A head-to-head study has provided evidence that Viramune, a drug used in HIV treatment, has a similar efficacy and enhanced effect on lipid profile in comparison to ritonavir boosted atazanavir.
The ARTEN trial was undertaken at the 5th International AIDS Society (IAS) conference in Cape Town, South Africa and is the first study to compare the two prescribed treatments. The results showed Viramune was more effective at increasing absolute HDL-c (the so called good cholesterol) and can now be considered an efficient first-line treatment for HIV patients.
Lead investigator of the ARTEN study, Prof Vicent Soriano, Assistant Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Carlos III, Madrid said: “ARTEN puts to rest the concerns over a potential lack of efficacy of Viramune in combination with Truvada, the results confirm that the combination of Viramune and Truvada is a highly efficacious combination that offers significant benefit even more so to patients with cardiovascular risk.”
Thanks to antiretroviral therapy such as this, HIV related deaths have been declining each year, reducing the figure of 33 million sufferers at the end of 2007. Dr Manfred Haehl, Senior Vice-President Medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim said: “Given the current concerns regarding CHD in those with HIV, patients are now increasingly looking for treatment strategies that have the most lipid friendly profile in order to safeguard their wider health and to prevent the onset of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. ARTEN now clearly provides additional reassurance for physicians to treat with more confidence patients with a Viramune and Truvada combination.”