Spanish researchers have found some surprising differences in men and women in regard to HIV. Published in the April 23 issue of AIDS, the review of 2,620 HIVers who initiated a Viracept-based antiretroviral regimen upon the study's entry and were then followed for 12 months found:
'At baseline women had higher CD4-cell counts, lower viral loads, and more favorable clinical profile than men.
'Following treatment, antiretroviral-naive women had higher CD4 counts over time than drug-naive men but similar virological responses.
'Among drug-experienced individuals, women also had better immunological responses and similar virological responses compared to men.
'The rates of clinical progression or death were lower in women, although drug toxicity was more common in women.
'The differences between sexes were not explained by different adherence to therapy.
Based on their findings, the study authors conclude, 'Women have more favorable clinical and viro-immunological patterns than men both at baseline and during antiretroviral treatment. Women obtain additional benefits from HAART over men during the initial phases of treatment.'