Antiretroviral therapy and the human immunodeficiency virus – improved survival but at what cost?

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Patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus are living longer since the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy more than a decade ago – but at what cost? Highly active antiretroviral therapy has been associated with lipodystrophy and associated metabolic derangements such as dyslipidaemia, insulin resistance and diabetes. These complications are likely to contribute to an increased risk of premature and accelerated atherosclerosis with growing concern about potential cardiovascular consequences.

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