Background: The protease inhibitor darunavir has been shown to be efficacious in highly treatment-experienced patients with HIV infection, but needs to be assessed in patients with a broader range of treatment experience. We did a randomised, controlled, phase III trial (TITAN) to compare 48-week efficacy and safety of darunavir-ritonavir with that of lopinavir-ritonavir in treatment-experienced, lopinavir-naive patients. Methods: Patients received optimised background regimen plus non-blinded treatment with darunavir-ritonavir 600/100 mg twice daily or lopinavir-ritonavir 400/100 mg twice daily. The primary endpoint was non-inferiority (95% CI lower limit for the difference in treatment response -12% or greater) for HIV RNA of less than 400 copies per mL in plasma at week 48 (per-protocol analysis). TITAN (TMC114-C214) is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00110877. Findings: Of 595 patients randomised and treated, 187 (31%) were protease inhibitor naive; 476 of 582 (82%) were susceptible to four or more protease inhibitors. At week 48, significantly more darunavir-ritonavir than lopinavir-ritonavir patients had HIV RNA of less than 400 copies per mL (77% [220 of 286] vs 68% [199 of 293]; estimated difference 9%, 95% CI 2-16). Fewer virological failures treated with darunavir-ritonavir than with lopinavir-ritonavir developed primary protease inhibitor mutations (21% [n=6] vs 36% [n=20]) and nucleoside analogue-associated mutations (14% [n=4] vs 27% [n=15]). Safety data were generally similar between the groups; grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred in 80 (27%) darunavir-ritonavir and 89 (30%) lopinavir-ritonavir patients. Interpretation: In lopinavir-naive, treatment-experienced patients, darunavir-ritonavir was non-inferior to lopinavir-ritonavir treatment in terms of our virological endpoint, and should therefore be considered as a treatment option for this population.
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