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Early administration of antiretroviral therapy can improve survival
Date:4/9/2009

This release is available in Spanish.

The first antiretroviral treatments appeared in 1996. Since then, new and better drugs have been discovered that have almost turned AIDS into a chronic disease. Nevertheless, there is still room to improve the performance of the the therapeutic strategies used in clinical practice. This is shown by a study published in the online edition of The Lancet, suggesting that early administration of antiretroviral treatment reduces the rate of AIDS development and death in HIV-positive patients by 28%. This study analyzed information from more than 45,000 patients in Europe and North America and combined data from 15 international cohorts. One of these is the PISCIS Catalan and Balearic cohort, coordinated by Dr. Jordi Casabona of the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS in Catalonia (CEEISCAT) - Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), and by Dr. Josep Mara Mir of the Infectious Diseases Department of Hospital Clnic - IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona. Dr. Josep Mara Mir is the only Spaniard in the international When to Start Consortium, which has taken part in writing and signing the article. Professor Jonathan Sterne of the University of Bristol (UK) is the first author.

The best moment to instate antiretroviral treatment has been the subject of debate for some time. The immune system's CD4 cell count, which falls as HIV infection progresses, is one of the main tools for establishing a guideline cutoff point. Current clinical guides recommend waiting for the CD4 count to fall below 350 cells per milliliter (L) in asymptomatic patients. Although it was suspected that initiating treatment earlier could improve outcome, this recommendation was maintained due to the side effects associated with the drugs, making correct ad
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Contact: lex Argem
aargemi@clini.ub.es
34-932-275-700
IDIBAPS - Institut d'Investigacions Biomdiques August Pi i Sunyer
Source:Eurekalert

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