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HIV & AIDS Health Center

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No AIDS Vaccines on the Near Horizon

continued...

"We're going to have to depend on therapy for the time being," Nathanson tells WebMD.

The next presenter, Joseph J. Eron, MD, adds that improvements to available therapies are therefore in order. These improved therapies should have less side effects while being easier to take on a daily basis. They should also have increased potency, especially with respect to resistant HIV strains. Eron is an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"We're developing agents to simplify therapy in each of the current existing classes [of drugs]," Eron tells WebMD. "I think the biggest focus has been on the development of drugs that are active against resistant HIV. ... The other focus is new agents [for] new targets, and while there's a lot of interest in that area, [the number of] really practical drugs that are going to be in our hands in a short period of time is quite limited."

Within the drug classes already available, Eron described new agents that are in later stages of testing that could offer once or twice daily dosing and improved action against resistant HIV strains.

Looking forward, Eron says, "We're going to have true once daily ... regimens. ... We will [also] have better treatment options for the highly treatment-experienced patient, and it will be simpler for those people too." He also expects that there eventually will be more therapeutic options for patients to try, although he warns that novel drugs are years away from regular clinical use.

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