A recent study suggests that as compared to the traditional way of treatment, new antiretroviral drugs are now found to have the ability of reducing the viral load in the blood and semen of HIV-positive individuals more quickly. A team of researchers at Bellvitage Biomedical Research Institute in Spain have evaluated the time it takes for the new antiretroviral drug, called Dolutegravir, in order to lessen the intensity of the virus in semen.
HIV And The Possible Cure
In most HIV cases, what usually happens is that the virus is sexually transmitted through seminal fluid. However, VOA News has revealed that although antiretroviral agents are known to usually restrain the severity of the virus in the blood to undetectable levels within six months, researchers of the study have claimed that HIV virus remains to be detectable in semen in up to 25 percent of patients after that time.
Meanwhile, Dolutegravir, being noted as an integrase inhibitor, was found to suppress the viral load in seminal fluid to virtually undetectable levels more quickly than older antiretroviral drugs, which includes samples in patients for whom the process took longer.
In one of their statements reported by Medical Express, Dr. Daniel Podzamczer, the study's first lead author, said that in conducting their experiment, they have measured the viral load in blood and semen before starting treatment, at three days, at seven, at 14, at one month, at three months, and at six months. We know that viral load drop goes quickly during the first few days and weeks, then slower, and it finally stabilizes.
Furthermore, experts have added that in 2015, more than 2 million people contracted the virus that causes AIDS. The Spanish researchers believe that Dolutegravir can feasibly be used as a drug that aims to reduce the chances of sexual transmission of HIV. As a matter of fact, as part of a drug cocktail, in HIV positive patients, experts are said to be recommending the medication as a first-line treatment.
Ultimately, it was found that the results of the study were also published in Journal of Infectious Diseases, which also discusses the potential of these new treatments in reducing the chances of sexual transmission of the virus.