Adverse drug effects among persons using antiretroviral therapy for HIV Disease and impact on treatment patterns

Antiretroviral drugs successfully suppress the HIV virus and reduce mortality, but many people living with HIV and AIDS cannot benefit fully from the medication due to adverse side effects. These side effects make it difficult for people to take the drugs consistently, or at all. Many side effects do not become apparent until after people have taken antiretroviral drugs for a prolonged period. Dr. Katherine Heath is establishing a monitoring system to track adverse reactions to antiretroviral drugs, identify and describe newly emerging side effects, and assess the impact of these side effects on antiretroviral use in BC. Dr. Heath-based at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, which houses the only North-American population-based database of information on people using antiretroviral drugs-hopes her research will enable early detection of trends or new side effects, lead to early intervention and ultimately improve the health of people living with HIV and AIDS.