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Medical News & Perspectives
March 24/31, 1999

AIDS Researchers Target Poor Adherence

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JAMA. 1999;281(12):1069. doi:10.1001/jama.281.12.1069

CHICAGO—Clinicians giving potent combinations of antiretroviral drugs to patients with HIV to suppress the virus are finding just how much the effectiveness of such regimens depends on strict adherence.

Although there are many potential reasons—such as individual differences in drug absorption or metabolism—for the failure of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to keep a patient's HIV in check, experts believe the chief reason is poor adherence to treatment regimens, which can promote the emergence of drug-resistant strains. New findings presented at the 6th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections last month in Chicago underscored the importance of strict adherence in maintaining "virologic success"—sustained suppression of HIV—and examined factors associated with poor adherence.