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PML Risks Remain High, Despite HAART

PML Risks Remain High, Despite HAART

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Although antiretroviral therapy dramatically reduces the risks for AIDS-related opportunistic infections, risks for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) -- a potentially severe brain infection -- remain unaffected by anti-HIV drugs, according to a study in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Spanish researchers examined the medical records of HIV patients at seven Barcelona hospitals between 2002 and 2006. They found that 61 cases of PML were diagnosed, several after the patients had begun antiretroviral therapy, had undetectable HIV viral loads, and had CD4-cell counts above 200, the threshold above which opportunistic infection rates decrease significantly. The mean survival time after diagnosis was 15 months. There are no effective treatments for the disease.

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