Dose-skipping is risky business
Researchers at the 6th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Chicago further confirmed that not taking all prescribed HIV medications (every dose, every time, every day) will lead to higher viral load and lower CD4 counts. The association of adherence with viral load and CD4 counts was quite astonishing (see chart).
According to these findings, adherence clearly determines the health outcome of antiretroviral therapy. In other words, you need to be extremely adherent in order to have the best possible health outcome.
For example, for those who reported being adherent over 95 percent of the time, 81 percent had a viral load of less than 400; whereas, for those who reported being adherent less than 70 percent of the time, only 6 percent had a viral load of less than 400.
Those who reported being greater than 95-percent adherent also had an average increase of 60 CD4 cells; whereas, those who reported being less than 80 percent adherent had a reduction of 13 CD4 cells.
What all this means for you is that in order to get the best possible results (low viral load, high CD4 counts), you need to be close to perfect or perfect in adherence (never missing a dose)!
This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).
This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.