Clinical Trials


A Study to Compare the Effectiveness of Different Anti-HIV Drug Regimens in Keeping Levels of HIV in the Blood as Low as Possible

This study has been completed
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Information provided by (Responsible Party)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Identifier

First received: November 2, 1999
Last updated: May 17, 2012
Last Verified: May 2012
History of Changes


This study will look at different anti-HIV drug regimens to see which works best to keep the level of HIV (viral load) in the blood as low as possible during maintenance therapy. You will be assigned randomly (like tossing a coin) to 1 of 3 groups:

Group 1: Didanosine plus stavudine plus hydroxyurea (ddI/d4T/HU). Group 2: Didanosine plus stavudine plus efavirenz (ddI/d4T/EFV). Group 3: This group of patients will remain on their current drug regimens. This study will last approximately 3 years; you will receive study medications for the duration of the study.

Anti-HIV drug regimens that include protease inhibitors (PIs) are very good at lowering viral load. However, some patients have a rise in HIV levels while on PI maintenance. It may be possible to keep HIV levels low using another class of drugs for maintenance that are easier to take and less expensive than PIs. If viral load increases while a patient is taking this second group of drugs, it may be possible to restart the PI drug regimen and again decrease HIV levels.

Condition Intervention Phase
HIV Infections

Drug : Hydroxyurea
Drug : Efavirenz
Drug : Stavudine
Drug : Didanosine
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Phase II Randomized, Open-Label Study of Maintenance of HIV RNA Suppression After Switching to ddI/d4T/HU vs. ddI/d4T/EFV vs. Continuing the Pre-Entry Protease Inhibitor Regimen

Further study details as provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

Enrollment: 150
Study Completion Date: January 2000

Detailed Description:

Combination antiretroviral therapies using protease inhibitors (PIs) are capable of suppressing plasma HIV RNA to undetectable levels. However, approximately 10% of patients who achieve undetectable viral loads will experience a detectable rise in HIV RNA each year. When HIV replication has been suppressed to very low levels, it may be possible to consolidate antiretroviral therapy into a simpler and potentially less toxic "maintenance" regimen without a PI. Such a regimen would ideally be potent enough to continue to maintain viral suppression but use agents that are better tolerated, more easily salvaged, less expensive, and/or more convenient than PI-containing regimens. Subsequent rises in HIV viremia with non-PI maintenance regimens may respond to resumption of the pre-maintenance PI-containing regimen, extending the use of the potent PI class.
Patients are randomized 1:1:1 to treatment with ddI/d4T/HU (Arm A) versus ddI/d4T/EFV (Arm B) versus continuation of the pre-entry PI-containing regimen (Arm C). Viral load is measured at Weeks 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24, then every 8 weeks for up to 3 years. Upon virologic failure (plasma HIV RNA greater than or equal to 200 copies/ml), or drug intolerance, patients on the maintenance regimens (Arms A and B) restart their pre-entry PI-containing regimen. Patients on Arm C are managed according to best medical judgment of their primary care provider in the event of virologic failure.



Ages Eligible for Study: 13 Years and older  
Sexes Eligible for Study: All  
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No  


Inclusion Criteria
You may be eligible for this study if you:

  • Are at least 13 years old (need consent if under 18).
  • Are HIV-positive.
  • Are taking your first anti-HIV drug regimen, which must include a PI and at least one NRTI (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor) and have been on this regimen for at least 12 months.
  • Have a viral load less than 400 copies/ml for at least 12 months prior to study entry, and have a viral load less than 50 copies/ml within 60 days of study entry.
  • Have a CD4 cell count of at least 200 cells/mm3 within 60 days of study entry.
  • Are willing to go back on the drugs you are currently on, if necessary.
  • Are willing to use effective methods of birth control during the study and for 3 months after.

  • Exclusion Criteria
    You will not be eligible for this study if you:
  • Have taken ddI, d4T, or HU for more than 2 weeks.
  • Have taken any NNRTI (non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor) for more than 7 days.
  • Have ever taken EFV.
  • Have received an HIV vaccine within 30 days prior to study entry.
  • Have an AIDS-related cancer that requires chemotherapy.
  • Have or have had pancreatic disease.
  • Are being treated for a significant illness.
  • Abuse drugs or alcohol.
  • Are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Are allergic to any study drugs.
  • Have received certain medications.

contacts and locations

Contacts and Locations

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision.Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below.For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00000939


United States, California
Willow Clinic
Menlo Park, California, United States, 94025
Santa Clara Valley Med Ctr / AIDS Community Rsch Consortium
San Jose, California, United States, 951282699
San Mateo AIDS Program / Stanford Univ
Stanford, California, United States, 943055107
Stanford Univ Med Ctr
Stanford, California, United States, 943055107
United States, Florida
Univ of Miami School of Medicine
Miami, Florida, United States, 331361013
United States, Indiana
Indiana Univ Hosp
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 462025250
Division of Inf Diseases/ Indiana Univ Hosp
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46202
Methodist Hosp of Indiana / Life Care Clinic
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46202
United States, Massachusetts
Harvard (Massachusetts Gen Hosp)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
Beth Israel Deaconess - West Campus
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02215
United States, New York
Beth Israel Med Ctr
New York, New York, United States, 10003
Bellevue Hosp / New York Univ Med Ctr
New York, New York, United States, 10016
Chelsea Ctr
New York, New York, United States, 10021
Cornell Univ Med Ctr
New York, New York, United States, 10021
Univ of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York, United States, 14642
United States, North Carolina
Univ of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States, 275997215
United States, Ohio
Univ of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, 452670405
Ohio State Univ Hosp Clinic
Columbus, Ohio, United States, 432101228
United States, Pennsylvania
Univ of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104

Sponsors and Collaborators

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


Study Chair: David Wohl
Study Chair: Joe Eron
Study Chair: Roy Gulick
More Information

More Information

Responsible Party: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Identifier: NCT00000939   History of Changes  
Other Study ID Numbers: A5039  
  ACTG A5039  
Study First Received: November 2, 1999  
Last Updated: May 17, 2012  

Keywords provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

Drug Therapy, Combination
HIV Protease Inhibitors
RNA, Viral
Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Anti-HIV Agents
Viral Load

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
HIV Infections
Protease Inhibitors processed this data on March 27, 2020
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