Women-only HIV study improves understanding of effective, safe antiretroviral treatments

Women-only HIV study improves understanding of effective, safe antiretroviral treatments. | Courtesy of
Researchers recently presented the results from the first phase 3 HIV study that recruited only women to demonstrate the improved efficacy and safety of Stribild compared to multi-pill antiretroviral drug regimens.

The scientists presented their research at ASM’s 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

The Women’s Antiretroviral Efficacy and Safety Study (WAVES) was the first double-blind, randomized, antiretroviral (ARV) trial that involved only women. The purpose was to demonstrate the women using Stribild would have a statistically higher chance of HIV suppression as opposed to the test group that had ritonavir-boosted atazanavir plus Truvada treatments.

The results showed that this hypothesis was true and that nobody with Stribild had resistant mutation to HIV-1. There were three women involved in the comparator group that developed resistant mutation to HIV-1.

"The optimal selection of HIV treatment should be evidence-based and WAVES provides clinical safety and efficacy data to assist women and their clinicians in the informed selection of antiretroviral treatment regimens," Dr. Sally Hodder, study author and director of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute, said.

It is important to have women-only studies because of the high rates of HIV infections in women.

"Women account for half of the global HIV epidemic, and the number of new infections continues to rise," Hodder said.

The ASM’s mission is to gain a better understanding of basic life processes and to promote the application of this knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

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