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Starting HIV treatment early and then interrupting is no better than delaying it
Gus Cairns, 2015-01-22 23:30:00

A French study that looked at the total amount of time since infection that people with HIV have spent with a detectable viral load has found that, contrary to some researchers’ expectations, starting therapy immediately after infection and then interrupting it conferred no advantage compared to deferring treatment until CD4 counts fell below a certain figure. Only those who started therapy early and stayed on it had a significant advantage in terms of immune recovery.

The study also found that, while most people prescribed ART eventually develop a near-normal CD4 count, only those who started treatment soon after infection, who have continued it ever since and remained undetectable stand a more-than-even chance of achieving an immune system where the balance of T-lymphocytes resembles that of a person without HIV in terms of their CD4:CD8 ratio.