Patients are randomized to initiate antiretroviral therapy in 1 of 3 treatment groups. Within each group they are stratified based on HIV-1 plasma RNA levels.
Group 1: Patients receive 3TC/ABC/d4T; Group 2: Patients receive 3TC/ABC/EFV; and Group 3: Patients receive 3TC/ABC/APV/RTV.
Treatment continues for 96 weeks. Blood samples are collected to measure plasma HIV RNA and CD4 counts and patients are assessed regularly. In the event of incomplete viral suppression or virologic failure, patients will be switched to secondary therapy.