HIV-positive individuals who switched from a standard three-drug antiretroviral (ARV) regimen to a two-drug combination of a boosted protease inhibitor and Epivir (lamivudine) did well in a recent trial, aidsmap reports.

Researchers from the ATLAS-M study presented their findings at the International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection (HIV Glasgow). The multi-center, open-label randomized study ran for 96 weeks in Italy and included 266 people living with HIV. The participants were required to be on stable ARV treatment with a viral load below 50 for at least three months and to have a CD4 count above 200 for at least six months.

The participants started the study taking Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir) plus two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. They were randomized to stay on their initial regimen or to switch to dual therapy: boosted Reyataz plus Epivir. Seventy-eight percent of those in the two-drug arm and 83.5 percent of those in the triple-drug arm took Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, or TDF) before the study’s randomization.

After 48 weeks of treatment, a respective 89.5 percent and 79.7 percent of those in the dual and triple therapy arms had not failed treatment. (In addition to experiencing a detectable viral load, participants were considered to have failed treatment if they stopped it for any reason.) At 96 weeks, these respective figures were 77.4 percent and 65.4 percent.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.