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New Guidelines Stress Early Potent Drug Cocktails, Individualized Therapy

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Early, potent combination antiretroviral therapies continue to offer the best hope for preventing AIDS in people infected with HIV, according to updated recommendations from International AIDS Society-USA presented at a media briefing Saturday, June 27, in Geneva.

Two years ago, the panel of independent physicians and scientists published the first major peer-reviewed guidelines advocating combination drug therapy. Based on information and drugs available in mid-1998, the update notes that 11 agents, in various combinations, now provide more choices for initial therapy of individuals with better long-term outcomes. Simpler drug regimens may offer greater compliance and convenience, and more sensitive monitoring of HIV levels in the blood will allow physicians to detect and react to resistant virus strains and treatment failures.

Despite concern for the emerging side effects of long-term treatment, therapies should be continued to fight HIV effectively, the panel recommends in its report, published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The drug cocktail therapies are responsible for up to a 75 percent decline in HIV-related sickness and death where they are available in the United States, Europe and Japan, says the report's lead author, Charles Carpenter M.D., a professor at the Brown University School of Medicine based at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I. An audio recording of a symposium on the report will be available Wednesday evening, July 1, at http://www.webcast.aids98.org.

Media Contacts

Charles Carpenter M.D.
401-793-4025
charles_carpenter@brown.edu

Jennifer Adelson Mitty M.D. or Josiah Rich M.D.
Miriam Hospital
401-793-4770

American Medical Association Science News
312-464-5374

Donna Jacobsen
International AIDS Society-USA
415-561-6720


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Contact: Carol Cruzan Morton
carol_morton@brown.edu
401.863.2476
Brown University
27-Jun-1998


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