Message from CPCRA 007 and other combination studies:
"You're only naïve once." More ubiquitous than even the unimaginative Steelers-Cowboys Superbowl Sunday banter was the sight of euphoric virologists high-fiving each other in the conference corridors with hearty cheers of "It's the virus, stupid." While the sound bite of the Third Retroviral Conference may have been "Hit it hard, and hit it early," a goodly share of the week's data hinted at how much more complicated this obliterate-the-virus approach may turn out to be--at least, the "hit it early" part. A closer look at combo antiretroviral studies such as the CPCRA 007 study, the indinavir+AZT+3TC study and others make an equally compelling case for remaining drug-naïve as long as possible--especially if the much ballyhooed benefit of the protease inhibitors turns out to be anything as transient as that of their RTI predecessors. (Remember BW 02?) These studies showed that combination therapy could whack quite a wallop against the virus--even in persons with advanced HIV disease, but the impact of these new drugs was most pronounced in those with limited or no prior treatment.
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This article was provided by Treatment Action Group. It is a part of the publication TAGline.