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Evaluation of subcutaneous proleukin (Interleukin-2) in a randomized international trial (ESPRIT): Geographical and gender differences in the baseline characteristics of participants

Abstract

Background: ESPRIT, is a phase III, open-label, randomized, international clinical trial evaluating the effects of subcutaneous recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2) plus antiretroviral therapy (ART) versus ART alone on HIV-disease progression and death in HIV-1-infected individuals with CD4+ T-cells ≥300 cells/μL. Objectives: To describe the baseline characteristics of participants randomized to ESPRIT overall and by geographic location. Method: Baseline characteristics of randomized participants were summarized by region. Results: 4,150 patients were enrolled in ESPRIT from 254 sites in 25 countries. 41%, 27%, 16%, 11%, and 5% were enrolled in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia, respectively. The median age was 40 years, 81% were men, and 76%, 11%, and 9% were Caucasian, Asian, and African American or African, respectively. 44% of women enrolled (n = 769) were enrolled in Thailand and Argentina. Overall, 55% and 38% of the cohort acquired HIV through male homosexual and heterosexual contact, respectively. 25% had a prior history of AIDS-defining illness; Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, M. tuberculosis, and esophageal candida were most commonly reported. Median nadir and baseline CD4+ T-cell counts were 199 and 458 cells/μL, respectively. 6% and 13% were hepatitis B or C virus coinfected, respectively. Median duration of antiretroviral therapy (ART) was 4.2 years; the longest median duration was in Australia (5.2 years) and the shortest was in Asia (2.3 years). 17%, 13%, and 69% of participants began ART before 1995, between 1996 and 1997, and from 1998 onward, respectively. 86% used ART from two or more ART classes, with 49% using a protease inhibitor-based regimen and 46% using a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based regimen. 78% had plasma HIV RNA below detection (<500 cp/mL). Conclusion: ESPRIT has enrolled a diverse population of HIV-infected individuals including large populations of women and patients of African-American/African and Asian ethnicity often underrepresented in HIV research. As a consequence, the results of the study may have wide global applicability

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