BY HIV Plus Editors
March 01 2009 1:00 AM ET
Managing cholesterol is important for HIVers taking anti'retroviral medications, and many use lipid-lowering statin drugs to help keep blood-fat levels in check. But a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases indicates that Zetia, a medication that blocks cholesterol absorption in the intestines rather than affecting cholesterol production in the liver as other statins do, might be a beneficial alternative. Zetia (ezetimibe) was shown to lower LDL, or 'bad,' cholesterol by nearly 11% while maintaining 'good' HDL cholesterol. And because the drug doesn't affect liver functions, researchers say, there was no evidence of liver irregularities or damage as a side effect of treatment.