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IAS 2019 – Research on long-acting HIV medications


Now we’re looking towards the future of how we can treat HIV in a way that’s less burdensome for the patient potentially less toxicity and Potentially medications that work with more resistant viruses. There’s lots of incredible research that’s being done on HIV treatment So one side is HIV cure strategies where we hope to find a cure for HIV and then there’s These other research strategies, which is looking at long-term medications, so instead of taking a pill every day you’d take a medication – either an injection that would last a month and there’s even research that’s looking into medications that would slowly release medication on a daily basis but you wouldn’t have to administer the medication more than say once a year or once every few years possibly a depo medication or nanoparticles that would be delivered below the skin and that would release the medication over a long period of time and so I think there are several populations that this would be really great for and so one that readily comes to mind is People who are long-term survivors or even people that have been taking medications for a long period of time there’s a very real pill fatigue issue where people just for whatever reason find it really difficult to take their medications on a daily basis And so this would be a great treatment option for them and then additionally lastly I think populations that this would be really helpful for would be international populations that have decreased access to healthcare And so if it’s difficult to get medications on a monthly basis or a daily basis from a clinic or a pharmacy potentially you could visit patients or have them come once a year for you know a year’s worth of medication that could be released. One of the downsides of these medications is if you do say an injection some of the half-lives of these medications can stay in your system for several months after the injection so if you have any bad side effects, or worse any toxicities from these medications – then there’s no great way of actually getting the medication out of your system The second thing that could raise concerns is issues around resistance and so some of the trials that have been done on these long-acting injectables did find even with good adherence even if the patients were getting these injections once a month there was still some resistance that was seen. It was particularly seen in a in a in a type of HIV that we generally don’t see in the United States, but it’s still a possibility. And then lastly in terms of issues with resistance is that once again if you get the injection and it stays in your system and for whatever reason you don’t come back the next month for your next injection if you fall out of care or if you’re having bad side effects then there’s an issue of having a little bit of drug level in your system, but not enough to actually suppress the virus. So then that would open you to more risk of resistance as well.

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