December #54 : Less Is More - by Lark Lands

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Table of Contents

The AIDS Decade: The 99 Greatest Moments of the '90s

Inside Agitator

Happy Holidays?

It's 10 O'Clock. Do You Know Where Your Meds Are?

Publisher's Letter

Mailbox-December 1999

Your Money or Your Life

Mass Appeal


Parallel Universe


Syph 'N' Spin

Hot Copy

Attention, Shoppers

Where Did HIV Come From?

The Spirit of St. Louis

Splendor in the Pines

Keeping the Faith


Tenement Dreams

10,000 Hemophiliacs

Just Eat It

Food Fight

The Hit List

Compound Interest

When to Treat Hep C?

Hep Help Hurray!

The Scoop on Poop

Could You Have HAD?

Shelf Life

Vintage Gallo

Days of Wine and Doses

Less Is More

Cutting Corners

A Day Without

Catching Up With

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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December 1999

Less Is More

by Lark Lands

Researchers from the University of Maryland’s Institute of Human Virology may have found a way to make one of the newest antiretrovirals even more effective. Abacavir (Ziagen), Glaxo Wellcome’s new nuke, works as a defective mimic of guanosine, a building block of all cells’ genetic material, that HIV needs for replication. David Oldach, MD, and David Margolis, MD, hit upon mixing abacavir with mycophenolic acid, a drug used in transplant patients to help prevent organ rejection by depleting the guanosine in white blood cells. The scientists reasoned that if the transplant drug made fewer real guanosine building blocks available to HIV for replication, then it could help abacavir’s fakes boost the odds against the virus. In fact, the combo made abacavir six times better at blocking HIV, which raises the possibility of using lower, less toxic doses of the drug. “You’d be hard-pressed to find another combination of anti-HIV drugs with this profound an effect,” Margolis says. Remarkably, this experimental treatment went from first thought to human trials in a mere six months.

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