Trend of HIV-1 drug resistance in China: A systematic review and meta-analysis of data accumulated over 17 years (2001-2017)


Background: The emergence and spread of HIV-1 drug resistance may compromise HIV control globally. In response to HIV/AIDS epidemic, China launched national HIV/AIDS treatment program in 2003, and started to accumulate drug resistance data since 2001. In this study we aimed to assess the level, trend and distribution of HIV-1 drug resistance during a period of 17 years from 2001 to 2017, and to characterize crucial drug resistance mutations. Methods: We systematically reviewed 4737 studies published between January 1, 2001 and March 31, 2019 in PubMed, Embase, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), WanFang Database, Web of Science, conference abstracts from the Chinese Medical Association and the Chinese AIDS Academic Conferences, and selected 170 studies that met our study criteria. To assess the prevalence of drug resistance in whole country or a local region, we performed pooled analyses of raw data. The transformed proportions were pooled using the inverse variance fixed effects methods or the DerSimonian-Laired random effects methods. The temporal trend of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) was determined using generalized additive model implemented in the Mgcv version 1.8 package. HIV-1 genotypic resistance was analyzed using the Stanford HIVdb algorithm. Findings: We assembled 218 datasets from 170 selected studies (129 in Chinese and 41 in English), covering 21,451 ART-naive and 30,475 ART-treated individuals with HIV-1 infection. The pooled prevalence of TDR was 3.0% (95%CI: 2.8-3.2), including 0.7% (95%CI: 0.4-1.0), 1.4% (95%CI: 1.3-1.6) and 0.5% (95%CI: 0.4-0.6) for nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI), non-NRTI (NNRTI) and protease inhibitor (PI) resistance, respectively. The acquired drug resistance (ADR) prevalence was 44.7% (95%CI: 39.3-50.2), including 31.4% (95%CI: 28.2-34.6), 39.5% (95%CI: 35.6-43.5) and 1.0% (95%CI: 0.8-1.2) for NRTI, NNRTI and PI resistance, respectively. TDR and ADR prevalence had characteristic regional patterns. The worst prevalence of drug resistance occurred in Central China, and higher ADR prevalence occurred in South China than North China. TDR in whole country has risen since 2012, and this rise was driven mainly by NNRTI resistance. One NRTI-associated (M184V/I) and three NNRTI-associated (K103N/S, Y181C/I and G190A/S) mutations had high percentages in ART-naive and ART-treated individuals, and these mutations conferred high-level resistance to 3TC, EFV and/or NVP. Interpretation: These findings suggest that the current available first-line ART regimens containing 3TC and/or EFV or NVP need to be revised. In addition, scale-up of multiple viral load measurements per year and drug resistance testing prior to ART initiation are recommended. Furthermore, implementation of pre-treatment education and counseling to improve patient adherence to ART is encouraged. Funding: This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81672033, U1302224, and 81271888) and Open Research Fund Program of the State Key Laboratory of Virology of China (2019IOV002)


Zuo L, Liu K, Liu H, Hu Y, Zhang Z, Qin J, Xu Q, Peng K, Jin X, Wang JH, Zhang C




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment


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