Prezista and Aptivus are the latest approved members of the protease inhibitor (PI) HIV med class. Like other PIs, these cut viral loads by preventing immune cells from making more HIV, and they require a Norvir (ritonavir) booster dose. But these two may knock out some HIV that’s grown PI-resistant.
Prezista (darunavir, formerly TMC-114), which won FDA approval in June, controlled HIV with a twice-daily dose, even in those who’ve taken PIs before.
Aptivus (tipranavir) was approved last year for those who’ve taken combos (including PIs) before. But recently, some Aptivus takers developed bleeding in the brain. While researchers locate the cause, Aptivus should be used cautiously by anyone with risk factors for excessive brain bleeding such as high blood pressure or use of blood thinners. Red flags are up, too, for those allergic to sulfa drugs (an Aptivus ingredient). The future of the PI for those new to HIV meds is hazy: In May, a study for treatment newcomers was halted when Aptivus with a 200 mg Norvir booster was found to be liver-unfriendly, while Aptivus plus 100 mg Norvir was ineffective.