Researchers at the Institute at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia have found a new life-saving HIV drug therapy that could help millions. The research suggests that a lower daily dose of HIV drug therapy is harmless. This drug therapy is effective enough in repressing the virus just like the standard recommended dose.
According to the 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; this drug therapy has the potential to affect the treatment of millions of HIV positive people. He also said that a reduced daily dose should translate into a lower cost of treatment and permit more effective and efficient use of health care resources. Essentially, more people could receive this life-saving treatment for the same amount of funding.
For this trial, HIV-positive people from 13 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America have participated and half of the patients were given two-thirds of the current standard daily dose of the antiretroviral (ART) efavirenz. It is a commonly used treatment for HIV; and the other halves were given the standard daily dose.
On an average 630 participants take participation regularly for a year and 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.
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