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Viral Illness Rates Fall with Therapy

Viral Illness Rates Fall with Therapy


While antiretroviral therapy significantly reduces the incidence of HIV-related infections, viral illnesses decline the most sharply, according to a study in the February 28 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine. A study of over 12,000 HIV-positive adults has shown that HIV-related viral illnesses decrease by 87% per year throughout the first three years of treatment, dropping from being the most common HIV-related illnesses to the least common. By the end of the study window viral infections accounted for just 6% of all HIV-related illnesses, down from 33% at the start of treatment. Fungal infections emerged as the leading cause of illness after three years, although these infections did decrease by 54% during each year of drug therapy. Researchers say the sharp drop in viral illnesses could be a result of small increases in CD4 counts, conveying greater protection against viruses than against bacterial or fungal pathogens.

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