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HIV therapies should be started earlier, study reports

Category: HIV

Individuals who have recently received a positive HIV test should talk with their doctor about beginning antiretroviral therapy (ART) at an earlier stage of infection than currently recommended by the International Aids Society, according to a new report printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The authors of the report based their finding on several recent studies that have shown ART to be effective at stopping the progression of the infection and may help more of those who have tested positive to live longer, healthier lives.

"The prominence of non-AIDS events as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in those with ongoing HIV replication suggests that early ART initiation may further improve the quality and length of life for persons living with HIV," wrote the study's authors.

The report added that current guidelines instructing doctors on when to begin the treatment are too conservative, and allow the infection to develop to a point at which it is more difficult to treat. Beginning therapies sooner may help keep individuals with HIV free of AIDS for a longer period of time, they wrote.
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