FDA Approves new HIV Treatment

English: Logo of the .

The FDA approved “the Quad”- a four-medication-in-one-pill treatment for controlling HIV. Two of the medications comprising Stribild, tenofovir and emtricitabine, have been previously combined and sold under the brand name Truvada (itself approved a few weeks ago as a preventative or prophylactic for HIV, see related articles below).

Two of the medications are new, and – as a condition of approval- will require greater testing in women and children, as well as studying possibilities and occasions of resistance.

This is good news.

Simplifying regimens is a helpful strategy in helping keep HIV-infected persons faithful to their medication schedules, a key in effectively treating HIV. Cost is yet to be determined- and most HIV regimens cost in excess of $18,000.00 a year (mine cost $24k).

Still no picnic- but good news for those who need a simpler med schedule.

Another Reason To Start HIV Meds Early

From Science Daily:

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and GHESKIO (Groupe Haitien d’Etude du Sarcome de Kaposi et des Infections Opportunistes) have shown that early treatment of HIV not only saves lives but is also cost-effective.

And the recommended blood levels of T-cells as markers to start treatment is creeping up:

Before 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended waiting to initiate antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV until a patient’s CD4+ T cells fall below 200 cells per cubic millimeter. But in that year, a randomized clinical trial completed by Weill Cornell researchers at the GHESKIO clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, demonstrated that early ART decreased mortality by 75 percent in HIV-infected adults with a CD4 cell count between 200 and 350 cells/mm3. As a result, the WHO now recommends that ART is started in HIV-infected people when their CD4 cell count falls below 350 cells/mm3.

Full story here.