Q and A


How to choose first ART in the UK?

Hi there,

I live in the UK and I am planning to start treatment within the next 6 months. My NHS doctor recommended either of the following treatments:

Option 1) Triumeq
Option 2) Kivexa + Raltegravir

She recommended the first option as it is a single pill.

I have read about both treatment options and I would like to share with me any specific recommendations? I am happy to go with the second option if it has less side effects

Also she did mention that I can choose any particular treatment from a booklet she gave me that details the UK NHS treatment options.

I am a little at loss frankly and would appreciate any guidance as to what treatment has the least side effects on critical organs (heart, kidney and lever) from those available from the NHS.



Thanks for your question.

It sounds like your doctor is giving you good information – and also good choices.

Dolutegravir and raltegravir are both integrase inhibitors. This class of drugs are usually easy to take with low chance of side effects. All current HIV drug have a low risk of side effects related to organ problem, and routine monitoring is effective at finding when there might be problems.

If you have the option to use the single pill, this might be a little easier, so best to try this first. If you have any trouble with dolutegravir, you can always change to raltegravir afterwards.

About 1 in 20 people report trouble sleeping with dolutegravir, but taking the meds in the morning is also reported to overcome this.

Triumeq contains Kivexa, so the only difference is only the choice of integrase inhibitor.


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