Two Drugs Could Hold Off AIDS
March 5, 2007
On Feb. 26, CDC scientists revisited earlier studies in which AIDS drugs had been used in monkeys as a prophylaxis against an HIV-like infection. At the 14th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Los Angeles, researchers presented data on using Gilead's Truvada (a combination of Viread and Emtriva) in larger doses, prophylactically.
In last year's report, six monkeys receiving Truvada were protected against simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection. In a new study, two of six monkeys that received Truvada containing Viread at a one-third less dose became SIV-infected. Four of six additional monkeys that received only Emtriva were also infected. Among 18 monkeys receiving no drugs, 17 became SIV-infected.
The data are preliminary, CDC officials cautioned, noting that the knowledge gained in monkey studies does not always translate to humans. However, it would be a public health boon if high doses of Viread and Emtriva could be proven to protect against HIV infection. More studies are underway, though it could be years before data are published. Nonetheless, "this is very encouraging," said Walid Heneine, who helped conduct the study.
San Jose Mercury News
02.27.07; Steve Johnson
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.