Stratford HIV specialist honored by International AIDS Society for his research
A Stratford HIV specialist was honored by the International AIDS Society in Australia for what experts call “groundbreaking research” into how patients take HIV drugs.
Dr. Gary Blick, of the nonprofit Health Care Advocates International, says doctors have been told by researchers for the past quarter century that HIV patients must take three or four drugs daily to effectively treat their condition.
However, a two-year study conducted by the nonprofit found that taking two drugs daily works as well as taking three or four, even when patients have developed a resistance to their drug regimens.
Blick calls this discovery a “new paradigm of treatment for HIV patients."
In addition to being safer for patients, Blick says the two-drug-per-day regimen will also save the U.S. Medicaid Program over $1 billion a year.
He says that the economic impact will be even greater on the Pepfar Global Fund, the government’s international effort to combat HIV established 20 years ago by President George W. Bush.
"We spend billions and billions of dollars getting medications through Pepfar Global Fund to individuals HIV+ in economically developing countries, such as Zimbabwe,” he said. “This could have major, major implications. The study had 100 patients involved there – 50 patients who had prior virological failures and resistance mutations."
Blick says the other 50 patients in that study did not have prior resistance but did fail many prior three-drug regimens. He says the bottom line is that nobody failed the two-drug regimen over the duration of the study.
Blick also says he has submitted his updated research to the International AIDS Conference taking place in Zimbabwe in December.