Platelets Help in the Difficult Task of Deciding when and who should Receive Antiviral Treatment

Over the last decades we have witnessed a real revolution in the treatment of viruses. It started with the development of antiretrovirals to eliminate the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) responsible for a global health crisis. HIV continues to be a major global problem, and according to statistics 38.1 million people have become infected with HIV and 25.3 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses. Now over six distinctive drug classes of antiretrovirals and as many as 40 HIV commercially available medicines are available to address HIV infection. Although the World Health Organization (WHO), governments around the world, and private agencies have joined efforts to expand access to antiretroviral therapy, only half of people are receiving treatment, and not all are resulting in success.


Another virus is joining the burden of health care costs, the hepatitis B and C virus. It is estimated that approximately 150-180 million people in the world are living with chronic hepatitis. Of them, approximately a third (20%-40%) will develop cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma and die. Fortunately, anti-viral treatment for viral hepatitis is now available to achieve viral suppression. Similar to HIV, combination therapy represents the gold standard.


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