Antiretroviral-related damage to cellular mitochondria--which can cause such conditions as body fat changes, lactic acidosis, and neuropathy--can be reversed by discontinuing treatment, but a drug holiday of at least six months may be needed before mitochondrial DNA levels increase substantially. Italian researchers, writing in the October 14 edition of the journal AIDS, say their study of 30 HIVers shows that levels of mitochondrial DNA in CD8 cells does improve after anti-HIV drugs are stopped, but the biggest increase came after a six-month break in treatment.
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