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New Developement
Apr 22, 2007

Please what new developments are there as per drugs and treatment that might bring final solution in the near future. thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I've been accused (and rightfully so) of being the most optimistic person on the planet, but to think that there is a "final solution" (i.e. cure) in the "near future" is being overly optimistic, even for me! What I can do is briefly update you on what's coming next down the HIV/AIDS drug development pipeline, OK? In the mid-1990s HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) came into widespread use with the availability of potent new drugs, particularly protease inhibitors (PI's). PI's in combination with our reverse transcriptase inhibitor drugs (RTIs) dramatically decreased HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality.

Now, after a decade, two new classes of anti-HIV drugs are hitting the market integrase inhibitors and CCR5 antagonists!

Integrase inhibitors stop the enzyme (integrase) that allows the virus into the host T-cell's DNA. If that process is stopped, then HIV can't replicate!

CCR5 antagonists block the co-receptor that is necessary for HIV to invade a cell. The good news is that these agents should be effective for folks who have developed resistance to the older drugs (PIs and RTIs). So far the side-effect profile for these new drugs has been mild, but we don't know if there will be any long-term toxicities.

Finally, I should mention a potential breakthrough in HIV vaccine development. One of the biggest roadblocks to an effective HIV vaccine has been the uncanny ability of HIV to constantly mutate, thereby making the vaccine less effective or even useless. Earlier this year, researchers at NIAID (National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases) found a protein on HIV's surface that doesn't mutate. So theoretically we might be able to make a vaccine that stimulates antibodies against this protein, which, in theory at least, could neutralize the virus! Research is underway! Stay tuned to The Body. As always we'll keep you informed as the information evolves!

Dr. Bob



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