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10 Moments That Changed HIV Care This Year

December 13, 2013


HCV Revolution

HCV Revolution

Stop us if you've heard this story before: A virus spreads that causes a chronic condition in humans. Over a span of years, it causes progressive damage that can often result in death. Researchers develop drugs to keep the virus at bay, but at first, the drugs are highly toxic and a major hassle to take. Then, seemingly all at once, a new generation of medications is developed that makes living with the virus manageable.

That is, of course, the story of HIV treatment in a nutshell. And now, thanks to major developments in 2013, it may be the story of hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment as well.

We've known about HCV about as long as we've known about HIV, but treatments for HCV have been much slower to develop. The standard of care throughout the first decade of this century, peg-interferon plus ribavirin, had a low success rate and was often associated with brutal side effects.

Last year, the U.S. approval of Incivek (telaprevir) and Victrelis (boceprevir) opened a new window on HCV treatment for people with HIV (up to a third of whom also have HCV). This year, the approvals of Olysio (simeprevir) and Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) have ushered in a fresh new breeze of hope.

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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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