HIV Treatment Cost And Kinds – The Days Before The Cure

Welcome back!

In the previous articles in this series I covered HIV Transmission, HIV tests and viral development phases. On this one I’ll explain HIV treatment cost and kinds today.

HIV Treatment Cost

Monthly regimens for?HIV treatment?cost between $2,000 and $5,000 ??a lot of it of it for drugs. Medical insurance will pay for this, for those who have it. Those who don’t have to pay for it themselves. The problem is, a lot of people who get HIV can’t afford such high expenses. That’s what AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) are for. ADAPs help people with very low-income and assets to?buy HIV medications. The budgets of these programs are very high (Currently around two billion dollars)?and on a constant rise. For example, on July 2012, the Obama administration invested an extra 76 million Dollars to eliminate the waiting lists for ADAPs.Unfortunately, the lists just keep growing. On 2014 the budget for these programs is predicted to increase even more.?Every state has its own criteria for who is eligible for its ADAP. Basically, you have to be HIV positive, a resident of the state (U.S. citizenship is optional), earn a very low-income and have very few liquid assets. Bottom line – HIV treatment cost is higher than that of Condoms and fresh needles.

HIV Treatment Kinds

First of all it’s important for me to explain that HIV still has no cure. Today’s treatment merely eliminates the retrovirus cells in the blood. The provirus still remains in the DNA and keeps creating more retrovirus cells.
The treatment is either called HIghly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) or Combination?Antiretroviral Therapy (cART). This treatment consists of five families of drugs:

  • HIV Treatment Cost - Pills IllustrationNon-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) –?HIV needs ?a certain protein to make copies of itself. NNRTI drugs disable that protein. Kind of like tearing a piece of the puzzle, HIV can’t finish the picture. Examples include nevirapine?(Viramune),?efavirenz (Sustiva)?and etravirine?(Intelence).
  • Protease inhibitors (PIs) -?PI drugs stop HIV multiplication using almost the same techniques NNRTIs do. They just disable protease,?another protein HIV needs to make copies of itself. ?Examples include Darunavir (Prezista), Fosamprenavir (Lexiva),?Atazanavir (Reyataz) and Ritonavir (Norvir).
  • Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) –?HIV needs certain ingredients to make copies of itself. NRTI drugs create fake, bad versions of these ingredients. If making a copy of HIV is like making a bowl of cereal, NRTIs put bad milk in the fridge. So when a new HIV cell is created, it would be dead or disfunctioning and thus harmless. Examples include Abacavir (Ziagen), combined Lamivudine/Zidovudine?(Combivir)?and combined?Emtricitabine/Tenofovir (Truvada).
  • Integrase inhibitors -?HIV uses integrase to insert its genetic material into a cd4 cell’s DNA. Integrase inhibitors disable integrase. this prevents the integration of HIV RNA in the attacked cell’s DNA. Metaphorically, integrase inhibitors let HIV keep its nails, but take away its hammer. Examples include Raltegravir (Isentress)?and Elvitegravir.
  • Fusion or entry inhibitors -?There are proteins on the surface of CD4 cells that HIV uses to attach itself. Entry inhibitors glue these doors shut. Unlike all the other drugs that prevent HIV from multiplying well after it entered the cell, fusion or entry inhibitors prevent HIV from ever infiltrating. ?Examples include?Maraviroc (Selzentry)?and?Enfuvirtide (Fuzeon).

These all work very well, but also have side effects.They are not a substitute for protection or precautions. Even though HIV today turning from fatal to chronic thanks to these drugs, they’re not an excuse for not staying safe. Besides, HIV Treatment cost is still very high.

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Take care.
Itay “SHPECK” Rijensky

HIV Treatment Cost And Kinds - The Days Before The Cure
Article Name
HIV Treatment Cost And Kinds - The Days Before The Cure
An article surveying the different families of HIV supressing drugs - What do they do, what's the difference between them and what is the cost of HIV treatment in America.

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