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Benefits of HIV drugs rise -- but less than previously believed, Penn study shows
Date:7/22/2012

specialist, "if the HIV virus is not fully suppressed, individuals are at risk of transmitting HIV to others in the community." Yehia says that while significant advances in HIV therapy have occurred over the past decade, consistent adherence to medicines and outpatient care remains a major hurdle for many people living with HIV. The findings come on the heels of the Food and Drug Administration's approval this month of the first drug to prevent HIV infection. Similar to people living with HIV, healthy individuals without HIV infection who chose to take this preventative medication need to have strict drug adherence and frequent HIV testing in order to achieve benefit.

Overall, sustained viral suppression was lower for black patients and injection drug users, while older patients and those with private insurance were the most likely to have sustained viral suppression. "Our analysis showed that HIV care providers need to closely monitor younger patients, African-Americans, injection drug users, and individuals without health insurance to ensure that they have access to HIV drugs and adhere to therapy, since those patients appeared to be least likely to have their infection in tight control," said the study's senior author Kelly Gebo, MD, MPH, an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University.

"There is no denying the progress we have made over the past decade," says Yehia, "but, more resources and new technology are needed to ensure that more patients have access to HIV therapy and obtain the full benefits of these drugs."


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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2313
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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