New treatment options for HIV patients new and old.

Genes (made of DNA) are like instruction manuals for how to make the proteins that build our bodies and carry out our body functions. We have thousands of different types of proteins. Some are structural, like the protein collagen that makes up our skin.

Other proteins include enzymes, which control all of the reactions that take place in our bodies. Through the proteins that come from our genes, all aspects of our bodies are determined, like whether we can be tall or short, the complexion of our skin, color of our eyes, texture of our hair, how we digest food and process nutrients and the potential for disease. Viruses have genes too. Viruses are so simple that they may have just a handful of genes while we have thousands. But viruses have no way to reproduce themselves and their genes, so they hijack our cells and make them do it.

Two proteins from HIV genes that help the virus infect our cells are targets of the new drug combinations. The reverse transcriptase is an enzyme that the HIV virus produces that makes copies of HIV genes (DNA). Then, the HIV genes get inserted into our own genes by an HIV enzyme called integrase. This is how our cells can make the virus’s proteins when we make our own proteins.

Juluca is a combination of two powerful drugs. Rilpivirine blocks reverse transcriptase and Dolutegravir block integrase. This is a new concept because most HIV treatments have combined three different drugs. This is the first product to combine only two drugs as a complete regimen, but because these two drugs are so strong, they seem to work as well as three drug combos.

Using two drugs instead of