Despite effective antiretroviral therapies (ARTs), a subset of people living with HIV (PLWH) still experience low-level viremia (LLV, i.e., 50-1,000 copies/mL). The present study compared PLWH experiencing LLV with those maintaining virological suppression (VS) and explored the potential impact of preexisting drug resistance and other factors on LLV. We conducted a retrospective, 1:1 matched case-control study within a cohort of drug-experienced VS subjects from the Italian Antiviral Response Cohort Analysis database, followed in the period 2009-2019. Cases were individuals experiencing LLV, while controls were those who maintained VS. Matching was for calendar year of first ART regimen. Preexisting drug resistance was calculated as cumulative genotypic susceptibility score (GSS) according to regimen administered at the observational period start. To explore the effect of cumulative GSS, treated as a binary variable (& GE;2 and <2) and other factors on LLV, we performed a logistic regression analysis. Within a main population of 3,455 PLWH, 337 cases were selected. Cases were comparable to the controls for both gender and age. However, cases showed that they had experienced a longer time since HIV diagnosis, a higher number of drugs previously administered, lower baseline CD4(+) T cell count and a higher zenith viral load (VL). By multivariate analysis, we found that higher zenith VL [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) (95% confidence interval [CI]) 1.30 (1.14-1.48)], a cumulative usage of both PI [aOR (95% CI): 2.03 (1.19-3.48)] and InSTI [aOR (95% CI): 2.23 (1.47-3.38)] and a cumulative GSS <2 [aOR (95% CI) 0.67 (0.46-0.98)], were associated with a higher risk in developing LLV. In current high-efficacy ART era, in drug-experienced PLWH, the predictors of increased risk of LLV were the presence of preexisting drug resistance, higher zenith VL, and previous PI, and InSTI exposure.
Factors Associated with Low-Level Viremia in People Living with HIV in the Italian Antiviral Response Cohort Analysis Cohort: A Case-Control Study / Lombardi, F.; Bruzzesi, E.; Bouba, Y. R.; Di Carlo, D.; Costabile, V.; Ranzenigo, M.; Maggiolo, F.; Castagna, A.; Callegaro, A. P.; Zoncada, A.; Paolucci, S.; Micheli, V.; Renica, S.; Bezencheck, A.; Rossetti, B.; Santoro, M. M.. - In: AIDS RESEARCH AND HUMAN RETROVIRUSES. - ISSN 0889-2229. - (2023). [10.1089/aid.2023.0015]