February 17, 2009
Study results presented Feb. 9 at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Montreal found significant benefits may be associated with treating patients immediately following HIV infection.
In August, the International AIDS Society recommended that HIV patients start antiretroviral (ARV) treatment when the level of CD4 immune cells drops below 350 copies per milliliter of blood, which can take months or years after infection and varies among patients. But some recent studies have suggested ARVs should be started earlier. A study last year found that HIV-infected people live longer if treatment is started when CD4 levels drop to 500 copies per milliliter.
In the new study, Radjin Steingrover of Amsterdam's Academic Medical Center and colleagues divided patients into two groups. Fifty-five patients received six to 15 months of treatment, beginning in the early stages of HIV. This group progressed to needing long-term treatment in an average of 45 months. Another group of 47 patients who did not receive early treatment progressed to the point of needing long-term treatment after 32 months, the investigators reported.
02.09.2009; John Lauerman
|Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.|