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Study Announces Best Initial Therapy

Study Announces Best Initial Therapy


The biggest head-to-head comparison of anti-HIV drugs to date shows that a first-line regimen containing Sustiva and Combivir, which contains 3TC and AZT, works better, longer, and more quickly than other antiretroviral combinations. The cocktail is also easy to take'just one pill in the morning and two at night'and preserves protease inhibitors for later use, according to Jose Zuniga, president of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. The study of nearly 1,000 patients beginning antiretroviral therapy showed that about only 10% of those on the Sustiva-Combivir cocktail for 11 months experienced rising viral loads, falling CD4-cell counts, or severe drug-related side effects, compared with 30% to 40% of those on other three-drug regimens. A four-drug cocktail also proved no more effective than the Sustiva-Combivir combination.

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