October #138 : The Early Show - by Derek Thaczuk

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Brothers & Sisters

Call Me Miss Ralph

At Your Service




Two-Time Survivor

Reyataz Takers: Drink Up

It's Stuffy in Here

So Hot off the Press

The Early Show

Mortal Combat

Buck Buddies

Posh Spices

Not in My House




Back to the Bathhouse

With or Without You

Embedded

Campus Confidential

Reality Bites

Sarah Sorting

Above the Rim

Hot Dates-October 2007

Capital Punishment

The Shirt Off My Back

eBay AIDS

Dairy Queen

Let’s Hear It for the Boy




Editor's Letter-October 2007

Mailbox-October 2007

Catch of the Month-October 2007



 
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV



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October 2007


The Early Show

by Derek Thaczuk

Can packing power sooner soften resistance later?

Too often, HIV’s ability to adapt causes drug resistance, which can tank your treatment. That’s why docs warn against missing doses: Med levels in your body must stay high to keep viral load low.

A few new studies suggest going further: walloping HIV with more drugs up front, then easing off to a simpler long-term regimen. This approach—induction or intensification therapy—is being appraised.

A German team sparked the notion by finding that drug resistance emerges soon after people start meds. Even with undetectable viral loads, pockets of resistant virus lurk.  No need to panic— treatment succeeds for many people despite these findings. But faster drops in viral load may produce better outcomes later.

Experts disagree on what this means. The German team found that a four-drug combo got HIV undetectable faster than three (reducing early resistance), suggesting a four-at-first method. But a similar U.S. study found no gain for four drugs versus three: “While interesting,” says study author Daniel Kuritzkes, MD,  “the [German] findings do not by themselves support using more drugs during the initial treatment period.”

Further research may settle the dust. But studies like these expand what we know about resistance—and may point the way to better health.


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