Treatment Is More Livable - Take Advantage of It!
As they are developed, newer anti-HIV drugs are gaining strength to fight against the virus, says a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. It's a good thing, as the beleaguered Martha Stewart might say. Potency is key to treatment success.
Witnessing the day-to-day reality of people trying to cope with HIV infection, we are equally encouraged with another kind of progress being made: Treatment is getting easier to live with. Yes, keeping viral levels down - hopefully undetectable - is important. But if the cost in side effects, drug reactions, "pill burden," and difficult regimens is too great (and viral resistance develops anyway), then ultimately the treatment is a failure. That's where we see gratifying practical progress.
And yet, despite easier, more effective treatment options, over a third of those who know they are HIV-infected are not in care!
Making responsible choices about behavior is still critical, because HIV/AIDS is still a serious disease, and will probably be fatal to many of those infected. To those who already have risk in their lives, we urge, "Get tested!" To those who are HIV-positive, we say, "Get into care." There's a long way to go, but significant progress is being made take advantage of it!
(For study details, see New England Journal of Medicine, June 27, 2002.)