I have questions regarding adherence and research….
First I would like to say thanks for the assistance provided on this website. All the answered questions, help, advice, and feedback is greatly appreciated.
My question (its kinda 2 questions actually) is regarding adherence, and then regarding research.
1. I take Atripla and have been respondnig to it very well thus far. I take it at the same time everyday but lets say once a month or so, when I’m out with friends I may take it about two hours late or so? Is that gonna cause any problems? I imagine it would not since I’ve read that Atripla has a good half-life and also read somewhere that Atripla can be taken up to 12 hours late (which I would never do, but just stating what I read). So for example if I take it at midnight everyday, than take it at 2 or 3 am once every month or so, I’m wondering if that will cause any problems? I have yet to miss a pill and don’t think I ever will actually, until some advanced treament comes along.
2. Second question is regarding research and future of meds, vaccines & potential functional cures. I have read about the recent breakthroughs and exciting research going on like the Dermavir patch/vaccine, the CMV vaccine that cleared SIV in monkeys, the PRO 140 once every two week injection, Sangamo’s gene therapy, the Berlin patient, etc and many other good reads. I know that me, you or anybody can’t predict the future but how likely do you think there will be some sort of big change in how HIV is treated in the next 5-10 years? And do you think there will ever be a time in the coming years where we can control the virus without the need for daily meds? Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks a lot and keep up the good work.
Thank you for your question.
I will answer according to the numbers you have given:
1. Obviously the closer you take your medicine to the allocated time, the better. However, the general rule is that you have an hour either side of your allocated time to take your meds. Being a little bit late once a month with an undetectable viral load shouldn’t do you any harm.
However, it is not good t take Atripla 12 hours late. This is because of resistance but also because of side effects. Taking Atripla 12 hours late means that there is only 12 hours between the late dose and the normal dose. If someone takes Atripla and then 12 hours later takes it again it means the levels of drugs in their body are too high and this can cause side effects. For more information and for a more detailed explanation please follow this link to a similar question.
2. There are definitely some exciting things happening in areas of research into alternative forms of treatment. At a major HIV conference this year a group presented findings of an unusual study to increase CD4 levels in people with continually low CD4 counts. This was just an initial experiment but plans are underway to try this on a larger scale and look into the possibility of trial participants then stopping ARVs to see if the high CD4 count can then suppress the virus. This is a very exciting study but it is still early days. For more information please follow this link.
There is also some interesting work which is going on looking at using nanotechnology. Drugs developed with nanotechnology would need much lower drug doses (hopefully cheaper and having fewer side effects) and would be longer lasting (perhaps being taken every2–4 weeks). For more information please follow this link.