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Salvage treatment against human immunodeficiency virus.


Ann Med. 1999 Aug;31(4):253-60. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

Despite dramatic declines in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated morbidity and mortality as a result of highly active antiretroviral combination therapies, including protease inhibitors, treatment failure occurs at such high rates as 20-50%. As drug regimens are very demanding, even short decreases of drug concentrations may trigger resistance. Viral loads can be decreased to very low concentrations, and there is no strict cut-off regarding the definition of treatment failure. Nevertheless, continuous detection of HIV of more than 50 copies per mL blood plasma is a predictor of increasing viral loads and of a suboptimal response to therapy. From a theoretical point of view, treatment changes should be made at low HIV RNA levels, but fewer options often dictate a more conservative approach. Drug susceptibility testing will be of increasing value, especially in patients experiencing drug failure for the first time. Success of salvage therapies is closely connected with the use of new compounds including new drug classes. As drugs susceptible to a multi-drug-resistant HIV are not yet available, regimens with more than three or even with five to nine drugs are used in clinical trials. Salvage therapies often fail in virological terms, ie in 50-80% of patients, depending primarily on the treatment history, but immunological and clinical stability can often be achieved.

JOURNAL ARTICLE REVIEW REVIEW, TUTORIAL Anti-HIV Agents/CLASSIFICATION/THERAPEUTIC USE Antiviral Agents/CLASSIFICATION/THERAPEUTIC USE Clinical Trials Drug Combinations Drug Resistance, Microbial Drug Resistance, Multiple Human HIV Infections/*DRUG THERAPY HIV Protease Inhibitors/THERAPEUTIC USE HIV-1/DRUG EFFECTS Salvage Therapy Treatment Failure Viral Load Viremia/VIROLOGY


Information in this article was accurate in December 30, 1999. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.