Mapping Pathways is a multi-national project to develop and nurture a research-driven, community-led global understanding of the emerging evidence base around the adoption of antiretroviral-based prevention strategies to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The evidence base is more than results from clinical trials - it must include stakeholder and community perspectives as well.

29 June 2012

Once-A-Day Pill Shows Promise for People Living with HIV

via abcNEWS, by Mikaela Conley

Doctors told Thomas DeLorenzo he would have lived only two more days had he not come into the emergency room when he did in January 2001. He was dying of AIDS, they said, and his future was bleak because he had waited so long to get treated.

He was in denial for years after his partner died of AIDS in 1995. But after finally getting diagnosed six years later, he "did whatever the doctors said. Whatever it took," DeLorenzo, 49, of Los Angeles said.
"I remember the first day I took the medication," said DeLorenzo, who is now in law school. "It's this big moment that you say, 'Oh f---, here I am.' Reality just hits you in the face."

That was in 2001. After several trials and errors with drug cocktails, he has found a a stable treatment regimen that includes about 17 pills each day to combat and suppress the HIV, while also curbing side effects of the drugs.

And now, a new once-daily "Quad" pill might be added to the arsenal of effective HIV treatments in the near future, according to a new study published in the Lancet. The drug, which combines several medcations into one, could help patients like DeLornezo take fewer pills in the future.

For adults starting antiretroviral treatment, the U.S. Department Health and Human Services recommends the standard treatment for HIV-positive patients, four different drugs, which involved several pills multiple times a day.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School randomly assigned 700 North American patients on two different single-pill regiments, either the new Quad or Atripla, a drug that has become the standard treatment, approved by the FDA in 2006.

After nearly one year of treatment, 88 percent of patients on the Quad experienced a suppression of the virus, compared with 84 percent of the patients on Atripla, the study showed.

Both drugs were also proven to be safe, with only 3.7 percent of the study participants stopping the Quad and 5.1 percent stopping the Atripla.

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