October 30, 2008

October 30, 2008
New Anti-HIV Drugs

I remember a time before HIV medications since I have been positive since 1982 and AZT did not come out until 1986. Then a couple of years later, we had a couple more anti-HIV drugs but even in combination, they were not effectively keeping people with HIV and AIDS alive. Then in 1996, protease inhibitors became available and changed the death sentence of AIDS.

Now we have only 20 anti-HIV drugs to help keep people alive and some more have just been released. Following is a listing of some recently released anti-HIV drugs.


Vicriviroc is an experimental anti-HIV drug that belongs to a group of medicines called CCR5 inhibitors. One CCR5 inhibitor is currently available – maraviroc (Celsentri).

Results of studies looking at vicriviroc show that its use is safe. In particular, these studies showed that treatment with the drug did not increase the risk of cancer. Nor was treatment with the drug associated with liver problems, heart problems, or seizures.


Bevirimat is also an experimental drug being studied in clinical trials. It is a completely new type of anti-HIV drug called a maturation inhibitor – it basically stops HIV from ‘growing up’.

Researchers are still trying to find the most effective dose of bevirimat. They had disappointing results with a tablet so have looked at a liquid formula of the drug and some doses resulted in good falls in HIV without major side-effects.

The latest studies into the drug have also helped researchers get a better understanding of how to use the drug in people with resistance.


Elvucitabine is an experimental NRTI. Researchers are conducting a two year long study comparing it to 3TC (lamivudine, Epivir) in people taking HIV treatment for the first time. These drugs were taken in combination with other anti-HIV drugs.

Results for the first year of the study are now available and show that patients treated with a combination that includes elvucitabine are just as likely as those taking 3TC to have a fall in their viral load to undetectable levels. Increases in CD4 cell count were similar between the two groups of patients, as was the rate of side-effects.

But a lot of people taking elvucitabine dropped out of the study. Researchers have not found a particular reason for this.

So when it comes time for you to start medications or if your current medications are no longer controlling your viral load, there are more anti-HIV drugs to choose from than ever before.

The most important thing is to remember to take your meds every single time as directed. Otherwise, the virus will not be contained and will start multiplying again.

Continued success in your personal war with HIV and AIDS.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab