by Pasipanodya B, Kuwengwa R, Prust ML, Stewart B, Chakanyuka C, Murimwa T, Brophy J, Salami O, Mushavi A, Apollo T. Journal of the International AIDS Society 2018, 21(12): e25214. doi: 10.1002/jia2.25214
Summary: Recent improvements in antiretroviral (ART) coverage have been greater in adults than in children, partly due to a lack of well‐formulated and tolerable medicines adapted for children across the age spectrum. Heat‐stable lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) oral pellets were developed to overcome administration and storage challenges experienced with the previously available tablet and syrup forms prescribed to paediatric patients. The authors report on the adoption of these pellets for infants living with HIV in the public sector ART programme in Zimbabwe. A large proportion of caregivers preferred pellets to other formulations and reported a good response; however, they also reported challenges with administration, highlighting the need for improved drug formulations for paediatric ART patients. Counselling should focus on ensuring that caregivers can confidently administer pellets and are able to instruct others, to ensure high uptake and good adherence to treatment.