‘Left Behind’: Drug Companies and Researchers Have Overlooked Patients Who Don’t Respond to HIV Meds

January 8, 2019

(STAT News) – Vergel, 59, attributes most of these conditions to his low CD4 count, a key marker of immune function in HIV-positive people. He is what’s known as an immunologic non-responder (INR) — someone whose immune system does not rebound even after years of antiretroviral therapy. There are tens of thousands of these non-responders in the U.S., whose low CD4 numbers put them at much higher risk of heart attacks, stroke, cancers, secondary infections such as tuberculosis, and death. And yet, drug companies and researchers aren’t actively pursuing new treatments that would boost their immunity, leaving people like Vergel feeling neglected.

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