UNAIDS recently announced new evidence suggests that beginning anti-retroviral therapy with a higher CD4, which is a measurement of the health of the patient’s immune system, may positively impact the well-being and health of HIV patients.
The Strategic Timing of Anti-retroviral Treatment -- an international, randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health -- recently discovered evidence that anti-retroviral therapy’s benefits may supersede the risks.
Data suggested that the risk of serious illnesses, AIDS or death decreased approximately 53 percent when patients began their anti-retroviral treatments with CD4 levels that were at or above 500. This figure is in comparison to patients who started their treatments only after their CD4 levels decreased to 350.
“Every person living with HIV should have immediate access to life-saving anti-retroviral therapy,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said. “Delaying access to HIV treatment under any pretext is denying the right to health.
“This is a further demonstration of the importance of science and research that enables an evidence-based, people-centred response to HIV that leaves no one behind,” Sidibé said. “The findings strongly support the UNAIDS Fast-Track approach to achieving the September 11, 1997, HIV treatment targets and ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.”