Patients on failing HIV regimens achieve viral suppression with long acting antiretroviral drugs. They do not achieve freedom from the virus, but they do remain healthy and able to live normal lives. There are some who have already achieved this state by undertaking an aggressive regimen of treatment. Others have found it difficult. Some individuals may have done it with outdated or less effective drugs and no longer have access to the modern formulations.
There are those who chose not to go the modern route for HIV therapy. Though they have failed to achieve any level of HIV containment, they certainly remain alive and healthy. The reason they did not go the modern path is that they would have been unable to afford the cost of the drugs. If the same amount ofmonewas invested today, there are many more potential patients on failing HIV regimens that would be able to maintain a full life. There are too few in this world who can afford to purchase these drugs, but they are out there. Those who have chosen to take the safer route can breathe a sigh of relief today.
Those who have been on the failing HIV viral treatment regimen will know that it is not all about hope and fortitude. There is no pill or cream that is going to give you a perfect score. Nor should there be. There are too many variables involved. The best you can hope for is to live long enough so you get the benefits of the treatment.
Patients on long-acting antiretroviral treatments may remain healthy and virus free for years, but they may also see the health complications of their treatment become worse over time. This is due to the gradual build up of drug resistance as well as the natural progression of the viruses natural life cycle. When the treatment is stopped, the virus has the opportunity to replicate once more, putting even more people at risk. This is why so many on fail-safe drug therapies consider extending their treatments beyond the originally recommended six months.
By doing so, they are giving themselves the best chance to prolong the life of their HIV treatment and to eventually achieve long term viral suppression. Patients on long-acting antiretroviral regimens will often require longer than six months to achieve this goal, but they do have an advantage over the placebo group when it comes to long-term suppression. Patients on long-term treatment will be tested for drug resistance over time and may eventually be required to undergo a pre-emptive test to determine if their virus is becoming resistant to the drugs that have been prescribed to them. Failure to do so could mean the need for a new dose of medication.
Patients on failing HIV regimens who are given long-acting antiretroviral drugs to achieve viral suppression with long-term antiviral therapy stand a much greater chance of achieving long term suppression than do those on standard therapy. For this reason, it has become common practice to lengthen the duration of antiretroviral therapy in order to increase the chances of success. Although it is not clear how successful the extended periods of viral suppression will be, those on failing HIV regimens have a much better chance of long-term suppression versus those on standard therapy. The data are not conclusive, but it is clear that extending the duration of therapy is one way to increase the odds of long term success.