A recent article in the Minnesota Daily reports that a Universtiy professor was part of a study that shows that people receiving treatment for HIV have a higher risk of dying from non AIDS-related diseases.
The study looked at two different kinds of treatment, continuous treatment and intermittent treatment. With continuous treatment the person receives treatment no matter what their CD4 cell count is, but with intermittent treatment, the person receives treatment when their CD4 cell count is below a certain leve.
The study found that people who received intermittent treatment had the higher risk of dying from non AIDS-related diseases such as liver disease or cardiovascular disease. The study was stopped early due to the findings.
After the study was cancelled, the researchers discovered the reason that people receiving the intermittent treatment had a higher risk of death. When they received the treatment, certain protein levels would elevate. These protein levels are correlated with liver and cardiovascular disease.
The researchers note that more research needs to be done. This study does raise more questions about what the best form of treatment is for people with HIV. Based on this study, continuous treatment may be better, but it can be very expensive and the risk of taking medications everyday could have more harmful effects in the long run.