Is it feasible to give cholesterol-lowering drugs to HIV patients? They're definitely inexpensive, Agan said. And the side effects they cause may be mild and go away as time passes.
What comes next?
"For doctors, we should be studying the effects of statins over longer periods in patients with treated HIV disease whose virus is well-controlled but who still have excess inflammation to see if the anti-inflammatory effect of statins is still observed," said Carr. "If so, we would then need to determine if this anti-inflammatory effect improved health outcomes, which would require a long and very large study."
For now, both doctors said, physicians shouldn't change how they prescribe anti-cholesterol drugs.
The American Heart Association has more on anti-cholesterol drugs.
SOURCES: Brian Agan, M.D., director, HIV research, Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Md.; Andrew Carr, M.D., M.B.B.S., head, HIV, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Unit, and head, Clinical Research Program, Center for Applied Medical Research, St. Vincent's Hospital, and professor, medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Jan. 25, 2011, online, The Journal of Infectious Diseases
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