March 19 2009 12:00 AM EST
November 17 2015 6:13 AM EST
HIVers with severe immune system damage may be able to more quickly boost their CD4-cell counts above the 200-cell threshold (under which opportunistic infection risks rise dramatically) by adding a short course of interleukin-2 'rescue therapy' to their initial treatment regimen. Italian researchers reported at the Ninth International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection that newly treated HIVers receiving three cycles of IL-2 over a three-month period in combination with anti-HIV drugs had an average CD4-cell increase of 145, compared to just 20 for those on standard antiretroviral treatment. The CD4-cell reconstitution was sustained in most cases for at least 18 months.