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Breakthrough In HIV Treatment
A new combined medication for the suppression of HIV symptoms will make management of the disease a lot easier.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is at present still incurable, but can be controlled by a complex medication regime, that over the years has improved from the horrendous amounts of tablets taken three times a day. It is important to be precise when taking the medication, because HIV is fast at reproducing itself when a dose is mistimed or not taken at all. This can also cause the sufferer to become immune to the drugs.

This new breakthrough tablet consists of Elvitegravir, Emtricitabine, Tenofovir and Cobicistat to be taken once a day. This will make self-treatment much easier to adhere to and suppress the virus. It will be the first time that an anti-HIV medicine has used the newly discovered integrase inhibitor in order to prevent it replicating. This type of inhibitor is a blocker to stop the integrase from working. A host cell has an enzyme that has been put into a viral genome which is then added to its DNA, which stops the virus multiplying.

The new research was carried out by Dr Paul Sax, working at the infectious diseases department of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, USA. He is also the hospitals clinical director and holds an associate position at Harvard. They compared the new quad pill with existing treatment that is offered for HIV suppression amongst 700 volunteers. It produced very good overall results, with only a small amount of the collective acquiring an elevated level of kidney conditions.

There were four cases of renal failure reported and an uncommon complaint where certain elements were not being absorbed via the kidneys. "Our results provide an additional highly potent, well-tolerated treatment option and highlight the simplicity of treatment resulting from combining several antiretrovirals in a single pill.” Said Dr Sax.

Dr Steve Taylor a British HIV specialist for nearly twenty years, at Heartland Hospital in the Midlands said, "Without a doubt the achievement of a one-a-day pill has been a big advance in tackling HIV. We've come a long way from people taking up to 40 pills three times a day." Dr Taylor also related that there are a lot of people that are unaware that they have HIV and that this could be as many as 25% of infected people in the UK. HIV sufferers can also encounter other medical problems like erectile dysfunction, which can be alleviated by using Viagra or Cialis.

The recent research was funded by Gilead Sciences an American biotech company. Most of the HIV drug related patients are due to expire in 2018, so in order for the primary pharmaceutical companies to keep their hold on their income, we could see a few new drugs appearing, or more welcome a cure.

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Written by Debra Evans


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