New drugs and whole new class wowed in the 2007 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). Here’s news to use, of meds new and old:

  • More than ten years after the discovery that HIV is best treated by combining several different drug classes, a new med class—integrase inhibitors, hereby christenedinnies—joins the treatment arsenal of nukes, non-nukes, protease inhibitors (PIs) and entry inhibitors (EIs). Integrase inhibitors stop HIV from packing its DNA into immune cell genes. Closest to an FDA OK—possibly later this year—is Merck’s Isentress (MK-0518) currently available through expanded access.
  • Maraviroc, Pfizer’s entry inhibitor pill, should hit pharmacies by fall.
  • Fosamax (aka alendronate), a drug that slows bone thinning, works safely for positive people (many of whom experience osteoporosis and osteopenia). Taking Fosamax plus calcium and vitamin D fortifies bone density better than calcium and D alone.