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HIV/AIDS Adherence and Drug Resistance

Image of daily drug regimen container
A weekly drug organizer. Credit: NIAID

People infected with HIV who take antiretroviral treatments sometimes find it difficult to adhere to their drug regimens. This may be because it can be hard to take several medicines each day and at different times or because of the unpleasant side effects caused by some medicines, such as nausea and vomiting.

However, when patients fail to take their medicines, HIV has an opportunity to create more variations of itself, including strains that are resistant to antiretroviral drugs. Therefore, it is important for patients to continue taking their medicines as prescribed by their healthcare providers.

Last Updated September 29, 2010