HIV-1 virologic failure and acquired drug resistance among first-line antiretroviral experienced adults at a rural HIV clinic in coastal Kenya: A cross-sectional study

Amin S. Hassan*, Helen M. Nabwera, Shalton M. Mwaringa, Clare A. Obonyo, Eduard J. Sanders, Tobias F. Rinke de Wit, Patricia A. Cane, James A. Berkley

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: An increasing number of people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa has led to declines in HIV related morbidity and mortality. However, virologic failure (VF) and acquired drug resistance (ADR) may negatively affect these gains. This study describes the prevalence and correlates of HIV-1 VF and ADR among first-line ART experienced adults at a rural HIV clinic in Coastal Kenya.Methods: HIV-infected adults on first-line ART for ≥6 months were cross-sectionally recruited between November 2008 and March 2011. The primary outcome was VF, defined as a one-off plasma viral load of ≥400 copies/ml. The secondary outcome was ADR, defined as the presence of resistance associated mutations. Logistic regression and Fishers exact test were used to describe correlates of VF and ADR respectively.Results: Of the 232 eligible participants on ART over a median duration of 13.9 months, 57 (24.6% [95% CI: 19.2 - 30.6]) had VF. Fifty-five viraemic samples were successfully amplified and sequenced. Of these, 29 (52.7% [95% CI: 38.8 - 66.3]) had at least one ADR, with 25 samples having dual-class resistance mutations. The most prevalent ADR mutations were the M184V (n = 24), K103N/S (n = 14) and Y181C/Y/I/V (n = 8). Twenty-six of the 55 successfully amplified viraemic samples (47.3%) did not have any detectable resistance mutation. Younger age (15-34 vs. ≥35 years: adjusted odd ratios [95% CI], p-value: 0.3 [0.1-0.6], p = 0.002) and unsatisfactory adherence (<95% vs. ≥95%: 3.0 [1.5-6.5], p = 0.003) were strong correlates of VF. Younger age, unsatisfactory adherence and high viral load were also strong correlates of ADR.Conclusions: High levels of VF and ADR were observed in younger patients and those with unsatisfactory adherence. Youth-friendly ART initiatives and strengthened adherence support should be prioritized in this Coastal Kenyan setting. To prevent unnecessary/premature switches, targeted HIV drug resistance testing for patients with confirmed VF should be considered.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number9
    JournalAIDS Research and Therapy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2014

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust foundation (grant number WT089351MA). ASH and JAB were funded by Wellcome Trust fellowships (WT089351MA and WT083579MA respectively). SM and HN were employees of the KEMRI/Wellcome Trust research programme while CAO was an employee of the Kenyan Ministry of Health. EJS was funded by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative while PAC was financially supported by the Health Protection Agency, UK. TFRW was a member of the PharmAccess African studies to Evaluate Resistance (PASER), which received financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The funding bodies played no part in the design, collection, management, analysis and interpretation of data and manuscript preparation.


    • Acquired drug resistance
    • Correlates
    • HIV
    • Kenya
    • Rural
    • Virologic failure


    Dive into the research topics of 'HIV-1 virologic failure and acquired drug resistance among first-line antiretroviral experienced adults at a rural HIV clinic in coastal Kenya: A cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this