Use of non-antiretroviral drugs among individuals with and without HIV-infection: a Danish nationwide study

Infect Dis (Lond). 2017 Jan;49(1):42-54. doi: 10.1080/23744235.2016.1212168. Epub 2016 Aug 11.


Aim: We investigated the use of non-antiretroviral drugs in the HIV-infected compared to the general population.

Methods: From the Danish HIV Cohort Study, we identified all HIV-infected individuals older than 18 years at HIV diagnosis who received care in Denmark through 1995-2013 and reported no injection drug abuse or hepatitis C infection. Population controls were identified from The Danish Civil Registration System and matched on age and gender (5:1). We analyzed the proportion of individuals who redeemed 0-1, 2-4, 5-9, or 10 or more non-antiretroviral drugs. Data were analyzed according to calendar time, age, time from initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and stratified by gender, geographical origin and route of HIV transmission. We further analyzed the use of the 25 most used non-antiretroviral drug classes.

Results: We identified 4,928 HIV-infected individuals (median age: 37; 76.4% males). Overall, the HIV-infected population had a higher use of non-antiretroviral drugs compared to the background population. Whereas, the use of non-antiretroviral drugs in the HIV-infected population only changed marginally with time, the use in the background population increased considerably. Thus, use in the HIV-infected population only differed marginally from that of the background population in recent years. This difference was most pronounced in men who have sex with men (MSM).

Conclusion: Compared to the background population, HIV infected individuals have increased use of non-antiretroviral drugs. The excess use is mainly observed in MSM and has decreased with calendar time, why it in recent years only differs marginally from that observed in the background population.

Keywords: HAART; HIV; age-related diseases; multi-morbidity; polypharmacy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / statistics & numerical data
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polypharmacy*
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-HIV Agents