November #159 : Breath of Life? - by Laura Whitehorn

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Table of Contents

Who Wants to Be an AIDS Advocate?

Let’s Get Ready to Rally!

When Pigs Fly

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Breath of Life?

Staying Alive

Medicine Chest

Need a Doctor? Call a Nurse.


Dollar Days

Booty Boost

Take Home Testing

Inglourious Adsters?

Show Us the Money

Acting Up

The Defense Rests

Healthy Debate

Editor's Letter-November 2009

The Power of 'U'

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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November 2009

Breath of Life?

by Laura Whitehorn

An experimental device promises to help you take your HIV meds—and maybe even monitor their levels.

Xhale Inc. is working to develop a small mechanism similar to an alcohol breathalyzer to monitor med adherence. “You blow into it,” Xhale’s Elena Casson told POZ, “and it tells you whether you have taken the drugs.”

Casson says the adherence breathalyzer, which will send an electonic nudge if you’ve missed a dose, might be produced in about two years. One hurdle: If HIV meds aren’t breath detectable, drug companies may need to add special markers to enable drugs to register in the breath. Casson says researchers have found two drugs—acetaminophen (Tylenol) and valproic acid (Depakote, for epilepsy and bipolar disorder)—that are naturally detectable in breath; they haven’t tested others.

Xhale is also developing a breathalyzer for therapeutic drug monitoring—measuring blood levels of HIV meds to see whether your combo delivers enough (or too much) of each drug. “For this, we’ll need to correlate the levels of drugs in the breath with those in the blood,” Casson says. Until then, we’ll hold our breath.

Search: Xhale Inc., adherence, monitoring, drug, breath

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