11 February 2008

Early ARV treatment prolongs life

Research has shown that ARV therapy for HIV infection given to patients in their 30s earlier than is currently recommended could prolong survival by more than two years.

Initiating antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection earlier than is currently recommended by guidelines could prolong survival by more than two years among patients in their 30s, new research hints.

Earlier the better
For 30-year-olds, the researchers found that earlier initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy was "always preferred" regardless of the amount of virus circulating in the body because the risks (increase in death from drug toxicity, increase in accumulation of resistance mutations, and decrease in future drug options) were small compared with the benefit (decrease in HIV-related death from the effect of therapy on the natural history of HIV).

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