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December 21, 2009

Treatment for Everyone With HIV?

"The panel now recommends people with CD4 cell counts of 500 or below start HIV treatment right away. Previously, the guidelines recommended waiting until CD4s fell to below 350. The panel was split 50/50 about whether people with over 500 CD4s should start; half of the panelists essentially recommended treatment for everyone with HIV. Aside from the personal health benefits of being on ARV treatment, the panelists in favor of very early treatment also cited a public health benefit—suppressing viral loads in a large number of people to slow the ongoing spread of HIV.

"In contrast, the more skeptical activists and providers contend that while very savvy and experienced physicians and patients know enough about the data—or the lack thereof—to assess the risks and benefits of earlier treatment, most providers and patients don’t. Paul Dalton, a longtime activist who is an HIV-positive member of the DHHS panel, stresses that these caveats are discussed in the heavily annotated discussion sections of the guidelines. “My belief is that many users of the guidelines look at our tables and look at our bullet points, but don’t look at the discussion sections,” he says."

Read more in POZ, December 18, 2009.


brandon said...

I defiantly agree with starting earlier I would prefer to have copies if my t-cells to replicate.