Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

What's New in Treatment Information?
Excerpts From Hotline Memos of November 1999
From the Information Department of Project Inform

December 1999

Table of Contents:

Highlights from the Institute of Human Virology Meeting

Several interesting presentations were discussed at the recent Laboratory of Human Virology meeting in Baltimore. Of particular interest were a few presentations of laboratory studies of drugs that inhibit cellular factors of HIV. These drugs can be used in combination with the current nucleoside analogue therapies resulting in increased potency, which may overcome HIV already resistant to the nucleoside analogues [such as AZT (zidovudine Retrovir®), ddI (didanosine Videx®), ddC (zalcitabine Hivid®), d4T (stavudine Zerit®), 3TC (lamivudine Epivir®) and abacavir (Ziagen®)].

Drug Interaction and the Anti-HIV Drug Emivirine (Coactinon®)

A recent study showed significant interaction between the two anti-HIV drugs, nelfinavir (Viracept®) and emivirine (Coactinon®, formerly known as MKC-442). An earlier small study suggested that emivirine decreased nelfinavir levels by about 30% in blood. A new study suggests that the interaction is far greater.

A study evaluating the addition of emivirine to a regimen of d4T (stavudine, Zerit®), 3TC (lamivudine, Epivir®) and nelfinavir looked to see if adding the drug resulted in better and longer suppression of HIV. The exact degree of the interaction is still not known, but it's thought that emivirine reduced nelfinavir levels by over 50%. As a result, it's highly unlikely that nelfinavir contributed any anti-HIV activity as part of the combination studied. It's known that emivirine decreases indinavir (Crixivan®) levels by about 80% in blood.

The study employed a higher dose of nelfinavir than what is traditionally recommended (1,000mg three times a day for a total daily dose of 3,000mg) to compensate for the drug interaction observed in the earlier study. As a result of this greater than anticipated interaction, no difference in anti-HIV activity was seen between the two groups. Triangle Pharmaceuticals, the developers of emivirine, had originally hoped to file for approval of this drug by the end of 1999. However, it's now likely that the filing will be delayed.

Have You Ever Thought About Attending an AIDS Conference?

The International AIDS Conference will be held in Durban, South Africa, from July 9-14, 2000. Information on conference registration, the community scholarship program and submitting abstracts for poster and oral presentations are available through the conference website ( or by writing the conference organizers. Contact information is provided below:

XIII International AIDS Conference
P.O. Box 1620
Durban 4000
South Africa

Phone: 27-31-3010400
Fax: 27-31-3010191

Conference coordinator (International): Karen Bennet

Conference coordinator (Africa): Fakazile Myeza

Information is available in English, French and Spanish

If you or someone you know is interested in attending the International AIDS Conference, register early and seek information about scholarship programs. Often, conferences and forums on specific topic areas take place in conjunction with the International AIDS Conference. You should keep your eyes open for events of interest as you get closer to making your travel arrangements for the meeting if you've decided to go.

For example, each year the International Community of Women living with AIDS typically holds meetings or events prior to and during the International AIDS Conference. There has been talk about a Women and AIDS meeting to coincide with the Durban meeting, though nothing formal has yet been proposed. Also, sometimes there's an international conference on alternative and complementary therapy for HIV disease which proceeds the main conference. Last year, a two day forum to get people living with HIV and their advocates and educators up-to-speed on treatment information took place prior to the meeting. These events are not endorsed by the International AIDS Conference per se, but for those who are interested, keep your eyes open for posting of these types of events to maximize your time in Durban.

Scholarship Application Forms must be received by the Congrex in Sweden by February 1, 2000. They must be mailed and will NOT be accepted through fax.

This article was provided by Project Inform. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.