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Intensified HAART Does Not Halt Viral Replication

Intensified HAART Does Not Halt Viral Replication


Adding antiretroviral medications to a successful anti-HIV regimen increases viral suppression but does not bring it to a complete halt or eliminate HIV reservoirs, according to a study in the January 1 edition of Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Researchers followed 10 HIV-positive adults treated for at least 30 months with Retrovir, Epivir, and either Viracept or Fortovase enhanced with a small dose of Norvir. Half of the patients were given additional medications, either Ziagen alone or Ziagen and Sustiva. Drug intensification reduced the half-life of the latent HIV reservoir from 31 months to 10 months but did not eliminate it. Intermittent viremia'or viral blips'also were reduced from an average of 3.3 per year to 0.7 per year on the enhanced drug cocktails but also were not entirely stopped. 'HAART, though highly active, is not as active as many people thought,' the researchers told Reuters Health. 'There is room for improvement in suppression of viral replication.'

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