May #123 : Simply Irresistible - by Nelson Vergel

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Table of Contents
One Tough Pirate

Seeing the Future

Mentors-May 2006

Medicine Men

Custom Care

Early Birds

Simply Irresistible

The Topic of Cancer

Sow Your Oats

Trainer’s Bench-May 2006

Hustle and Flow

Animal Attraction

Purrrfect Health

Women on Top

PEP Rally

POZ Personals Catch of the Month-May 2006

First Aid for Your Medicaid

Shall We Dance?

A Will & Grace-full Exit?

Ratings for a Serial Virus

Squeaky Clean?

Prescription For Change

Bono’s Red Alert

One Hot ASO

Banned Aid

It’s Not You; It’s Me

Near Dead Again

Editor's Letter-May 2006

Mailbox-May 2006

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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May 2006

Simply Irresistible

by Nelson Vergel

Long-termers look to new med combos to battle resistance

I’ve been positive since 1983, and like many other long-term survivors, I took each new drug as soon as it became available. Even after combo therapy arrived, I often mixed one new med that worked with others that were already failing. The practice proved to be a recipe for resistance. In the past two years, my T cells have dropped from 580 to 200, and I’m in “salvage therapy,” meaning that I take a combo of drugs to which I have resistance, hoping that together they’ll provide some antiviral action.

But soon, I’ll have a new approach to consider. Eight new meds are either currently FDA-approved or will, within the next year or so, be approved or be available in expanded access, a program to get preapproval drugs to those in dire need. There are three fusion, attachment or entry inhibitors; three protease inhibitors (PIs); a non-nuke; and an integrase inhibitor. In the past, each new med was tested in combination with older ones. Now, some trials will test a combination that includes several new meds. In addition, long-termers like me can combine several new drugs that are in expanded access. I plan to wait for the expanded-access availability of a new integrase inhibitor, MK-0518, and team it with a new PI, TMC-114 (darunavir), which should be approved later this year. It seems like a blueprint for a working combo—and boy, will I work it.

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