A single infusion of zoledronic acid is associated with protection against bone loss for up to a year among individuals starting antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV for the first time, aidsmap reports. Researchers conducted a single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II study of 63 HIV-positive people with no history of bone loss. They were randomized to receive one 5-milligram infusion of zoledronic acid, a drug approved to treat bone-related cancers, along with chemotherapy, or a placebo.

Findings were presented at the 2016 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston.

The participants were all treated with Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine) and followed for 48 weeks.

Those who received zoledronic acid experienced an average 74 percent reduction in bone loss at week 12 compared with those who got the placebo. At week 24 and 48, this relative reduction was a respective 65 percent and 56 percent.

Zoledronic acid proved safe and well tolerated. The two study arms had similar rates of viral suppression and increases in CD4 cell counts.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.

To read the conference abstract, click here.