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Research Alert: Study Casts Doubt on "Shock and Kill" Cure Strategy

Steps Forward: An Update From the 1st International Workshop on HIV & Aging

October 21, 2010

This is part of a series of articles summarizing presentations from the 1st International Workshop on HIV & Aging, which took place in Baltimore, Md., from Oct. 4 to Oct. 5, 2010. Jump to the table of contents to see the other articles in this series.


Conclusion

Although this conference focused on basic science and epidemiology of aging with HIV, it was a great summary of the current state of research and where the main deficits are. We have enough data on the incidence of many of these health issues; it is time now to start testing different therapeutic interventions to improve frailty, bone mass, cognitive function, immune activation and senescence, as well as other evolving issues.

The challenge now is how to overcome limitations in research funding, how to decide what doctors should tell their HIV-positive patients while we wait for more data, how we can attract new researchers to an aging field (no pun intended), and how the upcoming changes in health care will affect those of us who, like me, are aging with HIV.


Suggested Therapeutic Studies on Aging With HIV: An Activist's Proposal

Although there was considerable discussion at this conference about disorders related to HIV and aging, there was little said about how to treat these problems. To close, I've put together a brief list of therapeutic areas that I feel would be especially worth looking into:

  • effect of donepezil on cognitive function in HIV infected patients with HAND

  • effect of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory and activation markers in HIV disease

  • effect of vitamin supplementation on blood levels of HIV antiretrovirals

  • assessment of incidence of menopause in HIV infected women under 50 years of age

  • use of leptin on visceral fat and inflammatory markers in HIV infected people

  • effect of armodafinil on fatigue, cognitive function and depression scores in HIV infected patients

  • effect of acyclovir on immune activation and inflammatory markers

  • effect of Coenzyme Q 10/carnitine on mitochondrial DNA/function and fatigue

  • effect of exercise on D-dimer, IL-6 , immune activation , telomeres and frailty scores in HIV infected patients over 50 years of age

  • effect of a Mediterranean diet on inflammatory markers, body composition and lipids in HIV infected patients with BMI> 25

  • effect of testosterone replacement on bone density in HIV infected males with hypogonadism and osteopenia/osteoporosis

  • interaction studies of cardiovascular medications and HIV antiretrovirals




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