Transformation for people with AIDS on the horizon

A major breakthrough for people with AIDS is on the horizon, according to an editorial in this weeks BMJ.

Three new drugs are predicted to help transform the long-term prognosis for people with the AIDS virus, says an editorial in the journal, which points towards highly promising results from trials of three new drugs.

HIV patients in deep salvage meaning those people who have developed multidrug resistant HIV that does not respond to drug combination therapy could benefit the most.

This year, we may witness a dramatic shift in how these patients are managed, says the editorial written by Hiroyu Hatano, infectious diseases fellow and Steven Deeks, associate professor of medicine, both of San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, USA.

For the first time in the HIV epidemic, three new agents have been developed for the management of the drug resistant virus, they say.

Hence for patients in deep salvage, 2007 may be comparable to the landmark events of 1996, when the near miraculous effects of combination therapy were first observed, they write.

The drugs are the HIV integrase inhibitors, R5 inhibitors, and etravirine (TMC125) a second generation non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor.

Some caution is necessary about potential hype around new treatments for these patients, they warn, and add that it is not possible to predict the end of deep salvage for all people with HIV.

But within the next year, the world will probably see a remarkable transformation in the long-term prognosis for a generation of chronically ill adults with HIV they conclude.


Contact: Rebecca Spargo
BMJ-British Medical Journal

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