QUEBECERS WITH HIV/AIDS SAY MEDICATION SIDE EFFECTS NEGATIVELY IMPACT QUALITY OF LIFE
~ New survey reveals significant disconnect between patients’ satisfaction with treatment
and experience with side effects ~
MONTREAL, QC (NOVEMBER 6, 2012) – A new survey of people living with HIV/AIDS in Quebec reveals a significant disconnect between overall treatment satisfaction and experience with side effects. While almost all patients say they are satisfied with their HIV/AIDS treatment (95 per cent), approximately half are suffering from treatment-related side effects, including fatigue, nausea, insomnia, and depression.
According to survey results, treatment-related side effects appear to be impacting overall quality of life for 93 per cent of those suffering from side effects, particularly when it comes to their sexual (73 per cent), social (64 per cent) and professional (63 per cent) life.1 In some cases, side effects may be affecting the patient’s ability to remain adherent to medication; in fact, nearly 20 per cent of those surveyed have voluntarily missed taking medication, or split or reduced the dose because of the side effects they experienced.1
“While it is reassuring to see that those living with HIV/AIDS are satisfied with their treatment, the reality is that treatment-related side effects are impacting overall quality of life,” says Dr. Réjean Thomas, President and Founder of L’Actuel sur rue, Clinique médicale l’Actuel, Centre d’excellence vih/its/hépatites, and Clinique A, Centre de santé sexuelle. “The good news is there are treatment options available that typically have fewer side effects which may be able to help patients better manage HIV/AIDS while improving their overall quality of life.”
According to the survey results, physicians are the primary source of information for the majority of patients when it comes to HIV/AIDS and treatments options. While the vast majority of those surveyed (97 per cent) feel comfortable talking about treatment with their doctors, only 32 per cent talk about side effects, and only 10 per cent say they discuss alternative treatment options at every appointment.1 Perhaps as a result, about half of those living with HIV/AIDS say they do not feel fully involved in treatment decisions.1
“People living with HIV/AIDS play an integral role in the overall management of their infection, which is why it is so important that they educate themselves on what treatment options are available,” says Dr. Thomas. “It’s important that patients speak openly with their doctors about any side effects they are experiencing and their impact on their daily life. This open discussion will help people living with HIV/AIDS and their health care provider work together to determine the best treatment.”
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is an illness caused by a chronic infection with a retrovirus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The breakdown of the immune system resulting from HIV leads to increased susceptibility to other infections and immune disorders. UNAIDS estimates that approximately 34 million people worldwide were living with HIV at the end of 2010, up 17 per cent from 2001.2
It is estimated that between 2,300 and 4,300 new HIV infections occurred in Canada in 20083 – and an estimated 65,000 people were living with HIV by the end of 20084. As of 2010, about 18,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS in Quebec.5
The survey was conducted in the province of Quebec by Leger Marketing on behalf of
Janssen Inc. The objective of this study was to examine the perceptions of those living with HIV/AIDS when it comes to treatment and treatment-related side effects. The survey was conducted from June 18 to August 30, 2012, via an online, mail or telephone questionnaire. A total of 315 respondents with HIV/AIDS in Quebec completed the survey. A probability sample of this size would yield a margin of error of 5.52 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
As a member of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, Janssen Inc. is dedicated to addressing and solving the most important unmet medical needs in pain management, psychiatry, oncology, immunology, psoriasis, virology, anemia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, gastroenterology and women’s health. Driven by our commitment to the passionate pursuit of science for the benefit of patients, we work together to bring innovative ideas, products and services to patients around the world.
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For additional information or to schedule an interview with Dr. Réjean Thomas, please contact:
1. CHOIX Survey: ‘Study on perceptions of people dealing with HIV/AIDS’ was conducted from June 18 to August 30, 2012, by Leger Marketing.
2. UNAIDS DATA TABLES, Consulted October 26, 2012: http://www.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/documents/unaidspublication/2011/JC2225_UNAIDS_datatables_en.pdf
3. Public Health Agency of Canada, Consulted October 10, 2012: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/aids-sida/publication/epi/2010/1-eng.php
5. INSPQ, Programme de surveillance de l’infection par le virus de l’immunodéficience humaine (VIH) au Québec : mise à jour des données au 30 juin 2010, p. IV. Consulted September 27, 2012 : www.inspq.qc.ca/pdf/publications/1231_ProgSurvVIHQc_Juin2010.pdf