Strategy Trial Shows Tolerated 3rd line ART | suppression in RLS

by | Jun 23, 2022 | Health Topic, HIV, Research | 0 comments

HIV AIDS Treatment Over the Years

There is still no cure for HIV, though scientists are working on it! (mRNA Vaccine) In the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there was no effective treatment and no cure for HIV. Fortunately, HIV treatment has changed dramatically since the virus was first discovered in the early 1980s. In the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there was no effective treatment and people with HIV AIDS symptoms often died quickly. However, thanks to advances in medical science, there is now a range of effective treatments available that can keep the virus under control and allow people with HIV to live long and healthy lives. However, it was a long journey for people living with AIDS in many countries in and outside of the US and Europe. In some countries it would be decades before they would get treatment accessible for many years after the first drug therapy was approved.

First HIV/AIDS Treatment

The first antiretroviral drugs were approved for use in the United States in 1987. This was not a cure for HIV. It was treatment and since then there have been enormous advances in the development of new and more effective treatments. In the early days of HIV with treatment, patients had to take large numbers of pills multiple times a day and the side effects could be severe.

AIDS treatment over time - many pills in 1980s and now only one

The First Drug for AIDS

AZT was the First Drug to Treat HIV Infection according to the National Institutes of Health. In A Cure too Far, Dr. Peter Mugyeni shares his experience trying to get treatment for his patients.

However, newer antiretroviral drugs are much more effective and have fewer side effects. These drugs are now taken in the form of a single pill once a day. Thanks to these advances in treatment, people with HIV can now live long and healthy lives.

Access to to Antiretrovirals

According to one study, “Early concerns about the cost and complexity of treatment were overcome thanks to the efforts of a global coalition of health providers, activists, academics, and people living with HIV/AIDS, who argued that every effort must be made to ensure access to essential care when millions of lives depended on it.”

More on the History of HIV Research here

Black History Month the History of the Disease and it’s Devastation

History of HIV Data Graph Timeline

Early AIDS in Africa

Dr. Peter Mugyeni says in the HIV COVID Talks webinar that the beginning of the HIV epidemic in Africans was denied pharmaceuticals because in the west patients were treated after reviewing of laboratory results. There are very few laboratories in most African countries.

Access today has much improved since the advent of the PEPFAR program instituted by President George W. Bush and the efforts of scientists like Drs. Peter Mugyeni, Dr. James Hakim, and Dr. Diana Gibb who were responsible for the DART study convinced the world that people in Africa could take Antiretrovirals with as good a result as someone being monitored by lab results.

Those efforts did not end there. During COVID people needing to access HIV care have often had difficulty (see HIV COVID Talks). Funding has waxed and waned as the political wind blows. Dr. Peter Mugyenyi speaks of other challenges that people in resource-limited settings (RLS) must endure in his Lancet article, Flateline funding for PEPFAR: a recipe for chaos. This is not to say people in the Americas had it well.

Americans Without HIV Care

There were challenges in the US too. The price of AIDS treatment was astronomical.

Silence is death poster from the 1980s

The Price of Treatment

On September 14, 1989 members of ACT UP (the first AIDS drug activist group) protested at the New York Stock Exchange over Burroughs Wellcome’s setting a price for AZT which was only affordable by those who could afford it not too long ago but now has become one if not their most expensive treatments available with costs going down as low at $75 per patient yearly!

Today, CDC shares a range of different treatment options available on their site. In Africa in more urban areas treatment includes 1st, 2nd and 3rd line treatments.

That is not to say that all people have access to antiretrovirals. Many in rural communities have a more difficult time accessing prevention and treatment, especially now with COVID (see HIV COVID talks). Patients can work with their health professionals to develop a treatment plan for them. With the right treatment, people with HIV can live long and healthy lives.

In the early days of treatment, patients had to take large numbers of pills multiple times a day and the side effects could be severe. However, newer antiretroviral drugs are much more effective and have fewer side effects.

AIDS Treatment Today

HIV treatment today is very different from what it was even a decade ago. Thanks to advances in medical science, there are now antiretroviral treatments available that can effectively control HIV, prevent the development of AIDS, and assist patients in leading healthy lives despite the presence of the infection. Although there is no known cure for HIV, these treatments can render the virus load undetectable, making it possible for patients to live long and healthy lives.

Despite these advances, however, it is still important to remember that HIV is a serious infection that can have serious consequences. Treatment for HIV does not protect patients from contracting other sexually transmitted infections (STDs). There is currently no treatment that can permanently eliminate HIV, so it is important for patients to continue to take their medication as prescribed and to follow all of their doctor’s recommendations. With proper treatment and care, however, HIV need not be a death sentence. Patients can lead long, healthy, and productive lives.

Conclusion

HIV treatment today has come a long way from where it was even just a decade ago. Thanks to advances in medical science, there are now antiretroviral treatments available that can effectively make HIV undetectable, prevent the development of AIDS with HIV treatment, and assist patients in leading healthy lives despite the presence of the infection. Although there is no known cure for HIV, these treatments can render HIV undetectable viral load, making it possible for patients to live long and healthy lives.

Citation

Ford, N., Calmy, A. & Mills, E.J. The first decade of antiretroviral therapy in Africa. Global Health 7, 33 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-8603-7-33

Learn How Clinical Trials Work

Clinical trials can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with the terminology.

You may have seen commercials for clinical trials on TV and wondered what they are and how you can get involved.

This course is designed to help beginners understand everything about clinical trials, from what they are to how you can participate. We’ll walk you through 7 easy steps that will make the process simple and straightforward. We use the Pfizer COVID Vaccine as an example of how clinical trials work.

Online Jewelry Store is Giving Back

Or you can buy here. Choose your favorite jewelry. Make a purchase, and aNecklaceForMe will ensure 1% goes directly to women living in poverty.