New research presented at the recent American Society for Microbiology conference offered good news: when HIV-positive people who were undetectable switched their dose of Atripla from every day to every other weekday, they were able to maintain viral suppression.
This is great news for users, as Atripla comes with prevalent side effects including insomnia, unusual dreams, loss of bone density, and kidney function impairment. Fixed dose pills have made HIV treatment convenient, but reducing the frequency could lower costs, fight pill fatigue, and reduce harmful side effects. In fact, those on the reduced frequency showed better bone density and kidney function than daily users.
However, cholesterol levels were higher, likely because reducing tenofovir reduces the drug’s cholesterol-lowering effect. Fears that a non-daily pill regimen might make it harder for people to remember to take them consistently proved unfounded.
According to AIDSmap, adherence was good. Adherence was assessed by both patient questionnaires and pill counts.
Researchers Esteban Martinez and Jose Gatell of the University of Barcelona will continue running the study for a full three years to verify that the less frequent dosage of Atripla can be used for long-term treatment.
1) Seems gay men shift in and out of risk levels pretty fluidly. 2) Having an income above $20,000 a year actually makes gay men MORE LIKELY to be at high risk for HIV infection. 3) In addition, being white, as opposed to being black or hispanic was linked to an increase in high-risk behavior.
“The main news is that in the PARTNER Study so far there have been NO TRANSMISSIONS within couples from a partner with an undetectable viral load, in what was estimated as 16,400 occasions of sex in the gay men and 14,000 in the heterosexuals.” - From AIDSmap’s “No-one with an undetectable viral load, gay or heterosexual, transmits HIV in first two years of PARTNER study”
The use of HIV antiretrovirals as pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent the transmission of the virus before it manifests is proven to work, and apparently vastly supported in the medical community. But when it comes to actually making the decision with patients, most docs back out. Is it an education or moral flaw?