Fred Schaich of IFARA spoke with Roy "Trip" Gulick, M.D., chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Gulick recalled that in 1995 HIV treatment generally consisted of prescribing one of four approved antiretrovirals. The turning point came the next year, when two studies presented at the 1996 IAS conference in Vancouver found a combination of three drugs to be more effective in treating the virus. Such combination therapy was possible because two other classes of HIV medications, protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, had been approved. The newly developed viral load test also allowed for better monitoring of disease progression. A decade later, the first once-a-day single pill regimen was approved.
Today, new classes of antiretrovirals, such as attachment inhibitors, continue to be developed, and synthetic versions of naturally occurring antibodies -- broadly neutralizing antibodies -- are being studied for both HIV treatment and prevention. But "probably the biggest news at this conference was that everyone with HIV should be treated regardless of CD4 count," according to Gulick. "What [other] infectious disease do we wait to treat?" This wait-and-see attitude used to exist with HIV and hepatitis C, but recent research shows it to be the wrong approach for either virus, he concluded.
The video above has been posted on TheBodyPRO.com 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.