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Long-Term Effects of HAART in Youth With Stronger Immune Systems Versus Youth With Weaker Immune Systems

This study has been completed.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Information provided by:
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Identifier:
First received: November 2, 1999
Last updated: April 23, 2010
Last verified: November 2005

The purpose of this study is to see if children and young adults with better immune systems before starting highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) do better than those who have weaker immune systems before starting HAART.

HIV infection weakens the immune system's ability to fight other infections and diseases. HAART is a type of anti-HIV therapy shown to improve the immune system of adults. However, not all patients show the same amount of improvement with HAART. Doctors believe that results may depend on how strong a patient's immune system is before starting HAART. Long-term effects of HAART in children and young adults have not yet been studied.

HIV Infections

Study Type: Observational
Official Title: Establishment and Maintenance of Long-Term Undetectable Plasma HIV-1 RNA: Correlation With Immunologic Reconstitution and Viral Dynamics

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

Estimated Enrollment: 120
Study Start Date: December 1997
Detailed Description:

Recent adult clinical trials involving combination HAART, including a protease inhibitor (PI), have demonstrated improvements in somatic immune system functioning. [AS PER AMENDMENT 2/27/01: More recently, similar success has been demonstrated with a PI-sparing regimen, zidovudine, lamivudine, and efavirenz.] Not all individuals, however, experience the same level of immune reconstitution, and oftentimes any improvement is short-lived. Adolescent patients may have a greater potential for immune restoration because of residual thymic tissue and therefore may experience greater long-term virus-free states as compared to adult patients. This study examines the duration of virologic efficacy HAART has on the adolescent HIV-positive population.

Patients begin study by initiating a HAART regimen of a minimum of 3 drugs, at least 1 of which must be a PI [AS PER AMENDMENT 2/27/01: or efavirenz (EFV)]. A variety of drug combinations are used; therefore, patients are grouped according to the classes of drugs in their respective regimen (e.g., 2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors [NRTIs] plus 1 PI; 2 NRTIs plus 2 PIs; 1 or 2 NRTIs plus 1 PI plus 1 nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor [NNRTI] [AS PER AMENDMENT 2/27/01: ; and 2 NRTIs plus EFV]). At the time of HAART initiation, patients undergo immunologic and virologic assessments in order to determine baseline values. Then, to determine the virologic success or failure of HAART, HIV-1 RNA measurements are taken and compared to initial baseline values. Virologic success equals undetectable HIV-1 RNA at Week 12 [AS PER AMENDMENT 2/27/01: and confirmed at Week 16] or a significant (greater than 1 log) decrease in HIV-1 RNA from baseline to Week 12 [AS PER AMENDMENT 2/27/01: and confirmed undetectable HIV-1 RNA before the next scheduled visit (Week 24)]. Patients are followed for a minimum of 3 years of maintained viral suppression or until they have demonstrated virologic failure. From these values, any correlation that may exist between HIV-1 RNA values and HAART can be deduced. Patients with virologic failure on the initial HAART regimen may be allowed to change to a second HAART regimen. [AS PER AMENDMENT 2/27/01: Patients with virologic success on the second HAART regimen are followed for a minimum of 3 years.] Patients with virologic failure on the second HAART regimen or who voluntarily discontinue HAART are followed using an abbreviated schedule for 3 years.


Ages Eligible for Study:   8 Years to 22 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria

Children may be eligible for this study if they:

  • Are HIV-positive.
  • Are between 8 and 22 years old (consent of parent or guardian required if under 18).
  • Have detectable levels of HIV in the blood within 30 days prior to study entry.
  • Expect to be on the study for at least 1 year. (This study has been changed by adding this requirement.)
  • Are pregnant and are not taking didanosine/stavudine (ddI/d4T) or EFV as part of their HAART regimen. (This study has been changed so that pregnant patients may be eligible if they are not taking ddI/d4T or EFV.)

Exclusion Criteria

Children will not be eligible for this study if they:

  • Are taking HAART or more than 1 anti-HIV drug.
  • Were infected with HIV before birth, at the time of delivery, or by a blood transfusion during birth.
  • Have taken part in the study before.
  • Have not responded well to HAART in the past.
  • Have taken drugs to boost the immune system such as HIV vaccines, IVIG, or cytokine therapy.
  • Have AIDS-related (opportunistic) infection at the time of screening. (This study has been changed so that patients with an AIDS-related infection are ineligible.)
  • Are pregnant and are taking ddI/d4T or EFV as part of their HAART regimen. (This study has been changed so that pregnant patients are ineligible if they are taking ddI/d4T or EFV.)
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00001097

  Show 46 Study Locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Study Chair: Patricia Flynn
  More Information

Flynn P, Douglas S, Rudy B, Lathey J, Lindsey J, Wang Y. Establishment and maintenance of long-term undetectable plasma HIV-1 RNA: correlation with immunologic reconstitution and viral dynamics. 8th Conf Retro and Opportun Infect. 2001 Feb 4-8 (abstract no 692) Identifier: NCT00001097     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: ACTG 381
Study First Received: November 2, 1999
Last Updated: April 23, 2010

Keywords provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):
Drug Therapy, Combination
HIV Protease Inhibitors
Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Anti-HIV Agents

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
HIV Infections
Lentivirus Infections
Retroviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Immune System Diseases processed this record on May 25, 2017