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New once-a-day HIV drug launched ahead of World AIDS Day

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  1. On another thread people are wondering why there is such an increase in HIV infections.

    My reply was that HIV is no longer a death sentence, and these days is an annoying, chronic condition, which is easier to manage than type 1 diabetes.

    This story bears this out.

    1. Its certainly one aspect of the answer

      Increased testing is also a reason why there are more cases diagnosed

      1. Not strictly true.

        Last year there was 91500 positive people in Britain. The year before there was 86,500. There was a 6,660 new diagnoses (so presumably this means that there was 1,660 deaths).

        That is a 7.7% in new infections, whereas the HPA report said there was only a 2.4% increase in testing.

        Simply put, more people are getting infected.

        1. @ D

          This is coorect if you look at the accumlative figures of the HPA less death = about 92,000 already known to be affected with HIV in the UK, for now refer This data has been known just now published on different media forms.

        2. The death rates as published in the HPA report are in the region of 650.

    2. Michael Duggan 29 Nov 2011, 10:53pm

      This assumes 1: that guys are not worryed about getting HIV because of the success of anti-retroviral treatment and 2: ignores the effect of a suppressed virus on transmitability (you are vanishingly unlikely to get HIV from someone on successful treatment.)

      1. Maybe some people would be more concerned about HIV if they were told of the truth of having HIV, rather than being told it’s no big deal.

        If telling people that HIV causes cardiac problems, internal inflammation, cognitive problems, osteoporosis, and so forth doesn’t convince people to avoid the sex-industry’s constant coaxing to have more and more risky sex, then maybe information like the following will.

        HIV can make you eyebrows and eyelashes drop out, so that you have none!

        1. Chas
          Whilst you are correct to highlight that uncontrolled viral replication can have the effects you mention there is much evidence to suggest that when the virus is suppressed by ARV’S then these problems are significantly reduced.

          Why is it necessary for you just to mention half the story, or perhaps you were not aware that treatment is known to have beneficial effects, and hence we are seeing much better outcomes for +ve individuals.

          Just presenting part of the picture is misleading, and there is a big difference between viral suppression and uncontrolled viral replication on the body, you need to be accurate and not just state HIV causes the problems you highlight, it can if left untreated!

          1. As with the “eye lash” example again you have chosen the sound bites to suit your argument, rather than explain that this phenom amen HAS been seen but requires a full medical checkup for other underlying problems………it’s called being economic with the truth and really is not helpful.

            Also can we please start comparing like with like, the US and UK health systems are very different and therefore have differing outcomes, particularly in relation to HIV. If you can point me in the direction of a study that confirmes inconclusively that HIV makes you loose your eyebrows and eyelashes I would be very interested to read it!

  2. Gilead will be THRILLED at the increase in infections and the near normal life expectancy of someone diagnosed positive.

    That’s a lifetime’s source of income for Gilead.

    I personally think patents should never apply to medecine. Gilead is a company motivated by profit not by the health and wellbeing of the population.

    Gilead has no interest in a cure for example as where would that leave their business?

    1. @ D

      on the other side of the coin is without Gilead involvment, no treatment, more deaths which is the better? You could say that about any industry it customer,choice & depend. How Gilead and other companies use the monies it receives is another question? Maybe is that what chould be questioned?

      1. meant demand

      2. Or alternatively Gilead could be allowed to profit from this drugs for say a 12 month period; and then be told that unless the prices are in line with costs of production / packaging then the British government (or any government) will be entirely within their rights to produce generic copies.

        I’d also ban lobbying by pharmaceutical companies,.

        Medecine saves lives – it is utterly wrong to allow people to die or suffer while these companies make billions.

        1. Interesting point, though EU has a 20 year patent and can be extended upto 25 years refer

        2. de Villiers 30 Nov 2011, 2:06pm

          The cost of research and development in drugs is enormous. It may take more than ten years to recover costs not just of the drug on sale but of all the other unsuccessful drugs that could never make it to the market. The profit motive is what encourages research and development into drugs.

          We leave all manner of sensitive industries to the private sector – the sale and supply of food, clothes and defence equipment. There is a mixed provision in sectors such as housing. I doubt if in relation to drug research that the state would do a better job than private companies – or that it would be free from political interference.

    2. Whilst this new fixed dose pill Eviplera has now received EU approval it is unlikely to be offered routinely in London clinics, where a large proportion of +ve invidiuals receive their HIV care and treatment. The purchasing of drugs is likely to be further centralisied to obtain ecomonies of scale throughout the UK – this can only be a good thing to drive down cost to the NHS.
      Gilead did not provide a competative price for its fixed dose Atripla and Truvada combinations. HIV medication plays a big role in prevention, so I think it is wrong to suggest that companies like Gilead have no interest in prevention and just want to perpetuate more new infections – this to me seems rather a blinkered view of the role drug companies have in helping reduce viral load on a population scale, which ultimately will result in fewer new infections.

      It should also be remembered that the one pill a day drugs have been developed specifically with the US market in mind.

  3. vversatile 29 Nov 2011, 6:20pm

    Would be useful if the story actually included the three antiretrovirals that were included in Eviplera.
    They are rilpivirine, tenofovir and FTC for those who are interested.

    1. Rilpivirine does have its limitations as a second generation NNRTI drug as it is not as effective as other drugs in the same class at reducing high viral load levels. Also the resistance profile is inferior to Etravirine which was the first second generation NNRTI to become available – I guess this is why Etravirine is being used for second line treatment options.

      1. Michael Duggan 29 Nov 2011, 10:59pm

        Rilvipirine has a smilar resistance profile to Etravirine, certainly not inferior, except at high baseline viral loads (<100,000)

        1. From the research I have read , is susceptible to the same mutations as Efavirenz and Nevirapine, whereas Etravirine can still be used successfully when these mutations are present, hence Etravirine is used as a second line treatment option even when NNRTI resistance is present.

    1. This is not “truth”, it is paranoid supposition.There’s no evidence.

  4. Jock S. Trap 15 Dec 2011, 12:31pm

    Here’s hoping it works effectively and with little or no side effects.

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