POZlife

POZLife: Life from the Infected and Effected point of veiw.

Patients find AIDS drugs ineffective

Posted by pozlife on May 16, 2006

BOSTON, May 4 (UPI) — About 40,000 people with AIDS in the United States are finding that anti-retroviral drugs no longer work.

The drugs turned the disease from a death sentence to a chronic condition
and cut the mortality rate sharply. In 2004, 15,798 deaths from AIDS
were reported, less than one-third of the 51,000 reported in 1995, The
Wall Street Journal reported.

But the drugs are not a cure.

“We’ve only changed the slope of the disease progression, not halted
it altogether, and eventually they do run out of options,” Daniel
Kuritzkes, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School,
told the newspaper.

The next step, for many patients, is salvage therapy. That can include going back to older drugs or searching out experimental treatments.

AIDS is a difficult disease to treat because HIV
is a retrovirus that mutates frequently. Some doctors say aggressive
treatment in the early days of drug therapy, with patients switching to
new ones as soon as they became available, encouraged drug resistance.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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