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Cycled Therapy Does Not Boost CD4s

Cycled Therapy Does Not Boost CD4s


Cycling antiretroviral treatment in a one-week-on, one-week-off regimen can hold viral loads at undetectable levels but does not boost CD4-cell counts, according to a study in the June edition of Journal of Infectious Diseases. Eight HIV-positive adults with undetectable blood-based viral loads received once-daily Videx, Epivir, and Sustiva in a cycled regimen for 72 weeks. All of the study subjects maintained viral suppression during the course of the study, but none posted a gain in CD4-cell counts. The researchers say that because there was no immune system improvement, it is unlikely that such a treatment approach would be beneficial to HIV patients. They also say that although they detected no signs of drug resistance development, they suspect suboptimal levels of Videx and Epivir in the blood during the off-treatment weeks could eventually allow HIV to mutate defenses against the medications.

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