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Joel Gallant on Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF) and Aging HIV Providers (Video)

September 9, 2015

Fred Schaich of IFARA spoke with Joel E. Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of specialty services at Southwest CARE Center in Santa Fe, NM, about new HIV drugs and the lack of young people becoming HIV care specialists. The HIV drug pipeline is shrinking, but tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), a tenofovir prodrug with a better toxicity profile, is closest to approval. TAF features higher intracellular levels and lower plasma levels, making it safer for bone density maintenance and likely better for those with poor renal function. Prescribing TAF instead of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) will be "a no-brainer," according to Gallant, but may become more complicated once cheaper generic versions of TDF become available.

There has been much discussion about the aging of the HIV-infected population, but equally concerning is the aging of HIV care providers. "I am concerned that people aren't going into this field anymore, both from a research and a patient-care standpoint," Gallant said. He speculated that one of the reasons for that lack of new talent is the low pay for infectious disease specialists. This fact, combined with the geographic distances in rural areas, means more people living with HIV are being treated by non-specialists. Doctors without training or experience in HIV may either not switch patients from toxic regimens to newer drugs, or switch them randomly without knowing if the new medications will be active in the specific patient, Gallant concluded.

Watch the video to learn more:

Barbara Jungwirth is a freelance writer and translator based in New York.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @reliabletran.

The video above has been posted on with permission from our partners at the International Foundation for Alternative Research in AIDS (IFARA). Visit IFARA's website or YouTube channel to watch more video interviews from the conference, as well as earlier meetings.

Copyright © 2015 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by TheBodyPRO. It is a part of the publication The 8th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.

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