The CLAHRC WM Director has long thought that it made sense to treat all HIV patients with antiretrovirals and not wait until the CD4+ count had fallen to a specified threshold – a threshold that has been gradually increasing over the years. On this particular point, the Director was right. An RCT of 4,685 HIV-positive patients across 35 countries showed that immediate therapy, rather than therapy deferred until the CD4+ count had fallen below the current recommended threshold, reduced AIDS complications by over 50% within tight confidence intervals (P<0.001). In addition, there is evidence that antiretroviral therapy can reduce the risk of HIV sexual transmission.
— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director
- The INSIGHT START Study Group. Initiation of antiretroviral therapy in early asymptomatic HIV infection. N Engl J Med. 2015. [ePub].
- Cohen MS, Chen YQ, McCauley M, et al. Prevention of HIV-1 infection with early antiretroviral therapy. N Engl J Med. 2011; 365: 493-505