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HIV Treatment Should Be Started Earlier For Most, But Challenges Remain

Noting “French researchers have identified 14 adults” who appear to have been functionally cured of HIV after beginning treatment “within a couple of months of infection” and continuing treatment “for one to seven and a half years” before stopping, a New York Times editorial writes, “The researchers estimate that as many as 15 percent of adults who start treatment early and continue for at least a year may then be able to stop their drug regimen and live healthily without the drugs.” The newspaper continues, “Although the study was small, the findings suggest that treatment should be started earlier for most people, a difficult feat without a lot more testing to identify who is infected and prompt treatment of those who test positive.” The editorial writes, “The findings also suggest that many people taking antiviral drugs may be able to stop safely, provided doctors can find some sure way to identify them” (3/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.