Sexual Health news - HIV

Antiretroviral drug to slow HIV progression may be used in children

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the antiretroviral HIV drug raltegravir in individuals aged 2 to 12, some four years after the medication began being used commercially in adults.

Researchers at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine conducted a clinical trial on 96 patients who had been on other HIV drugs. The volunteers were given raltegravir for 24 weeks, after which the team of scientists observed that more than half of them had untraceable levels of HIV in their blood.

"The trial shows it has an excellent efficacy profile in children with HIV who have failed other regimens and is also effective against the virus regardless where the child lives around the word," said principal investigator Sharon Nachman, M.D.

Authors of the study said they will continue to follow the volunteers over the next five years to observe the drug's efficacy and long-term effects. Common side-effects of the antiretroviral include insomnia and headaches, which occur in both children and adults.

The researchers also hope to test whether the drug will work in people younger than 2.