Updated AIDS Treatment Guidelines Recognize Growing Value and Importance of HIV Drug Resistance Testing

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Recently updated guidelines from the International AIDS Society USA (IAS-USA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further support the value and importance of resistance testing as a means to improve virologic outcome among HIV infected individuals.

"Since the publication of the last version of these guidelines, a wealth of new data has provided further indication of the increasing prevalence of anti-retroviral drug resistance and its impact on HIV therapy," said Daniel R. Kuritzkes, MD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the IAS-USA guidelines panel. "I believe the expanded incorporation of both genotyping and phenotyping resistance assays into HIV disease management protocols provides a pragmatic and informed approach to individualizing effective treatment for patients."

Continued progress in new drug development, persistence of HIV drug resistance and associated changes in the clinical management of the disease necessitate that treatment guidelines be frequently updated. These revisions provide a fundamental means of rapidly implementing breakthroughs made in scientific and clinical research into routine clinical practice allowing patients to benefit from the latest developments in HIV medicine.

"These new and widely disseminated recommendations, from two esteemed panels of HIV experts, provide important guidance to physicians on how to more effectively utilize drug resistance testing in managing HIV infection," said Bill Young, chairman and CEO of ViroLogic. "Significantly, for the first time, these updated recommendations specifically highlight replication capacity measurement, which is only commercially available through ViroLogic's phenotypic assays."

IAS-USA Recommendations

A panel of physicians and scientists provided an update to recommendations originally published by the IAS-USA in 1998 and 2000. The panel recommended expanding resistance testing to several new patient populations, the most significant of which is the recommended use in chronically infected, treatment-naive patients prior to the initiation of therapy. These guidelines also highlight replication capacity measurement, which in recent studies has been shown to be a reliable predictor of HIV disease progression, such as viral load and CD4 T-cell counts. These revised guidelines may be viewed at www.iasusa.org.

DHHS Guidelines

The U.S. DHHS guidelines were originally published in 1998 and have now been updated eight times to keep pace with discoveries in the field. One significant development in the latest version of the guidelines is the enhanced emphasis on individualizing treatment with the need to consider both the potency of the prescribed drug regimen and patient-specific factors. It was also noted that with continued use of anti-viral therapy, the incidence of drug resistance continues to rise and therefore drug resistance testing should be used to guide the selection of new drug regimens once a patient has failed initial treatment. These guidelines may be viewed at www.aidsinfo.nih.gov.

ViroLogic is a biotechnology company advancing individualized medicine by discovering, developing and marketing innovative products to guide and improve treatment of serious viral diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis.

Source: ViroLogic

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