Introduction: Lopinavir/ritonavir-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) is recommended for all HIV-infected children less than three years. However, little is known about its field implementation and effectiveness inWest Africa. We assessed the 12-month response to lopinavir/ritonavir-based antiretroviral therapy in a cohort of West African children treated before the age of two years. Methods: HIV-1-infected, ART-naive except for a prevention of mother-To-child transmission (PMTCT), tuberculosis-free, and less than two years of age children with parent's consent were enrolled in a 12-month prospective therapeutic cohort with lopinavir/ritonavir ART and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis in Ouagadougou and Abidjan. Virological suppression (VS) at 12 months (viral load [VL] <500 copies/mL) and its correlates were assessed. Results: Between May 2011 and January 2013, 156 children initiated ART at a median age of 13.9 months (interquartile range: 7.8-18.4); 63% were from Abidjan; 53% were girls; 37% were not exposed to any PMTCT intervention or maternal ART; mother was the main caregiver in 81%; 61% were classified World Health Organization Stage 3 to 4. After 12 months on ART, 11 children had died (7%), 5 were lost-To-follow-up/withdrew (3%), and VS was achieved in 109: 70% of children enrolled and 78% of those followed-up. When adjusting for country and gender, the access to tap water at home versus none (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 2.75, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09-6.94), the mother as the main caregiver versus the father (aOR: 2.82, 95% CI: 1.03-7.71), and the increase of CD4 percentage greater than 10% between inclusion and 6 months versus <10% (aOR: 2.55, 95% CI: 1.05-6.18) were significantly associated with a higher rate of VS. At 12 months, 28 out of 29 children with VL ≥1000 copies/mL had a resistance genotype test: 21 (75%) had ≥1 antiretroviral (ARV) resistance (61% to lamivudine, 29% to efavirenz, and 4% to zidovudine and lopinavir/ritonavir), of which 11 (52%) existed before ART initiation. Conclusions: Twelve-month VS rate on lopinavir/ritonavir-based ART was high, comparable to those in Africa or high-income countries. The father as the main child caregiver and lack of access to tap water are risk factors for viral failure and justify a special caution to improve adherence in these easy-To-identify situations before ART initiation. Public health challenges remain to optimize outcomes in children with earlier ART initiation in West Africa.
- Early antiretroviral treatment
- Treatment outcomes
- West Africa