The overall aim of the BREATHER trial is to evaluate the role of Short-Cycle Therapy (SCT) in the management of HIV-infected young people who have responded well to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and to determine whether young people with chronic HIV infection undergoing Short-Cycle Therapy of five days on ART and two days off maintain the same level of viral load suppression as those on continuous therapy, over 48 weeks.

Approximately 100 patients will be enrolled in each study arm, followed initially for 48 weeks. Additional long term follow up will be conducted subsequently for two years.


  • HIV-1 Drug Resistance and Second-line Treatment in Children Randomized to Switch at Low versus Higher RNA Thresholds. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015;70(1):42-53. Read article
  • ART With Weekends Off Is Noninferior to Continuous ART in Young People on EFV+2NRTI. CROI 2015, Seattle, USA, Feb 23 -26 2015. Read poster
  • “But it’s my story”: exploring the experience and effect of telling children how they have acquired HIV.  3rd International ASSHH Conference, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 6-9 July 2015. Read poster
  • Young people, clinical trials and ‘the HIV experience’: What can similarities across time and place tell us about growing up with HIV? 3rd International ASSHH Conference, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 6-9 July 2015. Read poster
  • I am scared of getting caught up in my lie’: challenges to self-reported adherence for young people living with HIV. Accepted for presentation at AIDS Impact, Amsterdam 28-31 July, 2015 (abstract 3435). Read poster
  • I was like, oh my God, what happens if it doesn’t work’?: young people living with HIV, clinical trial participation, and the truth economy accepted for presentation at BSA Medical Sociology Conference. BSA Medical Sociology Conference, York, 9-11 September 2015 (Paper ID No: W0012148). Read poster
  • When information does not suffice: young people living with HIV and communication about ART adherence in the clinic.Vulnerable Child Youth Stud. 2016;11(1):60-68. Read article
  • Weekends-off efavirenz-based antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected children, adolescents, and young adults (BREATHER): a randomised, open-label, non-inferiority, phase 2/3 trial. Lancet HIV. 2016;3(9):e421-430. Read article
  • BREATHER (PENTA 16) short-cycle therapy (SCT) (5 days on/2 days off) in young people with chronic human immunodeficiency virus infection: an open, randomised, parallel-group Phase II/III trial. Health Technol Assess. 2016;20(49):1-108. Read article
  • Qualitative study of the BREATHER trial (Short Cycle antiretroviral therapy): is it acceptable to young people living with HIV? BMJ Open. 2017;7(2):e012934. Read article
  • “Not Taking it Will Just be Like a Sin”: Young People Living with HIV and the Stigmatization of Less-Than-Perfect Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy. Med Anthropol. 2017;36(5):485-499. Read article
  • “How Do We Start? And How Will They React?” Disclosing to Young People with Perinatally Acquired HIV in Uganda. Front Public Health. 2017;5:343. Read article
  • Weekends-off efavirenz -based antiretroviral therapy in HIV infected children, adolescents and young adults (BREATHER): extended follow-up results of a randomised, open-label, non-inferiority trial. PLos One. 2018;13(4):e0196239. Read article
  • Economic evaluation of weekends-off antiretroviral therapy for young people in 11 countries. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(5):e9698. Read article

This study is funded by Penta.