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An interesting poser for the doctor!
Aug 7, 2002

Dear Dr Young,

Firstly, I would just like to thank you for the quality time you give to people in need on this site.

Without it, many would have no hope and also would be so much less knowledgable upon HIV, so thank you so much!

You are a very kind and compassionate man!

Anyway...It has probably been asked before, but I was wondering, in your personal and professional opinion, are there any experimental drugs out there, which you think may allow HIV to be managed as a chronic disease with absolute minimal risk of aids complications, thus allowing an almost HIV negative like lifespan?

If so, are you able to disclose their names and information about how they work?

Also, a timescale on how long before we have a therapeutic vaccine would be of great use!

Once again, many thanks and please keep up the invaluable work you do!

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

I think the answer to your question is a qualified yes. We have many medications for HIV, some old, some new. Properly administered with difficult to attain but possible levels of adherence, I believe that HIV disease can be managed as a chronic illness with minimal symptoms. It has actually been this way for many since 1996.

Newer medications offer lower pill counts,lower dosing frequency and fewer side effects. Examples of these include the NNRTIs (efavirenz or nevirapine) or newer once-daily NRTIs (tenofovir, lamivudine, didanosine).

Therapeutic vaccines are still a long way off, and I'm not sure that they'll be here within the next 5, maybe 10 years. Until that time, we need to continue to find better way to administer the drugs that we have, and to continue to support efforts to bring newer and better drugs to market. -BY



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