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NZ: HIV med Kaletra

Fri 20 Jul 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

A new formulation of the anti-HIV drug Kaletra – available in New Zealand from the 1st of August – will significantly improve the quality of life for many HIV-positive New Zealanders, says the AIDS Foundation. NZAF National Positive Health Manager Eamonn Smythe says Kaletra as a protease inhibitor has been a “backbone medication” for many HIV-positive people, but in its previous form carried unpleasant side effects. “Many people on Kaletra have traditionally experienced quite severe diarrhoea, and we understand that the new formulation has drastically reduced this occurring.” Other improvements to Kaletra include a change from soft gel capsule to tablet form, meaning the medication no longer has to be refrigerated. The new formulation can also be taken with or without food, and the daily dosage is reduced from 6 capsules a day to 4 tablets. “As well as improving quality of life, improvements like these make it far easier for patients to stick to their medication regime, which is essential for slowing the progress of HIV within the body,” Smythe says. There is still no cure for HIV, and despite improvements to drug regimes, prevention is still the best hope of reducing the spread of the virus within communities at risk, particularly gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. “HIV is still a life-threatening illness,” Smythe says. “Avoiding infection in the first place by always using condoms for anal and vaginal sex is the best way to ensure your ongoing health.”     Ref: NZAF (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 20th July 2007 - 9:37pm

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