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Second Time's the Charm

Second Time's the Charm


Advances in anti-HIV treatment have dramatically lowered the chances that a second-line regimen will fail, according to reports from the 15th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. An analysis of more than 33,000 HIVers taking anti-HIV meds has found that among the roughly half of the study subjects who experienced viral rebound on their initial regimens, the rate of second-line failure in this group fell tenfold. The approval of more powerful drugs with fewer side effects'which in turn leads to better adherence'has increased the efficacy of second-line therapy. While definitely good news for HIVers, the study did include one sobering note: Mortality rates after the failure of second-line therapy is about the same today as it was in 1996, highlighting the importance of crafting the strongest possible first- and second-line regimens.

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