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New HIV medication combines four drugs

Category: HIV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its approval for Stribild, a new HIV medication that combines two new drugs with two preexisting ones. This therapy may prove useful for individuals who are newly diagnosed with HIV through anonymous STD testing.

Stribild includes elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. The first two medications are new. While elvitegravir curbs viral replication, cobicistat slows down the process in which the former drug is metabolized so that it can last longer. The combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, currently marketed as Truvada, also helps control the replication of HIV.

The FDA's approval of Stribild is based on two studies that included more than 1,400 HIV-positive patients who never underwent treatment. These trials compared Stribild to either the HIV drug Atripla or Truvada plus atazanavir and ritonavir.

Results showed that after 48 weeks, between 88 and 90 percent of subjects on Stribild had undetectable levels of the virus in their blood, compared to between 84 percent and 87 percent of individuals on the other treatments.

"Through continued research and drug development, treatment for those infected with HIV has evolved from multi-pill regimens to single-pill regimens," said Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H. of the FDA. "New combination HIV drugs like Stribild help simplify treatment regimens."

Anonymous STD testing is the first step for patients to receive appropriate treatment.

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