Research Shows Five-Drug Therapy No Different from Standard

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Researchers are disappointed in announcing during the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections that an experimental treatment involving intensified antiretroviral drugs had no difference in effect compared to standard therapy for acute and early HIV.

The experiment lasted 48 weeks, with one group of patients being given five experimental drugs and the other being treated using three traditional drugs. The research concludes that both groups had equal levels of HIV RNA particles in their blood. There was also no difference in other measurements of the immune system.

“I was disappointed,” said Dr. Martin Markowitz of New York City’s Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. “I had hoped we could go further with antiretroviral therapy than we have.”

Although the results is just halfway through the 96-week study, Markowitz said that “upping the ante from the get-go may not work.”

One group of patients were treated with fixed doses of tenofovir and emtricitabine, both reverse transcriptase inhibitors, as well as a boosted protease inhibitor (either atazanavir or darunavir). The other group were given the same drugs, in addition to an entry inhibitor maraviroc, and the integrase inhibitor raltegravir.

The patients getting five drugs reached undetectable levels of HIV RNA in their blood faster compared to the other group, but there was no significant difference in the proportion of undetectable virus after 24 weeks.

Source: MedPage Today
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