From the introduction of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in the mid-1990’s, to the discovery of medicines that prevent the transmission of HIV, America’s biopharmaceutical companies are leading the fight against HIV/AIDS. In recent years, combination therapies have further transformed the lives of patients with HIV/AIDS so that today they can take a single pill containing multiple medicines. This once-a-day model increases adherence and is a sea change from the old model of multiple medicines taken multiple times in a day.
While these scientific advancements have had a tremendous impact on the 1.1 million HIV patients in the U.S., there is still work to be done. Biopharmaceutical researchers are working to further transform the impact of this devastating disease; developing HIV/AIDS treatments that would increase the time between treatments, significantly improving patients’ quality of life, and prevent disease transmission.
Today, PhRMA, in partnership with the The AIDS Institute, announced in a new report there are 52 medicines and vaccines are currently in development to help treat and prevent HIV infection. Among the 52 medicines there are 32 antiretrovirals and antivirals, 16 vaccines and 4 cell therapies in the pipeline, including a potential first-in-class medicine intended to prevent HIV from attaching to new cells and breaking through the cell membrane.
In honor of HIV Testing Day, we are also proud to share the story of one patient through his journey of an HIV positive diagnosis; and his dedication to educating and inspiring others to get tested. Learn more about Eric’s story here.
The report was released as part of PhRMA’s GOBOLDY campaign which also released a new ad, in its Together series the showcasing the resilience of researchers like Brian and patients like James in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Andrew Powaleny is Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA and leads the organizations scientific communications. Before joining PhRMA in 2015, he worked in public affairs for a small firm in Washington, DC and served as Deputy Press Secretary for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Andrew came to Washington, D.C. via Connecticut with a degree from Eastern Connecticut State University where he majored in public policy and government. Andrew is active as a runner and volunteer with the DC Front Runners; most recently serving on its Board of Directors for three years as co-race director. He is also a member of the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and mentors students through his alumni association with The Fund for American Studies. Andrew is passionate about scientific innovation, especially for mental illness, and his heroes are the men and women of America’s biopharmaceutical research companies.