Study: Many HIV patients don't take antiretrovirals
An analysis of HIV-positive people who died of AIDS-related complications at a hospital in Dallas showed that more than half the people were not taking anti-HIV medications, Reuters Health reports. The researchers studied 88 patients who died in 2000. Despite widespread availability of antiretroviral drugs, only 48% of the people who died were taking the drugs at the time of their death. The main reason the patients weren't on the lifesaving drugs was an inability to adhere to the medication regimens. Lack of access to the drugs, usually due to financial reasons, also was a contributing factor. "I was really startled to see that so many patients were not on HIV therapy in an era when it's supposed to be widespread and access is there," said lead author Mamta K. Jain of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center-Dallas. "I think this study is important because, if you look at the HIV/AIDS literature, you see these dramatic changes, and people are living longer. But I think we kind of lose sight of the fact that there are still areas in the country that still are seeing a lot of the same problems that we did prior to HAART being available."