SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

HIV therapies without Efavirenz proven effective

HIV therapies without Efavirenz proven effective.
Drug combinations built around Efavirenz are often the first treatments recommended when patients are diagnosed with HIV.

However, a recent national clinical trial revealed HIV treatment regimens that do not include Efavirenz can be just as effective as first-line antiretroviral therapy.

The results of the study were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study was conducted by researchers from the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Efavirenz findings were revealed in the study's third phase, which was a randomized study of three efavirenz-free regimens at 57 sites in the United States and Puerto Rico.

There were 1,809 study participants, all over the age of 18, living with HIV-1 RNA levels greater than 1000 copies/mL and who had no prior treatment with antiretroviral therapy.

Participants were studied for 96 weeks. Three different regimens were examined; all three achieved high or equivalent rates of control of HIV in the blood and restored function of the immune system.

Differences were detected, however, in tolerability.

The principal investigators for the study were Jeffrey Lennox, M.D., professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Memorial Hospital and Ighovwerha Ofotokun, M.D., Emory associate professor of medicine.

"We are very pleased that our study showed the drug combinations tested, without Efavirenz, are good options for initial HIV antiretroviral therapy," Lennox said.

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