Antiretroviral drugs research
Dec 1, 2012
Dear Dr. Benjamin Young, I am 16 years old and a student at Sir John Lawes School, England and I am embarking on the Extended Project Qualification. I have decided to do my research on a select few antiretroviral drugs that combat the progression of HIV.
As HIV is a very topical and problematic retrovirus, I believe that this project would help me understand the problems that HIV positive people face when having to cope with the virus.
Any controversial areas that you think would be interesting or any points of discussion that you know of would be a great help and much appreciated.
Many Thanks, Jonathan
Response from Dr. Young
Hello Jonathan and thanks for writing.
You've asked a very big question- one that's been covered in many reviews. A comprehensive starting point for the background information about treatments can be found in the US Department of Health and Human Services HIV Treatment Guidelines. In this document, you can find summaries of the classes of medications and their side effects.
As for areas of controversy, there is much debate about when is the ideal time to start treatment, neurocognitive disfunction (including recent research on possible neurotoxicity of efavirenz), and my personal area of interest, bone health.
Probably the most talked about revelations have to do with the difficulty in getting people tested for HIV, and once tested, getting them into- and keeping them in HIV care. Our organization, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care coordinated the production of a comprehensive review and guidelines on improving entry and retention in HIV care and treatment adherence. I'd direct your attention to Table 2, which outlines recommendations for areas of "future research"-- ie., areas where there remains unmet informational needs and controversy.
On this World AIDS Day, thanks for your interest. I hope that helps and good luck with your paper. BY
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