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Insomnia can be particularly detrimental for HIV patients

Insomnia can be particularly detrimental for HIV patients

While insomnia is a common symptom of depression among people with chronic diseases, it can be particularly dangerous for HIV patients, as it can interfere with their abilities to adhere to their medications and carry out other responsibilities related to their health care, according to researchers in London. Missed doses of medication can allow HIV to mutate and defend itself against the drugs, thereby limiting the number of drugs available to effectively treat the disease. Two studies in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine show that HIV-positive people who are suffering from depression are more likely to have insomnia than other people with major depression. The research also revealed a vicious cycle between depression and insomnia in HIV patients--poor sleep was shown to worsen depression, which in turn leads to even worse sleep, Reuters Health reports. "So you end up in a vicious circle of deteriorating mood and overall functioning," researcher Stephen Reid told the news agency. The studies also showed that prior cognitive problems and use of the nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor Sustiva also boosts risks for insomnia.

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