Veinticinco años de VIH/SIDA

Ya pasó un cuarto de siglo desde que se detectó el síndrome de inmunodeficiencia adquirida (SIDA). El conocimiento que se adquirió desde entonces sobre la enfermedad es sorprendente y el ritmo con el que la investigación básica se tradujo en tratamientos salvadores de vidas no tiene precedentes.

Al descubrimiento del virus de la inmunodeficiencia humana (VIH) como la causa del sida le siguió el esclarecimiento de su patogenia, su hitoria natural y su epidemiología, la creación de una prueba sanguínea de diagnóstico y el desarrollo de drogas antirretrovirales. En 1996, la aprobación de la primera droga de una clase llamada inhibidores de las proteasas derivó en la adopción de un régimen anti-VIH compuesto por varias drogas, conocido como terapia antirretroviral de gran actividad o TARGA. Este avance transformó drásticamente la calidad de vida y aumentó la expectativa de vida de los individuos infectados con VIH.

Es más, las drogas antirretrovirales que se les suministran a las mujeres embarazadas y a los recién nacidos infectados con VIH resultaron ser tremendamente exitosas a la hora de prevenir la transmisión de madre a hijo del VIH. En consecuencia, desde que se introdujeron estas combinaciones de drogas, se salvaron por lo menos tres millones de años de vida solamente en Estados Unidos. Ahora existen más de dos docenas de drogas y combinaciones de drogas anti-VIH aprobadas, además de un caudal consistente de drogas de próxima generación en diversas etapas de desarrollo y testeo clínico.

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