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HIV Patients May Benefit From Treatment Breaks

Patients receiving highly active anti-retroviral therapy, or HAART treatment for HIV/AIDS may benefit from a break in the treatment, according to new research.// The study says that people on multiple medications for HIV could be better off if they took breaks from the treatment.

These breaks could mean substantial cost savings for patients as well as healthcare providers. The study compared 146 patients who received nonstop HAART for 22 months and 284 who went off the treatment for breaks. The study found no differences in the two groups.

The study at the University Hospital of Geneva in Switzerland was led by Bernard Hirschel. "The results provide reassurance about the one risk that was feared -- development of resistance and loss of efficacy of treatment," he said. "Scheduled treatment interruptions lasting many months, with substantial drug savings, can be anticipated, particularly in patients whose immune systems were never damaged by HIV."

Till now doctors thought HAART was a lifelong treatment, but new study proves otherwise.


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