High Response Rates with ART in HIV Patients, Early Testing Key
HealthDay News — Many HIV-infected patients have rapid and successful immune and virological response to antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to a study published online September 27 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.
Marysabel P.T. Silveira, PhD, from the Universidade Federal de Pelotas in Brazil, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal observational study involving adult outpatients from a HIV/AIDS clinic. Three hundred thirty-two patients were followed for at least 12 months after enrollment.
The researchers found that 43% of patients had indications of stable immune status before starting ART; the median CD4 cell count was 179 cells/mm³ and increased to 379.5 cells/mm³. There was an increase in the proportion of patients with CD4 cell count ≥200 cells/mm³ from 76 to 83%, and an increase in undetectable viral load (UVL) from 51.7 to 73%. Female gender, pretreatment CD4 count ≥200 cells/mm³, previous UVL, and treatment with three drugs versus four or more correlated with immune success at the end of follow-up. UVL and use of three drugs compared with four or more correlated with virological success.
"These results further support the ongoing need for ongoing programs to increase early HIV testing, early linkage to and treatment with ART, and increased viral suppression," the authors write.