Forward thinking on HIV

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 12:00 in Health & Medicine

For years, doctors treating HIV have recognized a relationship between how faithfully patients take prescribed drugs and how likely the virus is to develop drug resistance. More recently, research has shown that the relationship between adherence to a drug regimen and resistance is different for each of the drugs that make up the “cocktail” used to control the disease. New research by Harvard scientists could help explain why those differences exist, and may help doctors quickly and cheaply design drug combinations less likely to result in resistance. A team led by Martin Nowak, professor of mathematics and of biology and director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, has developed a technique for modeling the effects of various treatments and for predicting whether the treatments will cause the virus to develop resistance. The work is described in a paper in Nature Medicine. “What we demonstrate in this paper is a prototype for predicting, through...

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