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Evaluation of Rational Use of Antiretrovirals before the Dolutegravir Transition in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Erick N. Kamangu, Ben I. Bulanda, Idriss M. Mwanaut, Simplice K. Makoka, Gauthier K. Mesia

Abstract: Background: The ultimate goal of AntiRetroViral Treatments (ART) is to achieve complete immune restoration and lasting viral suppression in the infected patient. In order to ensure the efficacy, safety and accessibility of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), it is recommended that they should be prescribed according to national guidelines; which are evolving with the various recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the arrival of newer, more effective and safer molecules. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the rational use of Antiretrovirals in patients treated in Kinshasa before the use of Dolutegravir within the national program in order to assess the correct use of these molecules. Methods: This work is a descriptive cross-sectional study to assess the rational use of first-line ARVs among People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in different Centers of Treatment (ATCs) in Kinshasa before the introduction of Dolutegravir. The records of patients on ARVs were randomly and rationally selected in 12 different ATCs for HIV in Kinshasa according to three centers per district in the period from June to September 2018. Information on use and consumption of ARVs, compliance with guidelines, change of therapeutic combination as well as their reasons were consulted for the present study. Results: 507 files of PLHIV were collected in the various ATCs. 274 (54.1%) were from female patients. The most represented age group was 26 to 35 years with 192 patients (37.9%). The mean duration of first-line treatment for all patients included was 16.30 ± 5.85 months. The most widely used combination of ARVs overall was TDF + 3TC + EFV at 45.4%. 305 (60.2%) PLHIV kept the same first-line treatment molecule throughout the treatment period with an average treatment duration of 12.9 ± 2.77 months. The most common combination found in this population was TDF + 3TC + EFV (69.2%). 202 (39.8%) PLHIV changed treatment molecule yet respecting the first-line combinations. The average duration of treatment for those who changed molecules was 21.43 ± 7.25 months. Before the change, 112 (55.5%) of these patients were using the ZDV + 3TC + EFV combination. After switching, 105 (52%) of the patients used the TDF + 3TC + NVP combination. The first reason for changing molecules was its unavailability (53.3%) in the ATCs. Conclusion: Although some banned molecules are still available in some treatment centers, the guidelines on first-line treatments are respected in different centers in Kinshasa.
Keywords: Rational Use / ARVs / Dolutegravir / Kinshasa

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