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Severe Side Effects Are More Likely Than AIDS

Severe Side Effects Are More Likely Than AIDS


HIV-positive adults taking antiretroviral medications are more likely to develop serious or life-threatening complications as side effects of the medications than develop an AIDS-related opportunistic infection, researchers reported in the December 1 edition of Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Clinical data from nearly 3,000 participants in five highly active antiretroviral therapy trials were examined. A severe medication-related side effect was reported by 665 of the patients, compared with 332 who developed an AIDS-defining condition and 272 who died. Of the patients who died, more than 58% reported both serious drug side effects and an opportunistic infection. Liver-related complications were the most commonly reported side effect, particularly among patients coinfected with hepatitis B or C, while cardiovascular events carried the highest risk of death.

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