Treatment News : Switch From Abacavir to Tenofovir Improves Cholesterol Levels

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Treatment News » September 2010

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More Treatment News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


September 15, 2010

Switch From Abacavir to Tenofovir Improves Cholesterol Levels

People on a regimen containing abacavir saw their cholesterol drop quickly and significantly when they switched to a similar regimen containing tenofovir. What’s more, people who switched expressed greater satisfaction with their new regimen, said the authors of a study presented September 14 at the 50th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in Boston.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an increasing concern for people with HIV. The rates of heart attacks and other health conditions related to CVD are on the rise. Early signs of CVD include changes to the levels of fats—also known as lipids—in the blood, including: total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein or LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein or HDL (the “good” cholesterol). Some previous studies have suggested that regimens containing abacavir might contribute to adverse changes in blood lipids, but data haven’t been consistent.

To test this theory, Graham Moyle, MD, from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, and his colleagues enrolled 159 HIV-positive people with high cholesterol who had been taking Sustiva (efavirenz) plus Epzicom (abacavir plus lamivudine) for at least six months. Moyle’s team switched half of the group right away to Atripla (efavirenz plus tenofovir and emtricitabine). They kept the other half on the old regimen for 12 weeks and then switched them to Atripla. The study’s primary aim was to measure the change in total cholesterol before and after the treatment switch.

The two groups were very similar in all characteristics. Roughly 75 percent were male, the average age was 42, and about one third were black. The majority of the participants had a total cholesterol level between 240 and 260. By contrast, the American Heart Association recommends that total cholesterol remain under 200.

Both groups—whether they switched to Atripla right away or delayed their switch—maintained good control of their virus and their CD4 counts. Moreover, the rates of discontinuations and side effects were similar between the two groups.

Switching to Atripla, however, resulted in substantial decreases in total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides. During the 12-week period when the delayed-switch group remained on Epzicom, their total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides remained essentially unchanged, while all of those values dropped suddenly after they switched to Atripla. People who switched immediately saw similar drops.

Moyle’s team also asked people about the ease of their regimen and their satisfaction with their regimen. Overall, most people felt their regimen was “very easy,” and they were “very satisfied” with their regimens before switching. On average, however, the number who reported being “very satisfied” with their regimen increased significantly after switching to Atripla.

Search: Abacavir, lamivudine, Epzicom, Sustiva, efavirenz, Atripla, tenofovir, emtricitabine, total cholesterol, lipids, triglycerides, Graham Moyle, ICAAC

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (0 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.