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Potent HIV therapy has changed the course of the epidemic, but our HIV treatment advocacy work is far from over. The current crop of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs will not hold out forever. Indeed, some people have already run out of effective treatment options and treatment is currently a life-long prospect, with unknown long-term side effects.
For this reason, Project Inform is advocating both for shorter-term solutions, including new ARV drugs that will work even in people with multi-drug resistant virus, and long-term solutions including a cure for HIV.
Over our 26 years of activism, we have not only led in the development of the current armamentarium of ARV therapies, we have also focused on understanding emerging issues such as the impact of HIV on the immune system, the safety of structured treatment interruptions and science to understand and treat lipodystrophy. Our highest current priorities include:
- Monitoring new discoveries in drug delivery, safer compounds, and newer technologies in order to enhance the safety and effectiveness of current treatment;
- Working with academic and industry researchers to identify and test compounds with the promise to achieve a sterilizing cure (e.g. eradicating latent HIV) or a functional cure (helping the body naturally control the virus.); and
- Monitoring research on the impact of HIV on people as they age and working to build proper screening protocols for age-related diseases and effective treatments for non-HIV-related illnesses that arise as people get older.
To accomplish this work we continue to meet with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), academic researchers and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry to accomplish these goals. Project Inform’s research advocacy department also leads efforts to develop a community-based HIV treatment research agenda.