HIV antiretrovirals have varying cardiac effects on infected children

Early in the HIV/AIDS epidemic, children born with the virus often suffered from severe cardiac-related conditions. These conditions have largely been alleviated by current antiretroviral treatment combinations, but some risks remain, according to a new study led by Paige Williams, senior lecturer on biostatistics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The researchers found that youth taking a combination of drugs with protease inhibitors had significantly better cardiac function than those on other drug regimens. However, two drugs used in some combinations—zidovudine and nevirapine—were associated with altered cardiac structure, which could progress to symptomatic cardiomyopathy (a type of heart disease) in adulthood.

Other Harvard Chan School authors include Kat Correia, PhD ’18, and Brad Karalius, a research associate in the Department of Epidemiology.

Read MD Magazine coverage: Cardiac Effects of HIV Antiretrovirals Vary in HIV-Infected Children

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Adhering to treatment during adolescence keeps HIV-positive youth on healthier track (Harvard Chan School news)