HIV Treatment Breakthrough: Weekly Injection Could Replace Daily Pill Regimen

HIV-1 Gag

HIV-1 Gag (Photo credit: AJC1)

For a number of people with HIV, treatment can be troublesome because medicine should be taken at the same time every day- sometimes more than once a day. Some medications must be taken with food, some without. Some can only be taken near bedtime because they cause drowsiness.

Science Daily reports a treatment breakthrough:

(A) University of Nebraska Medical Center research team’s progress toward developing weekly or twice-monthly injectable antiretroviral therapy (ART) nanomedicines for patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection will be highlighted as the cover story in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

A long-acting, nanoformulated ART (nanoART) would be a substantive improvement over daily and sometimes more complex regimen of pills, said Howard Gendelman, M.D., the lead investigator on the development of nanoART for HIV/AIDS and professor and chairman of the department of pharmacology and experimental neuroscience (PEN) at UNMC.

The journal article hails the successful testing of UNMC’s ART injectables as treatment of HIV-infected mice and in preventing new infections.

“We actually followed the process exactly as we would with a person — and it worked,” Dr. Gendelman said. “This is all very exciting. Although there are clear pitfalls ahead and the medicines are not yet ready for human use, the progress is undeniable.”

This could prove to be helpful- most especially in the developing world- where people have trouble managing a regimen of pills or have low access to long-term medication treatments. But it may have significant impact everywhere, changing the way HIV is treated….

Full article here.

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