New WHO Guidelines Urge Phase-Out of Major HIV Drug
December 1, 2009
New HIV/AIDS treatment guidelines announced on Monday by the World Health Organization (WHO) include phasing out the use of stavudine (d4T) due to its side effects.
WHO's new guidelines propose that countries "progressively phase out the use of stavudine as a preferred first-line therapy option and move to less toxic alternatives such as zidovudine (AZT) and tenofovir (TDF)," which are comparable in terms of efficacy. However, while safer than d4T, AZT and TDF are currently more expensive first-line therapies, WHO acknowledged.
WHO called on countries using d4T to draw up plans to move toward AZT- or TDF-based first-line regimens, based on the assessment of cost and feasibility. WHO also said it would assist countries in creating phase-out plans that would not jeopardize treatment access or sustainability.
"[D4T] is the most widely used," said Dr. Siobhan Crowley of WHO's HIV/AIDS department. "There is a trend moving away from it. We think it will take some time."
11.29.2009; Stephanie Nebehay
European AIDS Clinical Society, World Health Organization Each Issue Revised HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.