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Open Forum Infectious Diseases

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BACKGROUND: People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and substance use disorder (PWH/SUD) are at higher risk of nonadherence to antiretroviral therapy. Bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (B/F/TAF) exhibits high rates of efficacy with a favorable adverse event profile. The BASE study (NCT03998176) is a phase 4, single-arm study evaluating the effectiveness and safety of B/F/TAF among PWH/SUD.

METHODS: Viremic (HIV RNA >1000 copies/mL) PWH/SUD initiated B/F/TAF once daily for 48 weeks (W). The primary endpoint was proportion of participants with HIV RNA/mL at W24. Secondary endpoints were proportion of participants with HIV-1 RNA/mL at W48, safety, B/F/TAF adherence (dried blood spot [DBS] concentrations of emtricitabine triphosphate and tenofovir diphosphate [TFV-DP]), substance use (NIDA-ASSIST), and quality of life (SF-12).

RESULTS: Forty-three participants were enrolled; 95% reported methamphetamine use. Median age was 38 (range, 21-62) years; 21% were female, 81% White, 14% Black, and 16% Hispanic. Thirty-two (74%) and 21 (49%) participants had HIV RNA/mL (intention-to-treat) at W24 and W48, respectively. Seven participants (16%) experienced confirmed virologic failure through W48; 1 developed emergent drug resistance (M184V). Fifteen participants (35%) experienced grade ≥3 adverse events. Five participants (12%) reported suicidal ideation; none resulted in discontinuation. Median DBS concentrations were representative of 5-6 doses/week (TFV-DP, 1603 fmol/punches). NIDA-ASSIST scores declined from baseline to W48 with methamphetamine use decreasing most (-7.9 points; -29%), and SF-12 physical/mental scores increased 1.2 and 7.6 points, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: B/F/TAF among a high-risk population of PWH/SUD resulted in an initial 72% viral suppression rate at W24 before dropping to 49% at W48 as retention declined. One participant developed emergent drug resistance (M184V).