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No Gender-Based Difference Seen in Anti-HIV Drug Response

Last Updated: September 20, 2010.

But strategies needed to keep women enrolled in research studies, study authors stressed.

MONDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women have the same responses to the anti-HIV drugs darunavir and ritonavir, researchers have found.

The new study included 429 HIV-positive patients (287 women and 142 men) at 65 sites in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. The participants were given 600 milligrams (mg) of darunavir and 100 mg of ritonavir twice daily.

The treatment response rates were 73 percent in women and 73.5 percent in men, the investigators found. Rates of adverse events were also comparable between the sexes. The most common side effects were nausea (5.2 percent of women, 2.8 percent of men), diarrhea (4.5 percent of women, 4.9 percent of men) and rash (2.1 percent of women, 2.8 percent of men).

The findings are published in the Sept. 21 issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The Gender, Race and Clinical Experience (GRACE) study was funded by Tibotec Therapeutics, which markets darunavir.

The study authors noted that 32.8 percent of the female participants dropped out before the end of the study, compared with 23.2 percent of the males. This suggests that more needs to be done to retain women in clinical trials.

"It is critical that women are involved in clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of new treatments -- not just for HIV but for all diseases," lead author Dr. Judith Currier, a professor of medicine and chief of the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a UCLA news release.

More information

The New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center has more about medications to fight HIV.

SOURCE: University of California, Los Angeles, news release, Sept. 20, 2010

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