Study of Viral Load Decay Rates in HIV Infected Participants Starting Treatment With Raltegravir (RAL) and Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (TDF)


The HIV integrase inhibitor, raltegravir (RAL), which was recently approved by the FDA, has been shown in several trials to be highly effective. The purpose of this trial is to estimate the viral load decay rate in treatment-naive HIV infected participants receiving RAL and emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC/TDF).

Full Title of Study: “First-Phase Viral Decay Rates in Treatment-Naive Subjects Initiating Treatment With Raltegravir (RAL) and Emtricitabine (FTC)/Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (TDF): A Pilot Study”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: January 2009

Detailed Description

Recent data suggests that early virologic response to HIV interventions may be predictive of long-term virologic outcomes. Defining early decay in viral load through carefully performed studies of viral dynamics may be a useful tool for assessing the likely outcome of long-term treatment. It may also be a useful screening tool to define which combinations should be studied further. In this trial, the viral load decay rate will be estimated in HIV infected, treatment-naive participants receiving RAL and FTC/TDF.

This study will last approximately 72 weeks. All participants will take RAL and FTC/TDF for 72 weeks. RAL will be provided by the study. FTC/TDF will not be provided.

This study will consist of 16 study visits. These visits will occur at study entry, Days 2, 7, 10, 14, 21, 28, and 56, and Weeks 12, 16, 20, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72. Blood collection and pharmacokinetic studies will occur at all study visits. Self-reported adherence assessments will be submitted at each visit. A targeted physical exam will occur at most visits. Liver function tests and urine collection will occur at select visits. Pregnancy tests will occur whenever pregnancy is suspected.


  • Drug: Raltegravir
    • 400 mg tablet taken orally twice daily
  • Drug: Emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
    • Fixed dose tablet containing 200 mg emtricitabine and 300 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate taken once daily. FTC/TDF will not be provided by the study and must be obtained by the particpant’s health care provider.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: 1
    • Oral RAL and FTC/TDF for 72 weeks

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Viral load decay rates
    • Time Frame: Through Day 56

Secondary Measures

  • Viral load decay rates
    • Time Frame: From Weeks 24 to 72
  • Proportion of participants with a viral load less than 50 copies/ml
    • Time Frame: At Weeks 24, 48, and 72
  • Safety and tolerability. More information on this criterion can be found in the protocol.
    • Time Frame: Throughout study
  • CD4 and CD8 count
    • Time Frame: Throughout study
  • Resistance mutations to RAL, FTC, and TDF
    • Time Frame: Throughout study
  • Minimum concentration (Cmin) for RAL, FTC, and TDF
    • Time Frame: Throughout study
  • Changes in viral load
    • Time Frame: At Day 7
  • Self-reported adherence
    • Time Frame: Throughout study
  • Cell-associated proviral DNA, LTR circular DNA, and integrated proviral DNA
    • Time Frame: Throughout study
  • Viral load
    • Time Frame: From Week 24 to Week 72

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • HIV infected
  • Antiretroviral treatment naive
  • Viral load at least 10,000 and less than 300,000 copies/ml within 42 days prior to study entry
  • Agree to use appropriate form of contraception. More information on this criterion can be found in the protocol.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Received HIV-specific immunizations within 6 months prior to study entry
  • Received immunizations within 6 months prior to study entry
  • Known allergy or sensitivity to study drugs
  • Any participant with an acute AIDS-defining opportunistic infection (OI) who is not clinically stable or who has not been on therapy for the OI for at least 30 days prior to study entry
  • Treatment with immune modulators or any investigational therapy within 30 days prior to study entry
  • Evidence of HIV seroconversion within 6 months prior to study entry
  • Illness requiring systemic treatment and/or hospitalization
  • Substance abuse that, in the opinion of the investigator, would interfere with adherence to study requirements
  • Requirement for any current medications that are prohibited with any study medication. More information on this criterion can be found in the protocol.
  • Evidence of any major resistance-associated mutation on any genotype performed prior to study entry or at the time of screening. More information on this criterion can be found in the protocol.
  • Abnormal laboratory values. More information on this criterion can be found in the protocol.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
  • Collaborator
    • Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Adriana Andrade, MD, MPH, Study Chair, Johns Hopkins University


Evering TH, Markowitz M. Raltegravir: an integrase inhibitor for HIV-1. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2008 Mar;17(3):413-22. doi: 10.1517/13543784.17.3.413 . Review.

Sedaghat AR, Dinoso JB, Shen L, Wilke CO, Siliciano RF. Decay dynamics of HIV-1 depend on the inhibited stages of the viral life cycle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 25;105(12):4832-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0711372105. Epub 2008 Mar 24.

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