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Is Early Treatment Success a Long-Term Predictor?

Is Early Treatment Success a Long-Term Predictor?

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The success in repressing HIV levels between six and 18 months of treatment initiation is an accurate predictor of the long-term effects of antiretroviral therapy, according to Danish researchers. Writing in the January 1 edition of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the scientists say that of the more than 2,000 HIV patients they studied, 96% of those who held viral loads under 400 copies between six and 18 months of beginning therapy maintained that low viral level through six years of treatment. Only about 57% of study subjects who had viral levels above 400 copies between six and 18 months of treatment were able to suppress those levels lower than that at the six-year mark. CD4-cell rebounds also were significantly higher during six years of follow-up in the group that responded best to initial treatment, as was the chances for survival'92.7% of the early responders were still alive after six years of treatment, compared with 76.1% of those who had viral levels above 400 copies.

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