Dr. Give us some info on upcoming treatments

Question

Hello Dr,

Just out of curiousity and who better to ask than the expert himself. How does the future look for the treatment of HIV/AIDS? What are the new drugs in the pipeline and how effective do they look? Are any of them having a major effect against the virus that may lead us to a actual cure anytime soon?

Thanks again, Your Pal Marko

Answer

Hello Marko,

How does the future look for the treatment of HIV/AIDS? Well, let me use the exact words of that ever-so-brilliant mind, Donald Rumsfeld, to answer that. As Rummy once said, "As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know." With double-speak like that I guess we should be grateful Rummy isn't in charge of the war on AIDS! Of course, since he's largely responsible for a massive redirection of billions and billions of dollars from other programs to the Iraq debacle, he certainly hasn't helped the battle against HIV/AIDS either.

Regarding experimental HIV/AIDS therapies, there are many promising agents in the pipeline in all the current antiretroviral drug classes NRTIs (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors), NNRTIs (non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors), PI (protease inhibitors) and fusion inhibitors. In addition, there are promising novel agents, such as integrase inhibitors, other entry inhibitors, cleavage inhibitors, and immune-based therapies, all on the horizon. The trouble with horizons is that they look pretty but it's hard to actually see how far away they really are. Perhaps Rummy would say it's an unknowable unknowable. I, on the other hand, merely suggest you keep TheBody.com's website "bookmarked" on your computer and stay tuned. We promise to bring you all the developing information on new therapies as they evolve. Marko, stay tuned and you'll stay informed. I promise. OK?

Dr. Bob