starts reproducing itself, the maturation inhibitors block the assembly of new viruses. There are no new viruses released from the lymphocytes that can infect other cells.
In this small study, HIV-infected patients received different doses of the experimental drug for 11 days to see how well it could suppress virus all by itself. This drug alone reduced the amount of virus in the blood on average by about 40-fold; not bad for a single drug over a short period. These short studies give us an indication of how strong the drug is by itself and how it will perform when combined with other HIV drugs. Side-effects were mild.
There is very good news on the Prevention front. Currently, the only drug we have approved is a pill called Truvada which is a combination of two drugs, Tenofovir and Emtricitabine. This pill is prescribed daily in people who do not have HIV infection to protect them from getting infected. This type of protection is called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP (see I want protection from PrEP).
Tenofovir is a powerful drug and it is commonly included in combination treatment products. However, recently, a new form of the drug Tenofovir has become available, called Tenofovir Alafenamide (found in products like Genvoya and Bictarvy). In the body, it works exactly like Tenofovir (because it is tenofovir). However, this drug is designed with some special features. When a patient takes the drug, it is absorbed into the bloodstream, but quickly is transported into tissues, including blood cells that HIV infects, where it reaches very high concentrations.
These characteristics produce two important benefits. First, because the Tenofovir doesn’t linger or