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How are women living with HIV in France coping with their perceived side effects of antiretroviral therapy? Results from the EVE study.

How are women living with HIV in France coping with their perceived side effects of antiretroviral therapy? Results from the EVE study.
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Quatremère G, Guiguet M, Girardi P, Liaud MN, Mey C, Benkhoucha C, Barbier F, Cattaneo G, Simon A, Rojas Castro D,


Quatremère G, Guiguet M, Girardi P, Liaud MN, Mey C, Benkhoucha C, Barbier F, Cattaneo G, Simon A, Rojas Castro D, (click to view)

Quatremère G, Guiguet M, Girardi P, Liaud MN, Mey C, Benkhoucha C, Barbier F, Cattaneo G, Simon A, Rojas Castro D,

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PloS one 2017 03 0612(3) e0173338 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0173338

Abstract
OBJECTIVE
Side effects of antiretroviral therapy (ART) can have a negative impact on health-related quality of life threatening long-term retention in HIV care and adherence to ART. The aim of the French community-based survey EVE was to document personal experiences with side effects, the related physician-patient communication, and solutions found to deal with them.

DESIGN
Cross-sectional study of women between September 2013 to September 2014.

METHODS
An anonymous online questionnaire included the HIV Symptom Distress Module, which explores 20 symptoms.

RESULTS
In all, 301 women on ART participated in the study (median age: 49 years; median duration of ART: 14 years). They reported having experienced a median of 12 symptoms (Q1-Q3: 9-15) during the previous 12 months. Overall, 56% of them reported having found at least a partial solution to dealing with their symptoms. Women reporting financial difficulties were twice less likely to have found solutions to coping with their side effects (AOR: 0.5; 95% CI: 0.3-0.8). Feeling supported by the health-care provider (AOR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.1-3.9) and being in contact with HIV/AIDS organisations (AOR: 1.9; 95% CI: 1.2-3.2) were positively associated with coping. Seventeen percent reported having modified their ART regimen to improve tolerance, with only 2 in 3 informing their physician afterwards. Reporting financial difficulties and living with more bothersome symptoms increased the risk of ART regimen modification without health-care provider consultation.

CONCLUSION
The EVE study has called attention to the large number of side effects experienced by WLWHIV, only half of whom have found self-care strategies to manage their symptoms. Modification of ART regimen by the women themselves was not uncommon.

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