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A survey of nearly 2,000 HIV-positive people in the United Kingdom shows that 69% do not feel sufficiently informed about the long-term effects of their medications. Participants first feared the long-term toxic effects of the drugs and then noted concerns about other illnesses or opportunistic infections caused by HIV. Third on the list of concerns was worry about short-term side effects of the drugs. Patients were less worried about anti-HIV drugs' interaction with other medications.
The survey, by the U.K. Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS, showed 93% reporting difficulty planning for the future. "This survey is timely and indicates that the patients' greatest concern is long-term toxicity," Brian Gazzard of London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital said in a statement.
Nikk Bowden, an HIV patient for seven years, noted that many of the drugs have not been around long enough for researchers to know what impact they can have after patients take them for decades. "It is a worry that you could be taking something that isn't fully understood over a period of time," Bowden said. "The payment is that I get extra years of life through taking the medication. It is the best part of a bad deal, I suppose." (Reuters)