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Broad-Spectrum Antivirals: The Future of HIV Treatment?

May 16, 2012

Could a single drug be used to treat a variety of viruses -- potentially all viruses, including HIV? At least three novel approaches are being worked on to create such a drug, also known as a broad-spectrum antiviral.

Broad-spectrum drugs already exist in other areas of medicine. For instance, we have antibiotics to treat a wide range of bacterial infections. Unfortunately, while antibiotics work great at thwarting bacteria, they are largely ineffective against viruses.

Presently we have different antivirals that tend to treat specific diseases (e.g., Tamiflu only treats influenza, and most HIV medications only treat HIV). However, as people with HIV are well aware, viruses mutate and grow resistant to current antivirals.

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See Also
More on HIV Medications
HIV Drugs in Development

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Shamus M (Scranton, PA) Mon., Dec. 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm EST
Why haven't there been any updates on the development of DRACO? As far as anyone can tell, this drug is dead and for reasons unknown. Would somebody please find out what's going on with this! You would think the greatest medical development since penicillin would get more attention...
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Comment by: anonymous (eastern cape) Sat., Jul. 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm EDT
i gave birth to hiv+ boy and im worried about him because he dont know about hiv so i'll be happy if the cure can be found soon.
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Comment by: Kate (Ukraine) Wed., May. 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm EDT
Mar 9, 2012
“What people want to know is when can someone go to a doctor and be handed a pill and be cured,” Margolis said by phone. “That’s decades away. Think of it more in terms of curing cancer. I think in 10 years someone with HIV infection could go to a specialist and get a complicated treatment and have some likelihood of a prolonged remission of their HIV.”
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Comment by: Daniel (Harar Ethiopia) Mon., May. 21, 2012 at 9:56 am EDT
I've benefited a lot from your readings. Please !Use my e-mail add if you have something on development of new anti viral drugs.
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Comment by: jimmok (DC) Fri., May. 18, 2012 at 10:44 am EDT
YEAH YEAH another false hope...the development of all the above mentioned drugs is gonna take another 30 years and its gonna be available to us in 40 years...m just tired of all these stories.i wont be surprised if another story is gonna come up which says that the medicines were to toxic or some story like that....
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Comment by: Ajay (India : Madhya Pradesh : Indore) Fri., May. 18, 2012 at 12:51 am EDT
Interesting. Looks like that we can have a cure of these deadly diseases, if not sooner may be some years later. A victory over these pernicious agents would be a boon for humanity and for lakhs of people who are struggling with current Antiretroviral regimen.
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