HIV/AIDS Drugs: January 2007 Archives

Studies of AIDS prevention gels halted

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HIV/AIDS researchResearchers have halted two studies of an anti-AIDS vaginal gel in Africa and India after early results suggested it might raise the risk of HIV infection instead of lowering it.

It was "a disappointing and unexpected setback" to efforts to get a simple tool to protect women from the risk of AIDS through sex, the World Health Organization said.

More than half of all new infections with the AIDS virus in Africa involve women and girls. Scientists and groups like the Gates Foundation have long sought a method of protection women could use, even without their partners' knowledge, since many men refuse to use condoms.

The studies were testing Ushercell, a gel containing cellulose sulfate, a cotton-based compound developed by Polydex Pharmaceuticals, based in Toronto.

Delay with AIDS drug restores effectiveness, study says

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nevirapinePregnant women who are HIV-positive and take the drug nevirapine during labor to prevent infecting their babies should wait until six months after delivery to resume taking the drug to avoid developing resistance, a new study showed.

By following the findings, to be published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, mothers could reduce the chance of the AIDS drug failing to work when they need it for themselves.

It translates into very clear policy for how to treat AIDS in new mothers who received nevirapine to protect their infants, said Max Essex, an author of the study, which followed the cases of 218 women in Botswana.

Black men in focus in American HIV drug trial

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clinical trialsATLANTA - Aids research in the United States has often focused on gay white men because the virus was identified early in that group and they developed an effective lobbying voice.

But a clinical trial by the Aids Research Consortium of Atlanta is focusing on gay black men, who are not as well organised but who have a higher incidence of the disease.

The trial aims to determine whether an Aids drug is safe for people who are negative for HIV, the virus that causes Aids. It has stirred debate among participants and researchers about gay sexuality within the black community and its attitude to safe sex.

viral geneticsAZUSA, Calif., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Viral Genetics (OTC Bulletin Board: VRAL) has identified two key peptides involved in its thymus nuclear protein or "TNP" technology currently under development for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The active components of VGV-1, Viral Genetics' lead drug candidate based on TNP, were discovered by independent research laboratories and additional studies to confirm these findings are currently underway.

The compounds identified include two classes of peptides (small protein fragments) that occur naturally in a variety of mammals, including humans. While both have been studied and reported in the scientific literature predominantly as markers, their therapeutic uses have not been actively pursued to date.

In published studies, one of the peptides has been characterized as an immune modulator, possibly possessing natural antiviral and anti-infective properties. Researchers have also identified an association between levels of this peptide and certain viral infections and cancers.

New Test Spots Drug Resistance in HIV Patients

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HIV testHealthDay News -- Researchers report that they've developed a test that could give doctors a much clearer idea about which drugs to prescribe for patients infected with HIV.

Doctors already use a variety of tests to gauge whether the strains of HIV within a patient are immune to different types of AIDS medications. But the developers of this new test say their version is much more sensitive and can detect smaller levels of resistance to drugs in the bloodstream.

While more research is needed and it will take at least two years for a new test to become widely available, the development will hopefully allow doctors "to make an informed selection of an HIV drug and delay resistance," said study author Dr. Feng Gao, an associate professor at Duke University. "Patients can stay healthier for a longer time."

Abbott documents reveal plan to boost AIDS drug sales

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norvirThe Wall Street Journal has a story revealing internal Abbott documents that reviewed its strategy to boost sales of Kaletra, its new AIDS drug. According to the report, documents and e-mails illustrate how company executives reviewed ways to manipulate the market for the AIDS drug by boosting the price of Norvir, its older AIDS therapy that is included with other drugs in combinational therapies.

Abbott execs considered pulling Norvir or selling it only in liquid form, which one exec noted tastes like 'someone else's vomit.' Abbott then decided to simply quintuple the price of Norvir, expecting that the furor over the sudden price hike - touted as a measure to accurately reflect the drug's real value - would fade as Kaletra sales rose.

zimbwabweZimbabwe this year aims to more than triple the number of people on anti-retrovirals (ARVs) from the current level of 50,000, a senior official was quoted as saying.

"We hope that by the end of 2007, about 160,000 people would have been enrolled under the anti-retroviral programme and we are working hard to ensure that this happens," Owen Mugurungi, National co-ordinator of health ministry's HIV/AIDS programme, told the state-run Herald daily.

About 18 percent of the country's 12 million people are HIV-positive.

According to the government, at least 300,000 people need ARVs throughout the country. Doctors have said that people with a CD4 count of 200 or less should be on anti-retrovirals.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the HIV/AIDS Drugs category from January 2007.

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