Simplification of HAART therapy on ambulatory HIV patients in Malaysia:a randomized controlled trial


OBJECTIVE Evaluate the impact of fixed-dose combination (FDC) containing emtricitabine (FTC), tenofovir (TDF), and efavirenz (EFV) versus a free-dose combination (FRC) of the same three drugs on clinical outcomes, adherence and quality of life in Malaysian outpatients with HIV. METHODS HIV patients (n=120) on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the infectious disease clinic of Hospital Sungai Buloh were randomized to either FDC (n=60) or FRC (n=60). Morisky scores, health-related quality of life scores and clinical outcomes such as CD4 count and viral load were assessed in both groups at baseline and six months. RESULT Patients on FDC (108 SD=1.1) had a significantly higher CD4 count increase compared to the FRC group (746.1 SD=36.3 vs 799.8 SD=33.8) (p <0.001). The viral load profile was unchanged and remained undetectable in both groups. The quality of life EQ-5D scores showed a positive correlation with CD4 counts in the FDC group (ρ=0.301, p=0.019) at six months. On the other hand, quality of life EQ-VAS scores was significantly associated with medication adherence in the FDC group at six months (ρ=0.749, p=0.05). However, no significant changes or associations were observed in the FRC group. CONCLUSION Management of HAART using an FDC demonstrated a positive clinical outcome, adherence and quality of life within six months in local HIV patients.


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