Preferences for Weight Gain Compared with Other Antiretroviral Therapy Side Effects in People Living with HIV: A Discrete Choice Experiment

Warittha Tieosapjaroen, Christopher K. Fairley, Eric P.F. Chow, Ivette Aguirre, Jennifer F. Hoy, Jason J. Ong

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Backgroud:Antiretroviral (ARV) side effects are a critical determinant of adherence among people living with HIV (PLWH). Integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs), a commonly used ARV, have been reported to cause weight gain. We determined the relative importance of weight gain compared with other side effects from the perspective of PLWH.Setting:Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and the Alfred Hospital in Victoria, Australia.Methods:We conducted a discrete choice experiment survey to explore PLWH's preferences for 8 short-term side effects (eg, weight gain and depression) and 4 long-term side effects (eg, long-term weight gain and risks of heart attack). We sent an anonymous survey link through short message service (SMS) and postcards to PLWH attending both centers between July and August 2021. The choice data were analyzed using random parameter logit (RPL) and latent class (LCM) models.Results:Three hundred thirty-five respondents were included: most were male (88.1%). In the RPL analyses, weight gain was the second most important attribute after depression for short-term side effects and the third most important attribute after risk of heart attack and kidney problem for long-term side effects. In the LCM analyses, 23.9% were most sensitive to short-term weight gain, whereas 16.0% were most sensitive to long-term weight gain.Conclusions:Weight gain was the second most important short-term side effect and the third most important long-term side effect in a cohort of Australian PLWH. However, weight gain was the most important side effect of ARV for a significant minority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • antiretrovirals
  • discrete choice experiments
  • HIV
  • preference
  • side effects

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