Los Angeles Times Examines ‘Salvage Therapy’ Among HIV-Positive People Who Have Developed Drug Resistance
The Los Angles Times on Monday examined the use of "salvage therapy" among HIV-positive people who have developed a "bedeviling resistance" to antiretroviral drugs. An estimated 40,000 HIV-positive people in the U.S. have developed resistance to available antiretrovirals and rely on a "complicated and ever changing" combination of available drugs to "keep them alive long enough for entirely new drugs to arrive," according to the Times. The clinical findings for one such drug, called integrase inhibitors, were highlighted at last year's XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, the Times reports. According to the newly published clinical trial results, integrase inhibitors when used in combination therapy reduced almost 100% of the participants' viral loads to undetectable levels. The combination therapy had the same effect in 72% of study participants on salvage therapy, according to the Times. "They tested it on some people who were in deep, deep salvage therapy, and even those people did remarkably well," Steven Deeks of the University of California-San Francisco said, adding, "It seems to be a truly phenomenal drug that everyone is sort of a little bit in awe of right now and is changing the whole way we think about the management of these patients" (Ricci, Los Angeles Times, 1/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.