No longer is having AIDS a prediction of definite death in the near future. Those infected by this deadly virus can lead a nearly normal life, however, since there is no cure, life will never be the same again. Pharmacists have been conducting multiple studies in order to discover a possible solution. While a breakthrough is still to be made, there have been multiple advancements allowing those affected by HIV to lead a better life today.
The patients who have tested positive for HIV have an elevated risk of inflammations that can result in an increased risk of diabetes and heart attacks along with problems with glucose, cholesterol and insulin. This is attributed, at least in part, to the chronic inflammation that takes place. Due to this risk of diabetes and inflammation, a new drug which is still in the trial phases has revealed promising results!
The drug, sitagliptin, both improved metabolism as well as reduced inflammation for those affected by HIV, especially among the patients taking regular antiretroviral therapy. The standard diabetes treatments only show minimal results and are inefficient in completely normalizing blood sugar levels as well as lipid and insulin levels. This is because identifying treatment plans for such patients is extremely challenging due to the reactions these drugs tend have with the HIV antiretroviral therapy drugs that are essential in their daily life.
With sitagliptin, the inflamation, which plays a crucial role in heart attacks and strokes, is reduced, thereby reducing the risk of such complications. The principal investigator, Kevin E. Yarashesk has already stated that with the use of sitagliptin, not only did the sugar levels fall, but there were also definite markers of reduced inflammation and immune activation, indicating long term benefits for the heart, liver and bones of the patient.
The most recent study, which is the second study done to test sitagliptin, involved 36 patients, aged 18-65. After the first study on HIV positive individuals, which determined the safety of the drug, the second study aimed at understanding its effectiveness.
At the beginning of the study, researchers measured the participants’ insulin sensitivity, glucose levels, lipid count as well as several other markers of inflammation and health.
Half of the participants were given the drug whereas the rest were provided with a placebo which they took regularly for eight weeks. Throughout this, the participants continued with their antiretroviral therapy. These preliminary results provided positive results. While a long term study is still required in order to determine the effects of the drug, this has renewed hope for many HIV infected individuals worldwide.
The study has been published in the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. While the drug is not scheduled for release anytime soon, individuals and researchers are looking forward to it hitting the market in the near future. This is one of the latest in the line of path breaking drugs that can improve and change the lives of individuals across the globe. A disease which was once a death sentence is can now be battled with increased ease.