First-Line Triple-Combination Antiretroviral Therapy Provides Long-Term Protection Against AIDS-Related Illnesses, Study Says
December 10, 2007
First-line triple-combination antiretroviral therapy provides long-term protection against AIDS-related illnesses, according to a study published Friday in the Lancet, AFP/Google.com reports. The three first-line classes of antiretrovirals are nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors.
The researchers noted that the study's findings will have implications in developing countries, where "additional drugs outside these classes are unlikely to be available for some time" (Lancet, 12/7). According to the World Health Organization, more than two million people worldwide were receiving standard triple-combination therapy at the end of 2006 -- a 54% increase compared with 2005.
The finding that 58% of those who developed resistance to first-line drugs also developed resistance to second-line drugs "has implications for the treatment of patients in developing countries," Edward Mills -- of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS -- and Jean Nachega -- of Johns Hopkins University -- write in a commentary that accompanies the study. Mills and Nachega add that in developing countries, "only one or two regimens are normally available, which results in disastrous consequences when these regimes fail."
Mills and Nachega noted that the study participants typically began treatment earlier, when their immune systems had a greater capacity to fight HIV, compared with people living in developing countries (AFP/Google.com, 12/7).
An abstract of the study is available online.
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.