It is said in the latest Medicines in Development report by the Pharmaceutical research and manufacturers of America (PhRMA) that the biopharmaceutical research companies are currently developing 44 new vaccines and medications for HIV/AIDS for the treatment thereof and for the prevention thereof.

Another report “the value of innovation in HIV/AIDS therapy, by Boston Healthcare Associates Inc (BHA) shows the progress in HIV/AIDS treatments and the impact it has on patients suffering from HIV/AIDS.

These two reports will be released at the PhRMA’s 2014 research and hope awards, which is a ceremony held to honour HIV/AIDS researchers and patients for the part they play in improving HIV/Aids research and care.

Since the first five patients were identified in 1981, there have been many medical advancements since the treatment of Anti-retroviral started in 1995, there has been a huge drop in deaths, 83% to be exact.  There was also a 32% drop in the HIV/AIDS related hospitals.  Anti-retroviral has improved the overall care of the patients, and it helps to prevent costs that are associated with the treatment of the disease. The lifespan of patients suffering from HIV/AIDS today is 15 years longer than it was back in the 1980’s.

Compared to 35 years ago HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence anymore but more a chronic, but manageable disease. This is all thanks to the advances in biopharmaceutical research. But even though such great progress has been made the fight against HIV/AIDS still continues.  The good news is that there are more than 40 medications in the pipeline, and that there is more hope than ever to get the cure for this disease.

The biopharmaceutical companies are currently focusing on improving treatments, therapy that will be more effective and vaccines that will prevent HIV/AIDS.  These treatments are currently in clinical trials or are waiting for a review from the Food and Drug Administration.  Of the 44 medications currently in the pipeline 25 of them are antivirals, 16 vaccines and 3 cell or gene therapies.  Some examples include:

A first in its class medication intended to stop HIV from breaking through the membrane of the cells

A cell therapy that modifies the HIV Patient’s own cells in order to make them resistant to the HIV virus, and

A vaccine that is therapeutic and it is designed to encourage a response from the T cells that plays a role in immune protection against viral infections.

At present there are 94 clinical trials for HIV medications and vaccines.  43 of them have not yet been tested on candidates or have recently been looking for participants. Among the therapies being investigated there are some that involve attachment inhibitors, the modification of genes and inducing a response from the T cells.  But all this could not have been achieved had it not been for the volunteers who participate in the clinical trials.  The trials combined with the promising new scientific approaches that researchers have been using, build on the progress against HIV infection.

The Value of Innovation in HIV/Aids therapy report states that the advances in the treatments as well as the Pre-Exposure Prophylactic (PrEP) method, have built upon each other over time, yielding better results for HIV patients through the use of medications earlier and in combination.  Research that was done recently revealed that many of these therapies have been effective in the prevention of the transmission of the HIV virus. Both international as well as national guidelines have now recommended the use of PrEP medications as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention plan in areas where the population is disproportionately impacted by HIV.