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10 Moments That Changed HIV Care This Year

December 13, 2013


Sustiva Consternation

Sustiva Consternation

As you just read on the previous page, integrase inhibitors are on the rise. Does this mean that the long-standing dominance of Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) -- one of the key drugs in Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) -- is coming to an end?

It's much too soon to count Sustiva out; it remains a very potent drug that works wonderfully for a large number of people. But there's no denying that Sustiva's place at the apex of HIV medication mountain got more shaky this year.

One of the key moments in this evolution may have taken place during a research conference in October, where a study revealed that long-term use of Sustiva appeared to be linked with a higher suicide rate. Although the overall rates of suicide in the study were still extremely low, the finding nonetheless cast a new shadow on a drug that has sometimes been associated with neurological side effects.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: P. Kevin Parker (Cypress, CA) Sat., Feb. 15, 2014 at 6:53 am UTC
The article summary states that testing patients only once a year for CD4 counts will save the medical industry $41,000 per patient. That's not what the original research said, according to the full article. The researcher calculated the medical savings of only one test per year in the 550 enrolled in the study's cohort. Not per patient.
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Comment by: Reader (Chicago) Mon., Jan. 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm UTC
The most important point of the "Baby Cure Commotion" should have been stated as the fact that the treatment guidelines were ignored.

What that tells us is that far too little effort/resources have been directed at very early treatment over the last two decade.

And where is the mention of the latest news that HIV is not directly killing CD4+ T cells?

That news tells us that far too little effort/resources have been directed at the pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS. The argument that "researchers were simply looking in the wrong place" (and missed the main pathogenic mechanism) is an excuse that begs for better over-sight of HIV/AIDS research in general.

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