Researchers Compare Different Antiretroviral Combination Therapies' Ability to Suppress Viral Loads in Patients on Initial Treatment of HIV-1 Infection
May 19, 2008
A triple-combination therapy that includes the antiretroviral drug efavirenz is the most effective among two other widely used antiretroviral regimens at suppressing HIV viral loads for initial treatment of HIV-1 infection, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
"What we found is that one regimen performs the best, but all of them work pretty well," Riddler said. She added that because people have different reactions to the drugs and because pregnant women should not take efavirenz, doctors need a variety of alternatives. Drug side effects can include cardiovascular disease, fatigue, and kidney and liver problems, the Tribune-Review reports. Riddler added that it is important for people to take the drugs consistently to prevent resistance.
John Mellors, director of the HIV/AIDS program at UP's Medical Center and senior co-author of the study, said that the findings offer researchers who are working to develop more effective antiretrovirals a drug regimen to compare with other treatments.
"This is a critically important study," Joel Gallant -- a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who did not participate in the study -- said. The research "really compares what have been considered the gold standards" of treatment, he added (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/15).
The study abstract is available online.
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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.