Increasing CD4 count with interleukin-2 does not benefit people with HIV

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 13 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b615
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    Two large international trials have found that adding the immune modulator interleukin 2 (IL-2) to standard treatment for people with HIV offers no clinical benefit.

    The results, which were presented on 10 February in Montreal, Canada, at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, shocked investigators and have led to a halt of other trials using the cytokine.

    Effective treatments for HIV suppress the virus to undetectable levels and result in a slow increase in CD4 T cells, an important component of the immune system’s defence against infection.

    The trials involving interleukin 2 were based on the fact that the drug stimulates a substantial rapid and …

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