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Swallowing A ‘Mini-Pillbox’ Could Change The Way HIV Drugs Are Delivered

Posted on January 09, 2018

Source: NPR

Swallowing A ‘Mini-Pillbox’ Could Change The Way HIV Drugs Are Delivered

"Maybe you've bought 7-day pill boxes, some with digital reminders, others that talk to you ... not to mention apps that nag you to take your daily dose.

And still you forget your pills.

When the medication is antiretroviral therapy to treat an HIV infection, losing track of the dosing schedule is a life and death matter. These medications arrived like a medical miracle in 1996. Patients diagnosed with AIDS went from being handed a death sentence to knowing they had a chronic but treatable disease. If HIV/AIDS patients wanted a life expectancy equal to uninfected people, all they had to do was take their medicine — on schedule, every single day, no exceptions.

But people don't comply perfectly with their medication regimens, even when the stakes are as high as with HIV. 'I think lack of adherence to therapy is the Achilles heel of HIV treatment,' says Dr. Monica Gandhi, medical director of the HIV clinic at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Gandhi commented on, but was not involved with, a study published in today's Nature Communications."

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