Groundbreaking New HIV Pill Gives Those With AIDS Real Relief

Inspiring 7

pillsAs if living with HIV wasn't complicated enough, treatment has mostly consisted of daily, lifelong "multi-pill regimes" -- until now. On Monday, the FDA approved a new anti-HIV pill that combines four different medications in a single once-a-day dose. Called Stribild, this new drug "provides a complete treatment regimen for HIV infection" and is meant for "people who have not already received treatment with other HIV drugs."

We've come a long way from the early days of AZT therapy! Though critics say this new drug's high cost will make it inaccessible to many patients, it's still a significant development: The first ever "complete treatment regimen for HIV infection" in a single pill. Wondering how that complete regimen breaks down?

Stribild is a combination of two previously approved antiviral drugs: Emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (sold in combination as Truvada); and two new drugs, elvitegravir (which helps to stop HIV from multiplying) and cobicistat (which prolongs the effect of elvitegravir). And, yes, there are potential side effects -- some of which, such as severe liver problems and/or a build-up of lactic acid, can be fatal -- most adverse effects noted were "mild to moderate." (And really, if you looked up the worst case scenario side effects for almost any drug on the market, you'd be horrified.)

Plus, the makers of Stribild (Gilead) will be offering patient financial assistance programs as well as discounts to state assistance programs. And you've got to figure with every step forward we're one step closer to a cure, right?

Do you think the new one-a-day HIV pill is a huge breakthrough in AIDS research?


Image via Matt Browne/Flickr

illness, medicine

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nonmember avatar Sarah.S.

That is awesome! I hope that this will help those suffering from HIV.

marie... mariesmama

i still think the cure is with that town of plague survivors what is it eyam?in england didnt they cure a guy that way?

Tim Baxter

This is not a HUGE break through by any means.....We are well on our way....The threat that HIV poses to the human race is only one mutation away from becomeing a HUGE problem for people who presume they are not at risk....Antiviral drugs are good...and I'm glad that we are moving in the right direction...but the virus can and will become resistant....the drugs also give people a false sense of security which leads to more risky behavior....take Dallas TX my home for example...the highest new rate of infection is between the ages of 14-23 years old..a generation that has grown up with the facts..but never saw the horror of AIDS sweep the nation..There is alot of research going on at the present moment that looks extremely promising...Drug companies are not motivated to find a "cure" though...that would eat into their profits...private fundraising organizations and college researchers are the best bet. 

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