Last HIV Update in Houston this yearNelson Vergel
WHEN: OCT 24, 6:30 PM
WHERE: UNITED WAY AT 50 WAUGH DRIVE
SPEAKER: NELSON VERGEL (POWERUSA.ORG)
LIMITED SEATING. E-mail HIVSeminars@aol.com or call the Houston Buyers Club at 713/520-5288
1- Review of data on two new drugs in two new class recently approved- Selsentry- CCR5 inhibitor (http://www.selzentry.com/) and Isentress – integrase inhibitor(http://www.isentress.com )
2- Review of data on Etravirine (TMC 125), a non nuke now available via expanded access
3- Update on Metabolics and Lipodystrophy
4- Resources in Houston: programs to help people go back to work or school while keeping social security and Medicare/Medicaid, lipodystrophy study enrolling at Body Positive, and new clinics in Houston for the uninsured.
The New Wave of HIV Drugs Is Here
by Nelson Vergel
For the first time in 10 years, HIV-postive patients will have access to two new HIV drug classes. Patients with ongoing viral replication that have been failing current medicines will have a “second chance” to control their HIV by starting new drugs to which their virus has not mutated and become resistant. It is estimated that 20 percent of the half a million patients taking HIV medications in the United States are not responding to their medication and have ongoing viral replication in their bodies that may shorten their life spans and also make them more infectious to others.
No single HIV medication can control HIV by itself, needing at least two more in combination. But many people have HIV that has developed multidrug resistance (MDR) by mutating around medicines, which allows the virus to aggressively kill the CD4 cells that “direct” the immune system’s response against invaders. MDR patients need to start at least two to three “active” drugs that their virus has never seen, but most have not had that luxury in the past few years due to drug approvals that did not happen concurrently.
Fortunately, two new drugs that work in completely new ways are making this possibility a reality for the first time since protease inhibitors were introduced to the market 10 years ago. A new entry inhibitor (Maraviroc, trade name: Selzentry) that works at attempting to block the attachment of HIV to the CD4 T cell, and the first integrase inhibitor (Raltegravir, trade name: Isentress) that works inside the nucleus of the CD4 cell, provide effective new targets to attack the virus. The most critical thing right now is to educate physicians and patients on how to best use these new drugs so that their benefits at lowering viral load to undetectable levels are sustained until a cure is found. Other medications like Fuzeon (an approved fusion inhibitor), Aptivus and Prezista (approved second generation protease inhibitors), and TMC 125 (a second generation non nucleoside analog in expanded access) can be combined with the two novel agents approved this year to hit the virus in different parts of its life cycle outside and inside the CD4 cell.
This second wave of HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) has the potential to save many lives. I urge patients not to screw up this last chance to get an effective combination before we go through another dry period of no new drugs in the coming few years. It is imperative to do your homework before jumping into a new regimen with limited data.
Nelson Vergel will be giving the last update for this year on recent conferences that had new data on these and other emerging options for HIV treatment. His lecture will be held on Oct. 24 at 6:30 pm at the United Way on 50 Waugh. Patients and clinicians are welcomed. Free parking and food will be provided. Seating is limited. For reservations or more information, e-mail HIVSeminars@aol.com or call the Houston Buyers Club at 713/520-5288. More information on new HIV medications can be found at Nelson’s website www.SalvageTherapies.org.