Publication: Best Possible and Best Practical Treatment Regimens for HIV

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Title Best Possible and Best Practical Treatment Regimens for HIV
Authors/Editors* Olga Krakovska, Lindi Wahl
Where published* Journal of Mathematical Biology
How published* Journal
Year* 2005
Volume -1
Number -1
Keywords Human Immunodeficiency Virus, drug treatment, optimization, HAART, mathematical model, side effects, resistance
Current HIV therapy, although highly effective, may cause very serious side effects, making adherence to the prescibed regimen difficult. Mathematical modeling may be used to evaluate alternative treatment regimens by weighing the positive results of treatment, such as higher levels of helper T cells, against the negative consequences, such as side effects and the possibility of resistance mutations. Although estimating the weights assigned to these factors is difficult, current clinical practice offers insight by defining situations in which therapy is considered ``worthwhile". We therefore use clinical practice, along with the probability that a drug-resistant mutation is present at the start of therapy, to suggest methods of rationally estimating these weights. In our underlying model, we use ordinary differential equations to describe the time course of in-host HIV infection, and include populations of both activated CD4+ T-cells and CD8+ T-cells. We then determine the best possible treatment regimen, assuming that the effectiveness of the drug can be continually adjusted, and the best practical treatment regimen, evaluating all patterns of a block of days ``on" therapy followed by a block of days ``off" therapy. We find that when the tolerance for drug-resistant mutations is low, high drug concentrations which maintain low infected cell populations are optimal. In contrast, if the tolerance for drug-resistant mutations is fairly high, the optimal treatment involves periods of reduced drug exposure which consequently boost the immune response through increased antigen exposure. We elucidate the dependence of the optimal treatment regimen on the pharmacokinetic parameters of specific antiviral agents.
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