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Tenofovir vs abacavir: the saga continues

Positive Living article • Adrian Ogier • 1 September 2011

Compared to abacavir, tenofovir does increase bone mineral density (BMD) loss but not fracture risk, according to the results from the STEAL trial reported at the IAS Conference in Rome.

The findings come from a study group made up almost entirely of treatment experienced white men who averaged 45 years old. The study randomisedA method based on chance by which study participants are assigned to a treatment group. Randomization minimizes the differences among groups by equally distributing people with particular characteristics among all the trial arms. The researchers do not know which treatment is better. From what is known at the time, any one of the treatments chosen could be of benefit to the participant the group to simplify their current regimen to fixed-dose tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) or fixed-dose abacavir/lamivudine (ABC/3TC).

After 96 weeks, the BMD was significantly lower in people randomised to TDF/FTC than to ABC/3TC. But the group had significantly fewer serious non-AIDS events than those randomised to ABC/3TC.

The STEAL team concluded that tenofovir treatment, lower bone formation and lower fat mass predicted subsequent bone loss but there was no association between tenofovir and fracture risk through two years of follow-up.

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From Positive Living

This article was first published in the September 2011 issue of Positive Living — more than two years ago.

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