Navigation Links
Early HIV Treatment Best for Babies

It saves lives and slows the progression of AIDS, study confirms

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new study finalizes research that changed guidelines around the world regarding when HIV-infected babies should begin drug therapy.

Based on preliminary findings released last year, several health agencies like the World Health Organization now advise doctors to begin HIV treatment early in babies, instead of waiting because of fear that the medications will do more harm than good.

"Given good health care, these babies can survive and grow up to become parents themselves," said study lead author Avy Violari, who directs pediatric clinical research at the University of Witwatersrand's Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, remains a major health problem for babies worldwide, with an estimated 500,000 HIV-infected infants born in 2006.

In 2007, researchers assigned 377 HIV-positive infants in South Africa to one of three different HIV treatments. The babies, aged 6 to 12 weeks, began either immediate drug therapy for 40 or 96 weeks, or weren't given medication until symptoms appeared.

The researchers stopped the trial in 2007, because survival rates were greatly improved among those children who received early treatment. Infant mortality was reduced by 76 percent, and HIV progression by 75 percent, the study said.

Death rates among those who got early treatment were similar to those among infants who weren't HIV-infected, said study co-author Dr. Diana Gibb, a professor of epidemiology at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit in London.

After the trial was stopped, those babies assigned to receive delayed treatment got early treatment instead.

The initial findings were released in July 2007. The study confirming those findings was published in the Nov. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Violari said HIV-infected babies are at higher risk of dying even if they show no symptoms of infection. And laboratory tests don't do a good job of predicting who will end up getting sick, Violari said.

"Young infants are very different than adults or even children in their immune function and in their susceptibility to other dangerous illnesses," Violari said. "That is why they need treatment immediately once diagnosed."

Early treatment not only combats HIV sooner, it has other positive effects, Violari said. "Early treatment protects the brain from HIV, so not only do they survive, but they are likely to have less developmental problems than other babies who didn't get early treatment," Violari said.

Still, early treatment isn't a cure for the epidemic of HIV among babies in developing countries. "It will be much easier to implement these findings in the West, where few babies are HIV infected," Violari said. "In many developing countries, many infants are not identified early enough or are identified too late or die before they even had an HIV test."

More information

Learn more about HIV and children from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

SOURCES: Diana Gibb, M.D., professor of epidemiology, MRC Clinical Trials Unit, London, England; Avy Violari, F.C.Paed., director, pediatric clinical research, Perinatal HIV Research Unit, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Nov. 20, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Saves Nearly a Half-Million Dollars with a Microsoft Partner Compensation Management Solution
2. New approach to screen individuals for early Alzheimers disease
3. Nearly 1 in 3 Asthma Cases May Be Misdiagnosed
4. Early Life Peanut Consumption Might Prevent Allergy
5. Cascading effect of even minor early problems may explain serious teen violence
6. High-normal phosphate levels linked to early atherosclerosis
7. Messages of hope work better in motivating black patients to seek early screening for cancer
8. US FDA Approves 30-Minute Onset of Action for Focalin(R) XR, Bringing Potential Benefits to ADHD Patients During Early Morning Period
9. Brain Tumor Awareness Day: Free Brain Scans to Promote Early Detection
10. Consumer Reports Survey: Nearly Half of Adults Wont Get Flu Vaccine, Citing Poor Excuses Like I Dont Get Sick
11. Trend-Breaking Employee Campaign Raises Nearly $2.5 Million
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice ... "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures ... Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort to ... treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain management ... (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited ... To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 ... announced the addition of the " Global Markets ... This report focuses ... an updated review, including its applications in various applications. ... market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016 ... mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated ... by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients ... hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients ... get any needed testing done in the comfort of her own ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher ... and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive ... provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: