Anti-HIV drugs reaching their limit

BY Advocate.com Editors

February 09 2001 1:00 AM ET

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, say that people with advanced AIDS who began taking anti-HIV drugs in 1996, the year protease inhibitors were introduced, have now begun to reach the limit of the drugs’ effectiveness—and they are running out of time, reports USA Today. In a study of 300 patients with advanced disease who began treatment in 1996, one in five have developed AIDS again or died during the past five years, reported UCSF’s Steven Deeks at the 8th Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Chicago. Doctors say mounting drug resistance and long-term damage to patients’ immune systems account for the drugs’ waning benefits. The climbing level of drug failures is so great that some AIDS centers are seeing increases in AIDS diagnoses and AIDS-related complications for the first time in nearly five years. David Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York reports that new drugs, like the highly touted fusion inhibitors, are on the way but may not arrive in time to save people who began therapy in the mid ’90s.

Tags: Health

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