gained full viral control within the first y after HAART compared to 76% of non-IDUs (p = 0.0002). Absolute CD4(+) cell count and survival were lower for IDUs compared to non-IDUs (adjusted mortality rate ratio 3.6 (95% CI 2.9-4.3)). IDUs were more likely to receive a first regimen based on protease inhibitors (PIs) compared to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based regimens for non-IDUs, and IDUs initiated HAART later than non-IDUs. In conclusion, more than half of the HIV-infected patients in Denmark infected through injecting drug use gained full viral suppression after initiating HAART. Absolute CD4(+) cell count was lower and mortality higher among IDUs than non-IDUs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number11-12
Pages (from-to)917-23
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

ID: 34052096