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People who get an STD test and detect HIV early can increase their survival rate with timely treatment, provided their immune system is still fairly healthy, according to new research.
Dr. Mari M. Kitahata of the University of Washington's Harborview Medical Center and her researchers compared patients who started HIV treatments early with those who received delayed therapy, HealthDay News reports. Their findings showed delayed treatments increased patients' risk of dying by as much as 94 percent, depending on their CD4 blood cell count.
"Our study adds to the growing evidence that support earlier initiation of therapy to improve survival," Kitahata said. "We think antiretroviral treatment should be started when the CD4 count is above 500."
This is contrary to the advice given out five years ago when health officials told HIV-positive patients, with no symptoms and a CD4 count greater than 500, they didn't need to initiate therapy, according to the article.
People who are at an elevated risk of contracting HIV may want to get an STD test to know their status and to detect any harmful conditions early. Thanks to new treatments, more people are living normal lives with HIV, as opposed to some patients in the past.
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