People Diagnosed With HIV Should Begin Treatment Immediately, Study Shows

News outlets report on findings from the START trial, which show early treatment following HIV diagnosis provides greater benefits than postponing therapy.

CQ Roll Call: Fauci Urges Early Start for HIV Treatment Based on New Study Findings
“Results from a global study reinforce a United States policy of urging people infected with HIV to start taking antiretroviral pills soon after their diagnosis, and not to wait for a slip in the production of a key class of infection-fighting cells in their bodies, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease said Wednesday…” (Young, 5/27).

The Guardian: Drugs to keep people with HIV alive should be given without delay, trial finds
“…The START (Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment) trial was stopped because of overwhelming evidence that people with HIV did better if they were put on antiretroviral treatment when their CD4 count (a measure of how well their immune system is functioning) was above 500 rather than 350, as guidelines currently advise in the U.K. and many other countries…” (Boseley, 5/27).

New York Times: HIV Treatment Should Start at Diagnosis, U.S. Health Officials Say
“…Fewer than 14 million of the estimated 35 million people infected with HIV around the world are on treatment now, according to UNAIDS, the United Nations AIDS-fighting agency…” (McNeil, 5/27).

ScienceInsider: Begin HIV treatment immediately says major study, ending long debate
“…As NIAID Director Anthony Fauci explained, evidence suggested that early treatment benefited people but no randomized, controlled clinical trial had ever proven it until now…” (Cohen, 5/27).

Wall Street Journal: HIV Drug Therapy Should Be Started as Soon as Possible, Study Shows
“…Guidelines from the World Health Organization call for infected individuals to be put on drugs only when their CD4 cell count falls to 500 per cubic millimeter of blood or below. … A WHO committee is due to meet next week to begin revising those guidelines, which are expected to be released at the end of this year…” (McKay, 5/27).

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