Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Caution still advised despite ever-improving drugs

30.11.2012
World AIDS Day: Results of Swiss HIV Cohort Study

Combination therapies for AIDS are becoming increasingly effective, but they cannot protect against other sexually transmitted illnesses. It is unsafe for patients taking antiretroviral drugs to stop using condoms. This is one of the findings of research conducted in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, which is supported by the SNSF.

Drugs for HIV, the virus causing AIDS, have existed for more than two decades. Therapies have been continually refined and the standard approach in the West is now a combination therapy involving various antiretroviral substances. The rationale behind this idea is that the constantly changing virus finds it harder to develop resistances against three or more drugs administered simultaneously.

Less resistance to new drugs
At the beginning of the year, Huldrych Günthard (University Hospital Zurich) and his colleagues from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study showed (*) that new combination therapies are better at keeping viruses in check than the therapies used ten years ago. For the older therapies, resistant viruses developed on average 2.6 times per 100 patient-years (i.e. 100 patients over the course of one year, 50 over the course of two years) while resistance to the newer therapies developed only 1.5–1.9 times. Researchers believe that this improvement is not only the result of greater drug effectiveness – patients also tend to take the drugs more regularly because they have less side-effects.
Dramatic spread of hepatitis C
The continual improvement of combination therapies reduces the risk of HIV transmission. Recently published results of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (**) suggest that this leads to a false sense of security in certain patients. Figures show that hepatitis C has spread rapidly among HIV-positive gay men during the last few years. While the rate of infection among heterosexuals has remained low (on average 0.4 infections per 100 patient-years), it has risen drastically among homosexuals: 4.1 persons are infected per 100 patient-years. This rate is 18 times higher than the one recorded in 1998.

Researchers point to the inconsistent use of condoms as the greatest risk factor. While the fear of AIDS has understandably diminished, there may be a tendency now to neglect other sexually transmitted illnesses. "Caution is still called for," says Günthard.

(*) von Wyl V, Yerly S, Böni J, Shah C, Cellerai C, Klimkait T, Battegay M, Bernasconi E, Cavassini M, Furrer H, Hirschel B, Vernazza PL, Ledergerber B, Günthard HF; Swiss HIV Cohort Study (2012). Incidence of HIV-1 drug resistance among antiretroviral treatment-naive individuals starting modern therapy combinations. Clin Infect Dis. 54:131-40

(**) Wandeler G, Gsponer T, Bregenzer A, Günthard HF, Clerc O, Calmy A, Stöckle M, Bernasconi E, Furrer H, Rauch A; Swiss HIV Cohort Study (2012). Hepatitis C Virus Infections in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study: A Rapidly Evolving Epidemic. Clin Infect Dis. 55:1408-1416

(Available as a PDF from the SNSF; e-mail: com@snf.ch)

The Swiss HIV Cohort Study
Established in 1988, the Cohort Study aims to generate knowledge about HIV infection and AIDS as well as to improve the care given to patients. All Swiss hospitals specialising in HIV (Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, St. Gallen and Zurich) have collected and analysed data from over 16,000 HIV-positive persons. Currently, more than 8,400 persons are taking part in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Almost a third of them are women.
Contact
Prof. Dr. med. Huldrych Günthard
Klinik für Infektionskrankheiten und Spitalhygiene
Universitätsspital Zürich
Rämistrasse 100
8091 Zürich
Tel.: +41 (0)44 255 34 50
E-mail: huldrych.guenthard@usz.ch

Abteilung Kommunikation | idw
Further information:
http://www.snsf.ch
http://www.shcs.ch/

Further reports about: Aids HIV HIV Cohort Study HIV-positive Hepatitis C SNSF

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Real-time imaging of lung lesions during surgery helps localize tumors and improve precision
30.07.2015 | American Association for Thoracic Surgery

nachricht Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies
29.07.2015 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: On the crest of the wave: Electronics on a time scale shorter than a cycle of light

Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.

The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...

Im Focus: Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record

Plasmonic device has speed and efficiency to serve optical computers

Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.

Im Focus: Unlocking the rice immune system

Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight

A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...

Im Focus: Smarter window materials can control light and energy

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin are one step closer to delivering smart windows with a new level of energy efficiency, engineering materials that allow windows to reveal light without transferring heat and, conversely, to block light while allowing heat transmission, as described in two new research papers.

By allowing indoor occupants to more precisely control the energy and sunlight passing through a window, the new materials could significantly reduce costs for...

Im Focus: Simulations lead to design of near-frictionless material

Argonne scientists used Mira to identify and improve a new mechanism for eliminating friction, which fed into the development of a hybrid material that exhibited superlubricity at the macroscale for the first time. Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) researchers helped enable the groundbreaking simulations by overcoming a performance bottleneck that doubled the speed of the team's code.

While reviewing the simulation results of a promising new lubricant material, Argonne researcher Sanket Deshmukh stumbled upon a phenomenon that had never been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Euro Bio-inspired - International Conference and Exhibition on Bio-inspired Materials

23.07.2015 | Event News

Clash of Realities – International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games

10.07.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Surprising similarity in fly and mouse motion vision

30.07.2015 | Life Sciences

Efficient Infrared Heat Saves Time and Energy in the Manufacture of Motor Vehicle Carpets

30.07.2015 | Trade Fair News

Roentgen prize goes to Dr Eleftherios Goulielmakis

30.07.2015 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>