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 "Hidden" fragrance compound can cause contact allergy
27.05.2015 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Cooperation among viral variants helps hepatitis C survive immune system attacks
27.05.2015 | Georgia Institute of Technology

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: Advance in regenerative medicine

The only professorship in Germany to date, one master's programme, one laboratory with worldwide unique equipment and the corresponding research results: The University of Würzburg is leading in the field of biofabrication.

Paul Dalton is presently the only professor of biofabrication in Germany. About a year ago, the Australian researcher relocated to the Würzburg department for...

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

Im Focus: First electrical car ferry in the world in operation in Norway now

  • Siemens delivers electric propulsion system and charging stations with lithium-ion batteries charged from hydro power
  • Ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route and reduces cost of fuel by 60 percent
  • Milestone on the road to operating emission-free ferries

The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...

Im Focus: Into the ice – RV Polarstern opens the arctic season by setting course for Spitsbergen

On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.

RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use

20.05.2015 | Event News

15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists

18.05.2015 | Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing health in Europe. Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities

12.05.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers develop intelligent handheld robots

27.05.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering

"Hidden" fragrance compound can cause contact allergy

27.05.2015 | Health and Medicine

Supernovas help 'clean' galaxies

27.05.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>