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Effect of transmitted drug resistance on virological and immunological response to initial combination antiretroviral therapy for HIV (EuroCoord-CHAIN joint project): a European multicohort study.

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Background: The effect of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) on first-line combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for HIV-1 needs further study to inform choice of optimum drug regimens. We investigated the effect of TDR on outcome in the first year of cART within a large European collaboration.

Methods: HIV-infected patients of any age were included if they started cART (at least three antiretroviral drugs) for the first time after Jan 1, 1998, and were antiretroviral naive and had at least one sample for a genotypic test taken before the start of cART. We used the WHO drug resistance list and the Stanford algorithm to classify patients into three resistance categories: no TDR, at least one mutation and fully-active cART, or at least one mutation and resistant to at least one prescribed drug. Virological failure was defined as time to the first of two consecutive viral load measurements over 500 copies per mL after 6 months of therapy.

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