The most common side-effects of anti-HIV drugs are short term and are the result of the body getting used to a new drug. Long-term adverse effects and toxicities are less common.

Side-effects: latest news

Side-effects resources

  • Side-effects

    Many side-effects are the result of your body getting used to a new drug.Other medicines can be taken to help control side-effects.Possible side-effects should be taken...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Skin problems

    A rash can be a symptom of recent HIV infection. Other infections can also cause skin problems. They may also be a side-effect or allergic reaction to an anti-HIV drug. Allergic drug...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Multiple medications and drug interactions

    The more drugs you take, the greater the risk of drug interactions and side-effects. It’s important to tell your doctors and pharmacists about all the other medicines you take. An...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Lactic acidosis

    Lactic acidosis refers to a build-up of lactic acid in the blood.It is a rare but dangerous side-effect of some anti-HIV drugs – most of...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Pain

    Pain can cause emotional and mental health problems.Medication can be used in both the short and long term to control pain.Treating underlying medical problems may...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Neuropathy - nerve pain

    Peripheral neuropathy means damage to the nerves in the feet or hands.Symptoms can range from tingling to numbness to excruciating pain.There are many possible causes, including anti-HIV...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Hyperbilirubinaemia

    High levels of bilirubin in the body can be a side-effect of the anti-HIV drug atazanavir.It can make the skin or eyes more yellow, but...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Side-effects

    The booklet provides information about possible side-effects of HIV treatment. ...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Changing HIV treatment

    Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about any side-effects you are experiencing.If you are having problems taking your HIV treatment, it’s important to be honest...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Nausea and vomiting

    Nausea and vomiting are possible side-effects of some HIV drugs.Most often, these side-effects will go away after a few weeks of taking the drug.Medicines called...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Diarrhoea

    Diarrhoea is common in people with HIV, particularly those with a low CD4 count.It can be caused by infection and is also a possible side-effect of some...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Side-effects checker

    A tool to help you talk to your healthcare team about any side-effects or symptoms that you have....

    From: Resources

  • Tiredness and fatigue

    Illnesses and drug side-effects can contribute to fatigue.People often report an increase in their energy levels after starting HIV treatment.A healthy balanced diet may help...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Side effects

    The most common side effects are the result of your body getting used to a new drug. After a few weeks, these side effects usually...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Antiretroviral drugs chart

    A one-page reference guide to the anti-HIV drugs licensed for use in the European Union, with information on formulation, dosing, key side-effects and food restrictions....

    From: Antiretroviral drugs chart

    Information level Level 1
  • Managing side-effects that interfere with eating

    Like all medicines, the drugs used to treat HIV can cause side-effects. These are most likely to occur when you first start taking a drug, but...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Sleep

    Sleep is essential to physical and mental health.Anxiety, depression, drug or alcohol use, and illness can contribute to sleep problems.Simple lifestyle changes may be enough to...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Lipodystrophy

    Lipodystrophy is a side-effect of some older anti-HIV drugs which are now rarely used.Lipodystrophy includes both weight gain and weight loss.It is common for people...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Talking points: a checklist for you and your doctor

    Talking points is designed to help you talk to your doctor about HIV treatment....

    From: Resources

  • My drugs chart

    My drugs chart provides information on all the anti-HIV drugs currently licensed for use in Europe.Select your chosen drugs and drag them onto the area...

    From: My drugs chart

  • HIV treatment side-effects and mental health

    Some anti-HIV drugs can affect your emotional and mental health. Most notably, the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) efavirenz (Sustiva, also in the combination pill, Atripla) has...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • HIV treatment in women

    The evidence available suggests that HIV treatment works well for women. Unless you are pregnant, the recommendations for HIV treatment are the same for both women and...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Side-effects

    Like all medications, anti-HIV drugs can cause side-effects and these can be a reason why people don’t take their treatment properly. The risk of side-effects can vary between...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Effect of genetic variation on side-effects of HIV drugs

    In addition to drug levels, the other major area of research interest in pharmacogenetics is the association of human genetic variation with the incidence or...

