Abacavir dosing, effectiveness, and safety in young infants living with HIV in Europe

13 Mar, 2020

Authors: Crichton S , Collins  IJ, Turkova A, Ene L, Galli L, Marczynska M, Navarro M, Naver L, Noguera-Julian A, Plotnikova Y, Scherpbier H, Volokha A, Voronin E, Judd A; on behalf of the European Pregnancy and Paediatric Infections Cohort Collaboration (EPPICC)

Published in: 27th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, March 8th –11th, 2020 – Boston.


Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends abacavir as the preferred/alternative backbone for 1st line regimens in children with HIV from age 28 days. There are limited data available on safety and tolerability of abacavir in young infants aged <3 months.

Methods: We describe infant and regimen characteristics at the start of abacavir (including drug combinations and dosing) and outcomes up to 12 months after first use of abacavir. Outcomes include:

  • drug discontinuations (defined as interruption of abacavir for >30 days),
  • clinical adverse events (AE, reported from start of abacavir, and up to 30 days after discontinuation of abacavir) and
  • viral load at 6 and 12 (±3) months after start of abacavir

Conclusions: Across children initiating abacavir in early life in Europe, it was safe and well tolerated, and discontinuations for safety concerns were rare. • Viral suppression was below the UN-AIDS 90% target which may reflect challenges of treatment in infancy.

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