A new AIDS drug that has shown ability to effectively decrease HIV viral laods after 24 weeks of use by HIV-positive people, especially thi\ose who have not responded to other treatments, has tickled the fancy of many people
According to the study published, the integrase inhibitor, Raltegravir being developed by Meck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) viral loads dropped below a measurable threshold of 50 copies per millilitre in 65 percent of patients taking the drug, nearly five times as many as the placebo group.
Beatriz Grinsztejn, of Merck Pennnsylvania, USA, and colleagues found that the patients showed remarked improvement, not only in decreased viral load but also the immune system responses were substantially boosted. Patients taking Raltegravir had an average of 98 percent drop in their HIV RND count compared to just 45 percent drop in the placebo group.Raltegravir was formally known as MK-0518.
There are three enzymes necessary for HIV to replicate in the body, namely: Reverse Transcriptase, Protease and Integrase.
U.S food and Drug Administration has already approved a handful of antiretrovirals that are targeted at the first two enzymes and are widely used in combination treatment regimen.
The advent of HAART has made HIV/AIDS a manageable chronic disease. HIV- infected patients now live longer.However, as with other chronic diseaeses such as diabetes and hypertension, non-adherence to treatment regimen is common among HIV-infected patients .
Estimate of average rates of non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy have been put at 50 percent to 70 percent, even as experts say the combination regimen and the pill burden further pose new challenges to adherence. This leads to resistance and virologic failure that further limits treatment options. Hence, it is very crucial that new treatment are available to meet any drug resistance that might develop over time.
In an accompanying lancet commently, PEDRO CAHN AND OMAR SUED, of the Department of Clinical Research at the Fundation Huesped in BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, wrote that Raltegravir " showed unprecedented level of virological efficiency" adding that the treatment " achieved virilogical suppression even in patients with limited options" scientist believed that Raitegravir would play a major role in salvaging therapy for patients falling current therapy with multidrug- resistant virus and limited treatment options