HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, in particular the CD4 cells, that help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, HIV leads to AIDS - the most severe phase of HIV infection. The immune system of those who have AIDS is severely compromised, and they become an easy target for a number of life-threatening illnesses, called opportunistic infections. With over 5,700 new cases of infection daily, HIV is an acute global threat that devours billions of dollars in government spending yearly all over the world.
Less than 50% of patients globally are on ART (antiretroviral therapy), less than 0.2% - on PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). In SE Asia and Pacific region: only 41% of patients are on ART (even less in China), 0% - on PrEP.
Meanwhile, the number of HIV-infected that develop resistance to treatment is steadily growing. These patients need new effective treatments, but the majority cannot afford them: the price of a second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) in some countries can reach three times that of a standard first-line ART. Viriom's Elpida has a high resistance to viral mutations and no cross-resistance with other available treatments, allowing it to be successfully used as a second-line therapy, especially in combination with other antiviral drugs.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) helps lower the chances of getting infected with HIV. It is particularly important for those in high HIV risk groups. The medication has to be taken daily and consistently in combination with other prevention methods to offer maximum protection. Viriom is currently developing a number of long-acting oral and injectable formulations that would allow for a once-weekly or less frequent dosing, which would facilitate the adherence to therapy in HIV-infected and provide a convenient method of prophylaxis for those in high HIV-risk groups.
Viriom's unique business strategy allows it to deliver novel, effective, and safe alternatives to the standard ART that are also affordable to the patients in the developing world.
Here are some HIV/AIDS organizations that can offer more information and support to HIV-infected and those in high HIV-risk groups.
HIV.gov | International AIDS Society | UNAIDS | Global Network of People Living with HIV
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