Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 21218279
AIDS Care 2011 Jan;23(1):75-8
In sub-Saharan Africa, while antiretroviral therapy (ART) becomes widely available, access to biological measurements to monitor patients under ART remains scarce, making the management of ART difficult. We described the management of switching to second-line ART where HIV care is provided mainly in secondary health-care structures, in the region of Segou, Mali. Of 865 patients, followed under ART for a median time of 15 months, 40 switched to second-line ART (3.3 switches/100 person years). Reason for switching was failure in 18 patients (after 21 months in median) and severe intolerance in 13 (after three months in median). Switching to second-line ART occurred earlier when motivated by intolerance than by failure. The low rate of switch compares well with other studies, but was low compared to the expected rate of failure, and may indicate that physicians are reluctant to switch ART when treatment options are limited.