Lifesaving HIV treatment could reach millions more people following landmark study

Millions more people could get access to life-saving HIV drug therapy, following a landmark study led by Australian researchers based at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

The researchers have found a lower daily dose of an important HIV drug therapy is safe and as effective in suppressing the virus as the standard recommended dose.

The findings have been presented at the International AIDS Society Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"This has the potential to affect the treatment of millions of HIV positive people," says UNSW Professor Sean Emery, the protocol chairperson of the study, known as ENCORE1 and Head of the Therapeutic and Vaccine Research Program at the Kirby Institute.

"A reduced daily dose should translate into a lower cost of treatment and permit more effective and efficient use of . Essentially, more people could receive this life-saving treatment for the same amount of funding."

HIV-positive people from 13 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America took part in the trial. Half these people took two-thirds of the current standard daily dose of the antiretroviral (ART) efavirenz, a commonly used treatment for HIV; the other half took the standard daily dose. The 630 participants were observed regularly for a year. The results indicate that a reduction in daily dose of one third is both safe and effective compared to the higher dose currently recommended for people with HIV infection.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN urges Asia to ditch punitive laws to fight AIDS (Update)

Jul 01, 2013

(AP)—U.N. health officials urged Asian governments Monday to get rid of what they say are punitive laws that hinder the battle against HIV and AIDS by discriminating against high-risk groups and deterring them from seeking ...

Food insecurity linked to HIV-treated drug users' deaths

May 31, 2013

Food insecurity increases the risk of death among injection drug users living with HIV/AIDS even when they are receiving life-prolonging antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to a new study involving Simon Fraser University.

Recommended for you

Condoms 'too small' for Uganda men

Sep 19, 2014

Ugandan MPs have been inundated with complaints that many condoms on sale in the east African nation are too small, warning the problem is a blow to the fight against AIDS.

Withdrawal from the evolutionary race

Sep 18, 2014

In some HIV sufferers, the immune system does not fight off the immune deficiency virus. Instead, the body tolerates the pathogen. A research team headed by ETH Zurich has now determined how strongly patients ...

The genetics of coping with HIV

Sep 16, 2014

We respond to infections in two fundamental ways. One, which has been the subject of intensive research over the years, is "resistance," where the body attacks the invading pathogen and reduces its numbers. Another, which ...

User comments