Clinical Topics   /   HIV

New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans

USM By U.S. Medicine
December 8, 2014

Clinicians Find Advances ‘Mind-Boggling’

By Annette M. Boyle

rimland

David Rimland

ATLANTA – Therapeutic options for patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continue to expand, enabling more veterans to begin treatment with fewer adverse side effects and far less complicated regimens than even a few years ago.

“Now that we have multiple documented treatments that work and are well tolerated, we have better options for patients with underlying problems such as heart or kidney disease and those who have developed resistance to the drugs they are on,” said David Rimland, chief of infectious diseases at the Atlanta VAMC.

With HIV, unlike many other conditions, dissemination of information on new treatments is extremely rapid. “One of the interesting things about working with HIV compared to a lot of other diseases is that, as soon as significant results are presented, clinicians latch on to them very quickly, often even before official recommendations or guidelines come out,” Rimland noted.

That’s good news for the more than 24,000 HIV-infected veterans who receive healthcare through the VA. Recent studies may bring even better tidings to veterans who have been unable to take or tolerate the most common combinations of HIV medications.

In October, researchers led by Jeffrey Lennox, MD, professor of medicine at Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital, both in Atlanta, published results of the first head-to-head study of three non-efavirenz therapies in the Annals of Internal Medicine. That study showed that all three achieved equivalent and high rates of virologic suppression, though there were some differences in their tolerability levels. 1

“We are very pleased that our study showed the drug combinations tested, without efavirenz, are good options for initial HIV antiretroviral therapy. This is critical information for patients who cannot tolerate efavirenz, and we believe this head-to-head comparison will provide useful information to guide clinicians about choosing among them,” Lennox said.


Related Articles

How Veterans Feel About Remote Management of Their Care

While implantable devices have shown promise in reducing rehospitalization for heart failure (HF), VA researchers sought to determine if options that are less expensive and non-invasive would have comparable results.

Legislation: Clinicians Must Be Involved in Formulary Design, Purchasing

Legislation to prevent VA from outsourcing creation of its drug formulary and to require more input from medical professions is being considered in Congress.


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From department of veterans affairs

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

How Veterans Feel About Remote Management of Their Care

While implantable devices have shown promise in reducing rehospitalization for heart failure (HF), VA researchers sought to determine if options that are less expensive and non-invasive would have comparable results.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Legislation: Clinicians Must Be Involved in Formulary Design, Purchasing

Legislation to prevent VA from outsourcing creation of its drug formulary and to require more input from medical professions is being considered in Congress.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

GAO: VA Needs Better Planning for ‘Complex’ Appeals System Overhaul

VA’s Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) in Charleston, SC. New legislation is seeking to increase clinician input into formulary decisionmaking. WASHINGTON — Legislation to prevent VA from outsourcing creation of its drug formulary and to... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Community Providers Unprepared to Serve Veterans Under Choice Program

As the debate about increasing access for veterans to community-based provider heats up, a serious problem has emerged: Few providers outside the VA health system appear to be prepared to meet the unique challenges of the veteran population.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Former VA Secretary Nominee Claims Allegations Against Him Are False

Veterans’ groups expressed concern last month regarding a “lack of permanent leadership at the department,” after Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson, MD, withdrew his name from consideration as VA secretary amid anonymous allegations of misconduct.

Facebook Comment

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up