Women living with HIV are increasingly basing which drugs to take as part of their antiretroviral regimens on social or demographic factors as opposed to biological ones, Aidsmap reports (aidsmap.com, 1/23).

A report published in the January 15 edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases followed 2,700 American HIV-positive women over a ten-year span, broken up into three periods: 1996 to 2000, 2000 to 2002, and 2002 to 2005.

From 1996 to 2002, CD4 count was the major determining factor in choosing which meds to take. Women with a CD4 count higher than 200 were more than twice as likely as women whose count was lower than 200 to start a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) regimen than a protease inhibitor (PI) regimen. However, from 2002 through 2005, demographic factors appeared to play a role in initial regimen choice—black and Latina women, for example, were more likely to initiate a regimen with a PI than a (NNRTI).