Other health implications

Acute necrotising pancreatitis is a life-threatening complication of extremely high triglyceride levels. This condition has a sudden onset, and causes severe abdominal pain, shock and collapse. It can be fatal even if treated early. Anecdotal reports from doctors suggest that cases of fatal protease-related pancreatitis have occurred in the United Kingdom.

One theory has linked fat and metabolic abnormalities to damage to the mitochondria caused by NRTIs. Side-effects linked to mitochondrial damage include pancreatitis, nerve and muscle disorders, bone-marrow and liver toxicities and birth defects among infants exposed to NRTIs in the womb. Another rare but serious side-effect of NRTIs, linked to mitochondrial damage, is high lactic acid which may lead to a condition called lactic acidosis. This condition is associated with organ failure, liver damage and sepsis and often results in death. See Lactic acidosis / acidaemia in A to Z of illnesses for more details.

Elevated lipid levels are also associated with increased risk of hardening and narrowing of the arteries and heart disease. See Heart disease and antiretroviral therapy for more details.

Bone disorders have been reported among people with HIV since the introduction of HAART. These disorders include weak or thinning bones (osteoporosis) , due to reduced bone density. Although the cause of these bone disorders is not yet known, people with HIV who have taken testosterone or other steroids, as well as lipid-lowering agents, may be at increased risk of bone pain (osteonecrosis). There is some evidence of an association between HAART and bone disorders but other research has found HIV, but not HAART, to be linked to bone disorders. See Osteoporosis in A to Z of illnesses for further details.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

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.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

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 It may have been superseded by more recent developments.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.