We evaluated whether maintenance therapy with atazanavir/ritonavir plus lamivudine (ATV/r + 3TC) was non-inferior to ATV/r plus two nucleosides (ATV/r + 2NUCs) at 96 weeks of follow-up.
SALT is a multicentre, open-label, non-inferiority clinical trial in HIV-1-infected virologically suppressed patients. Hepatitis B virus surface antigen-negative subjects with no previous treatment failure/resistance mutations and HIV-1-RNA <50 copies/mL for ≥6 months were randomized (1 : 1) to ATV/r + 3TC or ATV/r + 2NUCs. The primary endpoint was HIV-1-RNA <50 copies/mL in the PP population. Non-inferiority was demonstrated if the lower bound of the 95% CI for the difference was not below -12%. RESULTS
Some 286 patients were analysed. At week 96, 74.4% had HIV-1-RNA <50 copies/mL in the ATV/r + 3TC arm versus 73.9% in the ATV/r + 2NUCs arm (95% CI for the difference, -9.9%-11.0%). In both groups, similar values were observed for patients with confirmed virological failure in ATV/r + 3TC versus ATV/r + 2NUCs (9 versus 5), death (1 versus 0), discontinuation due to ART-related toxicity (7 versus 11), withdrawal from the study (7 versus 9) and loss to follow-up (6 versus 6). One patient taking ATV/r + 2NUCs developed resistance mutations (M184V and L63P). Similar values were obtained for change in mean CD4 count [19 versus 18 cells/mm(3) (95% CI for the difference, -49.3-50.7), grade 3-4 adverse events (70.7% versus 70.2%) and changes in the global deficit score, -0.3 (95% CI, -0.5 to -0.1) for ATV/r + 3TC, versus -0.2 (95% CI, -0.4 to -0.1) for ATV/r + 2NUCs]. CONCLUSIONS
The long-term results of switching to ATV/r + 3TC show that this strategy is effective, safe and non-inferior to ATV + 2NUCs in virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients.