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July 1, 1998

How Many Pills Do Patients With HIV Infection Take?

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(1):29. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-1-jbk0701

To the Editor.—Slowing of disease progression and reduction of opportunistic infections are vital to prolonged survival for patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and are conditional on patients taking all of their medication as prescribed. It has been suggested that the number of pills a patient is prescribed increases the complexity of their treatment and adversely affects adherence.1,2 Some drug manufacturers are suggesting twice-daily rather than thrice-daily dose schedules,3 whereas other researchers have described the benefits of 6-drug regimens.4 It is important for clinicians to be aware of the total number of pills current HIV regimens entail. To our knowledge, the number of pills patients with HIV infection are asked to take each day has not been quantified.