Perspectives on HAART: switch maintenance therapy

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Switch studies have been carried out to explore changes in side effects in adherence. Discontinuing the protease inhibitor (PI) component of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen is often associated with improved adherence and improved quality of life. Following switching from a PI to a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor or abacavir, there is however a clear trend toward an improved metabolic profile particularly in insulin resistance and triglyceride levels when patients discontinue their PI. Peripheral wasting is likely to be associated with nucleoside analogues and for individuals with isolated fat accumulation, modification of HAART is not recommended. Virological suppression can be maintained following switch if adequate suppression of the virus has been achieved for at least six months prior to switch and the patient has not been previously exposed to suboptimal HAART. Discontinuing the PI preserves this class of agents for future use. Switching however may be associated with other side effects; hypersensitivity, skin rashes, hepatic or neuropsychiatric events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-82
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of STD & AIDS
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003


  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Benzoxazines
  • Dideoxynucleosides
  • HIV Infections
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Lipodystrophy
  • Metabolic Diseases
  • Nevirapine
  • Oxazines
  • Patient Compliance
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors


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