Kudos for the HIV Drug Guide

I write to express my awe at your accomplishment with the March+April 2018 issue of Positively Aware. You and your staff and contributors clearly worked with great effort and inspiration in its production.

You’ve presented a truly stupendous amount of information clearly and usably and the commentary was succinct and illuminating. The superb layout and graphic technical were both delightful and thoughtful.

I remember our excitement when didanosine and zalcitabine became available to supplement zidovudine. With the cascade of effective medications and their combinations over the past several years, the task of organizing and presenting them has become herculean, and I commend you on nearly perfect execution.

Thank you all, sincerely.

—David E. Schmitt, MD

Charlottesville, Virginia

I have just received the latest edition of Positively Aware, the 22nd Annual HIV Drug Guide [March + April 2018] and once again, you have outdone yourselves. I do a lot of speaking, from middle schools to the university level. When I talk about the medications that are used to treat HIV/AIDS, I always use the HIV Drug Guide as a tool to show folks what treatment looks like now, and then I talk about what treatment used to look like: multiple pills a day, sometimes every three hours, with horrific side effects. Yes, we have come a long way with eight single-tablet regimens. Amazing (I just started Juluca). Who would have thought that we would ever see so many choices? Thanks so much for giving all of us a guide that we can use in helping us make the best choice for treatment and learn about the medication(s) we are taking.

Bob Skinner, President/CEO

Valley AIDS Information Network

Corvallis, ORegon

Thanks again for another excellent issue with the 22nd Annual HIV Drug Guide. Would it be possible to get more copies of the posters sent to Cook County Jail? We laminate them and put them in the intake and ER areas to assist HIV patients coming into the jail with identifying their regimens.

—Chad Zawitz, MD

Cermak Health Services, Chicago

Isentress HD once-daily dose

Unfortunately, the pull-out chart in this year’s drug guide lists the older Isentress twice-daily dose rather than the newer Isentress HD once-a-day formulation approved by the FDA last May.

While the twice-daily formulation is still available, this is certainly an oversight.

The dose for Isentress HD, as shown on its drug page, is two 600 mg film-coated tablets once daily, without regard to food.

The two formulations are not the same and are not interchangeable. This includes different drug interactions for the two drugs.

Also of special note is the new Isentress infant dose approved as the drug guide went to press (which is listed on the drug page).

A standout HIV drug pull-out chart

Through the generosity of Walgreens Specialty Pharmacies, standalone pull-out charts picturing the drugs and their doses are available. The pull-out drug chart seems to be the favorite part of the annual HIV drug guide. While individuals may not remember what medication they took years ago, they can usually point to its picture on the chart. “This is an excellent patient education resource, something I use every day with my patients in the exam rooms,” wrote David Yurdin, PA-C, AAHIVMS, and Clinical Director of The Project of PHC, in Des Moines.

For free copies of our updated pull-out drug chart, email publications@tpan.com.

Zine seen

Midland Medical Center, Oakland Park, Florida: Kevin Maloney found PA’s special issue on HIV cure research featuring Charles Sanchez, star of the web series Merce, and posted, “I know that guy!”