Why Is It So Important to Continue to Develop New Antiretroviral Therapies?


Bluma Brenner, PhD, explains the driving factors behind the push for new antiretroviral drugs for HIV treatment.

Segment Description: Bluma Brenner, PhD, project director at the Lady Davis Institute at the McGill AIDS Centre, explains why it is so important to continue to develop new forms of antiretroviral therapy.

Interview transcript (modified slightly for readability):

Contagion®: Why is it so important to continue to develop new options for antiretroviral therapy?

Dr. Brenner: "HIV is the disease of our generation and there were 3 million people infected every year until the advent of antiretroviral therapy and this still remains that 2 million people are being infected every year. We would like to think that 90-90 will eradicate the epidemic, but... we need sustainable therapies. The biggest boosts in antiretroviral drugs was to develop 5 drug classes and to [make] them. Now people are using integrase inhibitors, but we still need nucleoside analogs. They're usually the first 1 of the 3 components of backbone therapy and people in Africa and where suboptimal therapy resulted in the absence of viral load testing so we're getting people who have resistance to to all nucleoside analogs so we need a salvage therapy. And we also, because integrase inhibitors are so good, if we stop having them what happens if something happens with toxicity or or drug-drug interactions, what alternatives will people have?"

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