HIV Viral Load During Initial 6-18 Months of HAART Can Determine Long-Term Survival, Study Says
A patient's HIV viral load during the initial six to 18 months of highly active antiretroviral therapy can determine the patient's long-term chances of survival, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 edition of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Reuters Health reports (Douglas, Reuters Health, 1/12). Nicolai Lohse of Odense University Hospital in Odense, Denmark, and colleagues looked at 2,046 HIV-positive patients from six to 18 months after HAART was initiated (Lohse et al., Clinical Infectious Diseases, 1/1). According to the study, 92% of patients who had no detectable viral load during the period were alive 72 months after HAART initiation, 85.6% of patients with a detectable viral load 1%-99% of the time were alive and 76.1% of patients with a viral load 100% of the time were alive. Lohse said that because the study determined that an early increase in viral load during treatment is "associated with a bad long-term prognosis," doctors "prescribing antiretroviral therapy should continue to work with patients to keep viral load under tight control" (Reuters Health, 1/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.