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NIH-funded study finds early HAART during TB treatment boosts survival rate in co-infected people
Date:7/22/2010

but starting anti-HIV therapy too late may allow the patient to die from HIV infection. TB accounted for nearly a quarter of HIV-related deaths worldwide in 2008.

The clinical trial, called the Cambodian Early versus Late Introduction of Antiretroviral Drugs (CAMELIA), or ANRS 1295, launched in January 2006 at five sites in Cambodia, a country with a high prevalence of TB and HIV. The study staff enrolled 661 volunteers ages 18 and older with newly diagnosed HIV-TB co-infection and very weak immune systems (measured as fewer than 200 CD4+ T cells per cubic millimeter of blood). The participants all began receiving treatment for TB and were assigned at random to begin antiretroviral therapy for HIV either two weeks later or eight weeks later. The volunteers received powerful antiretroviral drug cocktails known as highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART. Study staff followed the participants for 50 weeks after the last volunteer had enrolled in the trial, performing clinical exams and biological tests at frequent intervals to monitor participants' health and safety.

By the end of the follow-up period, 59 out of 332 participants who had started HAART two weeks after beginning TB treatment had died, while 90 out of 329 participants who started HAART eight weeks after beginning TB treatment had died. This 33 percent difference was statistically significant, leading the principal investigators to conclude that starting HAART two weeks after beginning TB treatment, rather than waiting eight weeks, boosts the chance of survival for people with HIV-TB co-infection and severely damaged immune systems.


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Contact: Laura Sivitz Leifman
sivitzl@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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