Early Antiretroviral Response Is a Predictor of Long-term Success
BY HIV Plus Editors
August 15 2003 12:00 AM ET
The ability to achieve undetectable HIV viral loads during the first 18 months of antiretroviral treatment is a predictor of the long-term effectiveness of anti-HIV therapy, according to a study in the July 1 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The study of 444 patients at Johns Hopkins University showed that among people whose viral loads fell to less than 500 copies and remained low during the first 18 months of treatment, 89% were still living five years later. Long-term success was lower among both those who had viral rebounds during the first year and a half of treatment and those who never suppressed HIV replication to under 500 copies; about 76% of the rebounding group was alive after five years of treatment, while just over half of the group who did not achieve viral suppression were living.