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10 HIV/AIDS Stories That Defined 2013 in the U.S.

December 1, 2013


Advances in Treatment

Advances in Treatment

The last year has seen a number of advances in treatment and medications. Stribild, a once-daily, single-pill regimen, and Tivicay, a newly approved integrase inhibitor, are now on the list of "preferred" HIV medications in the official U.S. HIV treatment guidelines -- a recommendation that was announced on Oct. 30. Until that date, only four medications were recommended for first-line treatment: Atripla, Norvir/Reyataz/Truvada, Norvir/Prezista/Truvada and Isentress/Truvada. The changes highlight "the rise of integrase inhibitors as an established, reliable family" of medications for first-line treatment, in the words of's Myles Helfand in a recent piece.

The price of these new medications continues to fuel a huge controversy. Tivicay is priced at more than $14,000 per year. Stribild's annual price tag approaches almost $30,000.

Also making news: On Dec. 31, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved Fulyzaq (crofelemer) as the first drug to relieve symptoms of diarrhea that is a side effect of HIV antiretrovirals. Current HIV medications are "aren't nearly as likely to cause diarrhea as the first generation of meds did -- but it remains a problem for many.

Rod McCullom has written and produced for ABC News, NBC and FOX, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, EBONY, POZ and many others. Read his blog at Rod 2.0.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC, Inc. All rights reserved.

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