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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

GLOBAL: Study Cites Benefits of Early AIDS Treatment


Wall Street Journal (07.27.12)

Starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) earlier rather than later is cost-effective and helps prevent AIDS-related illnesses, according to two studies presented at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington. The studies add to a body of evidence that already suggests early treatment initiation improves patient health outcomes and can help prevent onward transmission. The first study followed HIV patients in South Africa and India over a period of five years or longer. One group began treatment early, when the immune system CD4 cell counts were 350-550. The other group began treatment later, once the CD4 count dipped below 250. Over the long term, starting treatment earlier was cost-effective in both countries, researchers found. That meant the cost to save one life was less than one time the gross domestic product per capita. “Early ART is a triple winner,” said study leader Rochelle Walensky of the Harvard Center for AIDS Research. “HIV-infected patients do better, their partners are protected and it is very cost-effective.” The second study found that patients treated earlier also had fewer cases of TB and other AIDS-related illnesses, such as certain bacterial infections and herpes. Those conditions that did turn up were not as quick to develop as in the delayed-treatment group.


Copyright © 2012 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in July 30, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.