Guidelines Recommend Treatment for All

New treatment guidelines have been published by both the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Both clearly recommend that all people living with HIV should take HIV treatment. This is not a surprise – key points from the two guidelines were made public earlier in the summer. But it is now confirmed that in […]

Starting ART Promptly Especially Important for People Over 45

The benefit of starting antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV promptly has been a major theme of HIV research recently. START, a large and important study, conclusively demonstrated that by beginning HIV treatment early – when their CD4 cell counts are still high – people living with HIV (PLWH) can significantly reduce their risk of developing AIDS, other […]

When to Start Treatment – Important News

In the UK, guidelines suggest that antiretroviral treatment (ART) should be started when the patient’s CD4 count (a measure of how well the immune system is doing) falls to 350; in the US and most of Europe, guidelines suggest starting sooner, at a CD4 of 500. This is because the data about the benefits of […]

Older age associated with bigger increases in viral load and bigger falls in CD4 count in patients not taking HIV treatment

In people who are antiretroviral naive (have not started HIV treatment), HIV infection usually involves a steady increase in viral load accompanied by a fall in CD4 cell count. If HIV therapy is not started, this leads to the development of opportunistic infections (OIs) and ultimately, AIDS-related death. Routine HIV care should therefore involve the […]

HIV, Age and the Kidneys

It is well known that kidney function declines with age. An increased risk of kidney (renal) failure for people with HIV has been associated with a low CD4 cell count, a high viral load and treatment with some antiretroviral drugs. Researchers in London examined data from over 15,000 HIV-positive patients. As expected, kidney function declined with age, but it was always […]

Starting treatment at a CD4 count above 500 reduces the HIV reservoir for people with long-term infection

HIV treatment can effectively reduce HIV levels – the viral load – in the blood to ‘undetectable’ or non-detectable levels (that is, a level below which most viral load tests cannot detect HIV). This does not mean that the virus has been completely eradicated from the body, though; reservoirs of HIV DNA (genetic material) in ‘resting’ […]