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July 27, 2010

New findings may impact HIV drug use

Sydney Morning Herald: "The findings showed that Ritonavir, an older, commonly used drug, which was formerly linked to heart risk, had more adverse effects on people's metabolisms than the newer drug, Raltegravir.

"Ritonavir looks like it's increasing blood fat levels, not only when people are fasting but also after (eating) meals," one of the researchers, Associate Professor Katherine Samaras, told AAP. ...

"The key message, she says, is that each individual's heart risk profile should be assessed before prescriptions are decided.

"'When we weigh up the risks and the benefits of HIV treatment, we have to consider the best drug to stop the virus,' she said.

"'If there are other drugs available that do the job equally well then it looks like (some) people should be considered for (a drug) that does not increase heart risk.'"