In AIDS Research
Since AIDS was first discovered in the early 1980’s, advances in diagnosing and treating AIDS have been made
each year. The use of different combinations of new and existing drugs is being studied to find the best
combination to treat patients who have AIDS or the HIV virus. It takes time and
effort and money to develop and make new drugs that can be used to treat HIV or AIDS patients. As more drugs
are discovered and tested, the chances of a breakthrough for AIDS treatment could be on the way.
Since 1998, many of the newly diagnosed HIV patients were found to have a strain of the virus that is resistant
to one or more of the conventional antiretroviral drugs used in treatment. With this alarming discovery,
there have been many new drugs developed to streamline treatment and to combat drug resistance. Over
two-dozen new drugs have been introduced and include new protease inhibitors and more powerful reverse
transcriptase inhibitors. One medicine was developed specifically to target the multidrug resistant strains
One other path of research involves new classes of AIDS drugs that will prevent the virus from getting into the
cells. Instead of suppressing the virus from multiplying itself, it is a drug that will stop the virus from
reaching the healthy cells. These medications can be safer and more effective but more testing and research
needs to be done before they are available.
Other drug discoveries include a new class that targets the HIV virus at different stages of its
development. DNA profiling is used to interfere with the nine known genes of HIV. Scientists caution
these drugs may not be alone to treat AIDS. They are hoping that they will prove to be more effective,
simpler to use, and with fewer side effects. This could allow treatments to be easier to tolerate and much
easier to follow.
Did You Know?
Homeopathic medicine is another form of alternative treatment plans that are
available to the AIDS patient. Many doctors who treat AIDS patients have had success with combining
conventional and homeopathic medicines.
Alternative methods of treatment are becoming more accepted in the medical world
especially for patients with AIDS. The conventional medical world should not ignore these
alternative ways of treatment. Patients with AIDS may insist on trying other methods of treatment
while still taking conventional AIDS drugs.
Alternative treatments have been proven to give some patients a better quality of
life while being treated for AIDS. Patients with HIV or AIDS should take an active role in the
treatment of their disease.
Don’t be complacent or allow others to make critical decisions in your treatment.
Work with your medical team and find a group that will help you if you decide to use homeopathic
treatments as well as conventional drugs.
There is also a new preventive therapy being researched. It is for use by females but has not been proven
to be as effective as latex condoms. The new therapy is used before intercourse using microbicides.
Meanwhile, research is continuing to focus on a potential HIV vaccine and for a cure for HIV and AIDS.
Scientists are hoping to find a vaccine that will protect people from the HIV virus or decrease the risk of getting
the disease. This vaccine would be used for those people who have been exposed to the virus. A second
vaccine is called the therapeutic vaccine, which was developed to boost the immunity system of patients who already
have the HIV virus or AIDS. It is supposed to help these patients fight off infections that would normally be
shaken off by healthy individuals.
Researchers are trying to develop a chemical that can be used during sex as a barrier to passing
on the disease.
Many of the new drugs and vaccines are still in clinical trials. If you have an advanced
stage of HIV or AIDS, you may want to contact your local support group. They may be able to help you get into
a clinical trial. This could give you access to drugs that have not yet been approved by the Federal Drug