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What should you do if you have side effects while taking antiretroviral (ARV) in your treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)?

ANSWER

Antiretroviral, or anti-HIV drugs, are usually well tolerated. But if you get side effects like rashes, loss or gain of body fat, and high cholesterol, call your doctor before you stop taking the medication. There may be a way to treat the symptoms without quitting the life-saving antiretroviral drugs.

SOURCES:

CDC.

National HIV Testing Resources.

FDA: "FDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Home Use HIV Test Kit," "FDA approves first rapid diagnostic test to detect both HIV-1 antigen and HIV-1/2 antibodies."

Home Access Health Corporation: “The Home Access HIV-1 Test System."

Patel, P. , May 2012. Journal of Clinical Virology

Alere, Inc.: The Alere Determine HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo.

Abbott: Architect HIV Antigen/Antibody Combo.

Bio-Rad Laboratories: GS HIV Combo Ag/Ab EIA.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: Screening."

AIDS.gov: "Overview of HIV Treatments."

AIDSinfo: "Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents," July 14, 2016.

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan on June 23, 2019

SOURCES:

CDC.

National HIV Testing Resources.

FDA: "FDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Home Use HIV Test Kit," "FDA approves first rapid diagnostic test to detect both HIV-1 antigen and HIV-1/2 antibodies."

Home Access Health Corporation: “The Home Access HIV-1 Test System."

Patel, P. , May 2012. Journal of Clinical Virology

Alere, Inc.: The Alere Determine HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo.

Abbott: Architect HIV Antigen/Antibody Combo.

Bio-Rad Laboratories: GS HIV Combo Ag/Ab EIA.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: Screening."

AIDS.gov: "Overview of HIV Treatments."

AIDSinfo: "Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents," July 14, 2016.

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan on June 23, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What is the outlook for people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)?

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