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 Mobile phone test can reveal vision problems in time
11.02.2016 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Proteomics and precision medicine
08.02.2016 | University of Iowa Health Care

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: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New method opens crystal clear views of biomolecules

11.02.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists take nanoparticle snapshots

11.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA sees development of Tropical Storm 11P in Southwestern Pacific

11.02.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>