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Adherence and Drug Resistance

People infected with HIV who take antiretroviral treatments sometimes find it difficult to adhere to their drug regimens. This can be caused by the complexity of having to take several drugs each day or the unpleasant side effects that may result from some medicines, such as nausea and vomiting. However, when patients fail to take their medicines, HIV has an opportunity to create more variations of itself, including strains that are resistant to antiretroviral drugs. Therefore, it is important for people to continue taking their medicines as prescribed by their healthcare providers.

Paradoxes of adherence and drug resistance to HIV antiretroviral therapy.

Public health debates about providing HIV antiretroviral therapy to impoverished populations have centred on the relationship between adherence and risk of drug resistance.
Recent data indicate that each antiretroviral therapeutic class has a unique adherence-resistance relationship. Resistance to single protease inhibitor therapy occurs most frequently at moderate to high levels of adherence, resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor therapy occurs at low to moderate levels of adherence, and resistance to ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor therapy is most likely to occur at middle ranges of adherence.
These dynamic relationships should be considered in balancing the individual and public health benefits of therapy.
See PubMed

Information published courtesy of NIAID

This article was last modified in: 06/18/2012