Newer treatment options show promising results in HIV management

Integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTs), the newer class of drugs in HIV management

India stands 3rd globally for the highest number of HIV cases with 2.4 million patients living with HIV. As per the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) report released in 2021, annual infection rates of HIV in India are estimated to be around 62,000, and AIDS-related deaths are estimated to be at 41,000 in 2021. With this, HIV still remains a major challenge for detection and prompt treatment. Experts strongly believe newer advanced INSTI-based regimens containing Dolutegravir are showing promising results in HIV treatment.

Dr. Monalisa SahuDr. Monalisa Sahu

Amid this, the City’s renowned Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Monalisa Sahu said “Dolutegravir belongs to a class of drugs called Integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs), that are a recent addition to the HIV treatment armamentarium. INSTIs prevent the HIV virus genome from incorporating into the host genome, thus limiting virus growth in the body. The consistent efficacy coupled with excellent tolerability and infrequent drug–drug interactions make the co-formulation of Dolutegravir an attractive treatment option. Moreover, due to their favorable side effect profile, reduced drug-drug interactions, and virologic potency, INSTI-based regimens are now among the preferred first-line medications for the treatment of HIV-1 infection and are recommended across HIV guidelines. Dolutegravir is a new-generation INSTI with distinct advantages over existing HIV medications.”

Talking about the current treatment, the City’s renowned Physician & Virologist Dr. Meka Satyanarayana said, “The newer treatment options help patients enable continuity of treatment with convenient daily regimen and helps in improved outcomes. There is an increasing need for antiretroviral agents with fewer side effects and a low pill burden for the patients. Also, there is a need for these drugs to have lesser chances of resistance and decreased cost.”
Further, Dr. Meka Satyanarayana also opined that with a high burden of HIV, further research and improved access to newer advanced treatments like Dolutegravir are imperative, to ensure successful HIV control in India.

( Source : Guest Post )
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