    From: HIV treatments directory

    Information level Level 4
  • Side-effects

    Information on the side-effects associated with anti-HIV treatments and other drugs, including advice on how to cope with them, and whether treatment should be stopped...

    From: HIV treatments directory

    Information level Level 4

Side-effects features

Side-effects in your own words

Side-effects news from aidsmap

More news

Side-effects news selected from other sources

  • What's the connection between HIV and high blood pressure?

    People with HIV are more likely than people without the virus to have high blood pressure, in part because of treatments and repercussions of the condition itself, a new review of research shows.

    Less than 1 hour ago | American Heart Association News
  • AIDS Healthcare Foundation files two lawsuits against Gilead

    Four Californians living with HIV, including one in Marin County, are suing the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences over its continued distribution of what they say is a toxic HIV medicine while it kept a safer version of the drug on its lab shelf to turn a higher profit.

    21 May 2018 | The Bay Area Reporter
  • Potential safety issue affecting women living with HIV using dolutegravir at the time of conception

    WHO advises that countries and ministries follow the existing 2016 WHO Consolidated ARV Guidelines, and consider the following: Pregnant women who are taking DTG should not stop their ARV therapy and should speak with their health provider for additional guidance. If other first‐line ARVs cannot be used in women of childbearing age, DTG may be considered in cases where consistent contraception can be assured.

    21 May 2018 | World Health Organization
  • Why the Dolutegravir Pregnancy Warning is Important — and What We Should Do Now

    Based on the widespread and growing use of DTG-based regimens globally, these data on the potential risks of becoming pregnant while receiving DTG have immediate and broad clinical relevance.

    21 May 2018 | NEJM Journal Watch
  • New study suggests risk of birth defects in babies born to women on HIV medicine dolutegravir

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is evaluating preliminary results from a study which found 4 cases of birth defects such as spina bifida (malformed spinal cord) in babies born to mothers who became pregnant while taking dolutegravir. While EMA is assessing the new evidence, dolutegravir should not be used in women seeking to become pregnant.

    21 May 2018 | European Medicines Agency
  • Is Gilead’s Entire HIV Enterprise Built on a False Promise?

    A new analysis finds that Gilead Sciences’ updated version of its key antiretroviral tenofovir may not actually offer any safety benefits.

    10 May 2018 | Poz
  • Meta-analysis of dolutegravir in naive, experienced and switch studies

    A meta-analysis of 7340 participants in 13 randomised trials found efficacy and safety benefits for starting dolutegravir compared with other antiretrovirals in both naive and experienced participants. In the four switch studies in participants with undetectable viral load on their current ART, however, changing to dolutegravir was associated with more adverse events and discontinuations.

    30 April 2018 | HIV i-Base
  • More evidence shows Sustiva increases risk for suicidal behavior

    Patients with HIV on a Sustiva-containing ART regimen had a threefold increased risk for suicidal behavior compared with ART-naive patients, according to recent data published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

    26 March 2018 | Healio
  • Taking multiple Rx drugs raises risks for aging adults with and without HIV

    Taking five or more prescription medications increases the risk of hospitalization and death in older adults infected with HIV and comparable adults without HIV. The findings of this Yale-led study highlight the potential risks of prescribing additional drugs to patients with multiple medical conditions.

    01 February 2018 | Yale News
  • AZT: The phoenix of HIV treatment

    During the last 30 years, over 15 million people have received AZT: an antiretroviral used to prevent HIV/AIDS. While it has now been replaced with other drugs in high income countries, it is still used widely in low-to-middle-income countries; this poses issues due to difficulties in detecting resistance to the drug and the side effects it carries. In this blog, author of a paper published in Infectious Disease of Poverty, Eric J. Arts, discusses his career long connection to AZT and the issues with AZT-based treatments in sub-Saharan Africa.

    24 January 2018 | BMC Blogs Network (blog)
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We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.