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Experts plan to recommend immediate antiretroviral therapy for people with HIV

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2963 (Published 01 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2963
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Experts look set to recommend that people with HIV should receive immediate antiretroviral treatment on diagnosis, as early results of a global trial show that doing so means a notably lower risk of developing AIDS or other serious illnesses.

Results from a large randomised clinical trial, expected to finish at the end of next year, were published early on 27 May from the Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment (START) study.1

The researchers found that people had a considerably lower risk of developing AIDS or other serious illness if they started taking antiretroviral drugs sooner, when their CD4+ T cell count—a key measure of immune system health—was higher, instead of waiting until the CD4+ cell count dropped to a lower level. …

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