, Volume 73, Issue 7, pp 651–672

Health-related Quality of Life Assessment after Antiretroviral Therapy: A Review of the Literature

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s40265-013-0040-4

Cite this article as:
Gakhar, H., Kamali, A. & Holodniy, M. Drugs (2013) 73: 651. doi:10.1007/s40265-013-0040-4


Antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV infection has resulted in significant improvement in immunologic and virologic parameters, as well as a reduction in AIDS-defining illnesses and death. Over 25 medications are approved for use, usually in combination regimens of three or four ARVs. Several ARVs are now available as combinatorial products, which have been associated with better adherence. However, while ARV therapy has prolonged life, ARVs also pose a challenge for quality of life as they can cause significant side effects in addition to the potential for drug toxicity and interaction. Given the many complications, side effects and symptoms of HIV/AIDS in addition to associated medical and psychiatric co-morbidities, the need to understand and assess how these interactions may affect health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has grown. Numerous instruments (some validated, others not) are available and have been applied to understanding how ARV treatment affects HRQOL in those with HIV infection, both in clinical trials and clinical practice. In general, ARV treatment improves HRQOL, but this is dependent on the population being studied, the HRQOL instrument being used and the timeframe during which HRQOL has been studied. This article provides a review of the literature on quality of-life assessment as it relates to ARV treatment in developed countries and briefly reviews the HRQOL instruments used, how they have been applied to ARV utilization, and where future research should be applied in HRQOL assessment and HIV infection.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic MedicineStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.VA Palo Alto Health Care SystemPalo AltoUSA

Personalised recommendations