Edsel Maurice T. Salvana, Genesis May J. Samonte, Elizabeth Telan, Lalaine Arcangel, Noel S. Palaypayon, Brian E. Schwem

The Philippines has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the Asia-Pacific. This increase was accompanied by a shift in the predominant HIV subtype from B to CRF01_AE. Increasing evidence points to a difference in treatment responses between subtypes. We examined treatment failure and acquired drug resistance (ADR) in people living with HIV (PLHIVs) after one year on antiretrovirals (ARVs).

PLHIV maintained on ARVs for one year were recruited. Treatment failure was defined as a viral load of ≥1000 copies/mL. Sanger sequencing for genotyping and drug resistance mutation (DRM) detection was performed on patients failing treatment.

513 PLHIV were enrolled. The most common antiretroviral regimens were TDF+3TC + EFV (269) and AZT+3TC + EFV (155). 53 (10.3%) subjects failed treatment. Among these, 48 (90.6%) had DRMs, 84.9% were subtype CRF01_AE. Tenofovir-based regimens performed worse than zidovudine-based regimens (OR 3.28, 95% CI 1.58–7.52 p < 0.001). Higher rates of NRTI, NNRTI, K65R tenofovir resistance, and multi-class resistance were found compared to those reported in literature.

HIV treatment failure at one year of treatment in the Philippines is 10.3%. We found unusually high tenofovir and multiclass resistance, and optimal ARV regimens may need to be reevaluated for CRF01_AE-predominant epidemics.

HIV; Philippines; Drug resistance; K65R

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