NOTE: I am re-posting with information in a better continuity form regarding accessible HIV class combinations if you are using Humana/medicare, and/or not eligible for needymeds.org, and/or rxhope (Thanks again Sue!)
"Doctors have not yet discovered a single combination of HIV medications that's best for everyone. Each combination has its advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, researchers can't compare the hundreds of possible combinations of individual medications. Instead, they usually try to compare combinations of classes of medications. Three class combinations are commonly researched and prescribed today for people starting HIV treatment:
-- One NNRTI plus two NRTIs **
-- One "boosted" PI plus two NRTIs ++
-- One integrase inhibitor plus two NRTIs "
Most commonly prescribed HIV Meds that are easily (and/or at least easier) coverred by humana/medicare, and are in the combinations ** and ++ above. I am leaving out the Integrase Inhibitor option that would include Raltegravir/Isentress and it's not affordable for most via Humana/medicare.
I have also approached my doc on this, and asked if there are any MLV+'s using the combinations without Integrase inhibitors. More when/ifI get an answer.
Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)
Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, NRTIs, work by stopping the process of reverse transcription. Reverse transcription is the process by which HIV copies its own RNA into DNA that can alter the behavior of immune system cells. According to an article published in the July 21, 2010, issue of "The Journal of the American Medical Association," current treatment guidelines pecify that HIV medication regimens should contain two drugs from the NRTI class. Tenofovir and emtricitabine are the most ommonly prescribed NRTIs. A fixed-dose combination of these two medications is available under the trade name Truvada.
--- Retrovir (AZT)
In addition to the two NRTIs, an HIV medication regimen should contain a third drug of a different type. Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, NNRTIs, also inhibit reverse transcription, but they do this using a different mechanism than the NRTIs, according to the text, "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine." Because the mechanisms are different, NNRTIs can be used effectively as a third drug. The most commonly prescribed NNRTI is efavirenz, says "JAMA." Efavirenz, along with tenofovir and emtricitabine, is available as a fixed-dose combination pill under the trade name Atripla.
--- Sustiva is coverred by Humana. $33.00 a month.
Protease inhibitors, PIs, are another class of medications that can be used as the third drug in an HIV regimen. PIs inhibit HIV from assembling the proteins it needs to replicate itself. PIs have a tendency to cause cholesterol problems, but unlike NNRTIs, they can be given only once a day. So they are sometimes prescribed as a third drug in patients for whom adherence to a medication schedule is a problem. Atazanavir is the most commonly prescribed PI, because it has less potential to cause cholesterol problems than other PIs, according to "JAMA." Like all PIs, atazanavir is more effective when taken with small amount of another PI called ritonavir. Lopinavir is the only PI available as a single pill combined with ritonavir, sold under the trade name Kaletra, so sometimes it is prescribed instead of atazanavir for patients who have difficulty keeping track of multiple medications.
Reyataz -- $33 a month and adding ritonavir ($200.00 for 90 days) is more effective.
(But I am not using this as a combination option for the purposes of Humana/medciare drug accessibility and affordabilty)
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/186953-most-prescribed-hiv-medications/#ixzz0yxDIcelH