From the Kaiser Network
An HHS panel on Thursday published revised guidelines on antiretroviral therapy, including recommendations for treatment interruption, drug-resistance testing and HIV/hepatitis B coinfection PharmaLive.com reports (PharmaLive.com, 5/4). The guidelines advise newly diagnosed HIV-positive adults and adolescents to be tested for strains of the virus that are resistant to antiretroviral drugs. The revised guidelines also suggest that people taking antiretroviral therapy should avoid interrupting their treatment, based on the Strategies for Management of Antiretroviral Therapy trial (CQ HealthBeat, 5/4). The SMART trial, which was conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, finds that participants who took antiretroviral drugs on an irregular basis were more than twice as likely to experience increased progression of the virus or death compared with those taking a daily treatment regimen. Patients taking episodic treatment also were more likely to experience cardiovascular and kidney complications, as well as liver disease (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/8).