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You Take the Good, You Take the Bad'

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad'


While most research has shown that treatment interruptions can be detrimental -- including boosting risks for AIDS-related opportunistic infections and kidney, liver, and cardiovascular disease -- a recent study pinpointed a rare clinical benefit from drug holidays: improved blood lipid levels. Reporting in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, Spanish researchers say HIVers with CD4-cell counts above 600 and undetectable viral loads experienced a significant decrease in cholesterol levels as well as other blood-based biomarkers linked to cardiovascular disease after interrupting therapy. None of the HIVers studied who remained on anti-HIV medications posted lipid improvements. There was no report in the study as to whether blood-based lipid levels began to rise again -- and if so, how quickly -- after antiretroviral therapy was resumed.

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