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Hoopla about monthly injections over daily pills!! Have strong doubts

Oct 21, 2013

Morning Dr.Young. There is much anticipation to my understanding of these hopeful monthly injections that are on the near horizon. That would be the next great achievement as far as care and suppression of the virus. But along with that I have some doubts. In talkin with a HIV expert/counsellor recently that brought up a good point that that very thin of monthly injections or an injection that would last for up to three months is very dangerous. Because the amount of medicine and the strength level it would have to be to remain all over your body would have to be so strong to remain there for that period of time that it would do more harm then good an being about onset death. Is this possible in your opinion? Also the Case with th monkeys. Don't know if you have knowledge of that or not. That some recent study showed dissolvement of the SIV virus in the monkeys and now they are trying l develop testing on humans next. My apologies on posting a long winded thought. Just haven't asked you a question in a while and this is what happen to be in my noggin. Anticipating your respond doctor. Cheers in health!!

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Yes, there's much interest about long-acting (possibly once-monthly) injectable HIV treatments.

Understand that is still much to learn about the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of such treatments, and likely (just like oral HIV medications), differences between individual medications (there are only two active candidates at this time) and regimens. Clearly these issues will need to be sorted and there's absolutely no reason to think that the projects would move forward if the risks (or as you say, harm) done by them is even marginally greater than our current medications.

What makes this different with current medications is the nanoparticle formulation of the drugs that makes the blood levels of the drug not higher during or after the injection, but rather allows for slow release of the product from the injection site over time.

As for the monkey studies, I'm not sure which one your refer to, but I'll take a guess- prevention studies using the GSK 744 experimental integrase inhibitor (the same one in the treatment studies) show that monkeys that are given this medication are protected from acquiring simian immunodeficiency virus following repeated rectal exposure (a model for human rectal infection with HIV). This has significant implications for humans, and studies are being developed to test this idea.

Hope that helps, and feel free to write back, BY

Pep tablets
switching from prezista 800mg to 600 mg

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