How Low Can We Go? A Clinical Trial Gives Hope For New HIV Drug Options

single tablet products. More drugs could also mean more possible side-effects and more potential interactions with other drugs.

The question now is “How low can we go?”. Our drugs are very potent and for some combinations, two appear to work just as well as three. Newer combinations of two drugs may be cheaper than the same combinations with a third drug. Most importantly, if two drugs work as well as three and for extended periods of time, this is very good news.

People will be on therapy for many decades and some folk may have already been on therapy for well over two decades. Effective two-drug regimens mean that patients have more options! A person who gets infected in their mid  20’s could well be on therapy into their 70’s (until we find a cure).  So the more treatment options, the better.

Islatravir is a new drug being developed by Merck Pharmaceuticals. It may be effective for HIV treatment as well as HIV prevention (used as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP). While it works similar to drugs like tenofovir (Viread), FTC (Emtriva), and abacavir (Ziagen), it has some unique actions that no other HIV drug has.

In short, Islatravir can very potently block HIV from making DNA in our cells, preventing it from replicating.  It is more potent than any other HIV drug in use, meaning a very small dose is highly effective. Islatravir is slowly broken down in