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Meds Struggle to Suppress Kaposi's Sarcoma

Meds Struggle to Suppress Kaposi's Sarcoma


Highly active antiretroviral therapy takes at least 12 months to completely suppress the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, according to a study in the March 5 edition of the journal AIDS. Researchers in London studied 27 HIV-positive men who were about to begin HAART and discovered that four men had KS lesions and 74% tested positive for KS viral infection. Only 12 of the men were shown to have detectable blood-based levels of antilytic antibodies, which destroy the virus in the body. After initiating HAART, the percentage of men with the antilytic antibodies increased over time. The levels of the antibodies in the men began to fall off after one year of treatment in direct response to falling KS viral loads. After two years of anti-HIV treatment, none of the study patients had detectable KS viral loads. The researchers conclude that HAART gradually improves the body's ability to fight off KS by establishing antilytic antibodies to destroy the virus, with complete suppression of the KS-associated virus possible following one year or more of treatment.

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