A clinical trial has investigated the development of high blood pressure in patients taking medication for HIV and AIDS.
What is HIV? HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body's immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Currently, there is no effective cure for HIV and AIDS. Once a person gets infected with HIV, they remain affected for life. Hypertension (HTN) is a common comorbidity among people with HIV. It is associated with an increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a type of treatment used to control HIV. ART has helped people with HIV live longer and healthier lives by reducing the viral burden. However, the relationship of ART to hypertension in HIV-infected patients remains a clinical question.
A recent clinical study has investigated the effects of several anti-HIV drugs on the risk of hypertension in HIV patients. The trial followed 2614 people with HIV who initiated ART. These patients were given several different anti-HIV drugs for 48 weeks after which they were assessed for increased blood pressure.
The results showed that 839 out of 2,614 patients (32%) developed hypertension after 48 weeks. The patients receiving a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) such as stavudine and efavirenz were at an increased risk of hypertension while tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, darunavir/ritonavir, and atazanavir/ritonavir were associated with a decreased risk of developing hypertension.
The clinical study also identified several risk factors associated with developing hypertension after initiating ART. These included older age, higher body mass index, and preexisting hepatitis C infection.
These results indicate that certain anti-HIV drugs may indeed be associated with the risk of high blood pressure in HIV patients.
The findings of this clinical study have important implications for people with HIV who are starting ART. Healthcare providers should be aware of the increased risk of hypertension and consider regular blood pressure monitoring and lifestyle modifications, such as exercise and dietary changes, to help mitigate this risk.
In conclusion, this clinical trial suggests that while ART has greatly improved the health and well-being of people with HIV, it's important to be aware of the potential risk of developing hypertension after initiating treatment. Regular monitoring and lifestyle modifications can help mitigate this risk and ensure that people with HIV continue to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
HIV patients should consult their doctors before starting any medication and they should also be vigilant about the risk of developing hypertension.
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses Journal, Sep-12-22