Even in very early (acute) HIV infection -- before fourth generation HIV test assays are able to detect an HIV infection -- immune activation and inflammatory processes may already be occurring, new research shows.
And, very early antiretroviral therapy (ART) may reduce, although not fully suppress, production of inflammatory markers associated with cardiovascular problems and mortality. Results from a study published in CID by Irini Sereti and colleagues offers insight into why early antiretroviral therapy vastly improves -- but fails to fully restore -- some health outcomes of people living with HIV, said Peter Hunt, MD, in an accompanying editorial commentary.
"Many markers of immune activation fail to normalize even when ART is initiated during the earliest stages of acute HIV infection," said Hunt. "Early ART initiation can attenuate but not fully abrogate the persistent inflammatory state. If this were the case, one might have expected immediate ART initiation in the START and Temprano trials to decrease but not completely abrogate the risk of several morbidities that have previously been linked to the inflammatory state in treated HIV infection."
This excerpt was cross-posted with the permission of BETAblog.org. Read the full article.