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Drug Holds Promise Against AIDS
Date:7/24/2008

somewhat of a breakthrough."

In the new study, AIDS patients randomly received either raltegravir or a placebo. The patients all received doses of other drugs that are routinely prescribed to help patients in their conditions.

At the 16th week of the study, 62 percent of 458 patients who took raltegravir saw their HIV levels drop to a low level -- below 50 copies per milliliter. Only 35 percent of those who took the placebo saw their levels go that low.

The levels remained consistent when patients were tested at the 48th week. As for side effects, there were about as many among both groups.

Rowena Johnston, vice president of research for The Foundation for AIDS Research, said the development of better treatments for drug-resistant AIDS patients is crucial.

"Rates of drug resistance have increased steadily in the developed world because of the difficulties associated with adhering to treatment regimens," she said. "This problem will surely be multiplied several-fold as patients in the developing world are exposed to antiretroviral therapy for increasing lengths of time."

More information

Learn more about raltegravir from aidsinfonet.org.



SOURCES: Roy Steigbigel, M.D., professor, medicine, and chief, HIV Center, Stony Brook University, N.Y.; Rowena Johnston, Ph.D., vice president, research, Foundation for AIDS Research, New York City; July 24, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine


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