UCSF researchers have found that some HIV patients treated with antiretroviral therapy early after infection do test negative, at some point, for the virus. Study findings showed this result in six of 87 patients.
"First, these patients are not cured. When these patients went off therapy, HIV virus levels rebounded. These results do show that with effective early treatment that reduces the virus to very low levels, the immune system may have less antibody response to HIV," said the studys lead author, C. Bradley Hare, MD, UCSF assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCSFs Positive Health Program (PHP) at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.
The 87 patients who qualified for the study must have started antiretroviral therapy within 28 days of entry into the study. They also must have achieved and maintained for at least 24 weeks a level of virus in their blood below the level of detectability using very sensitive viral load testing. At some point during their follow-up, six patients tested negative for the HIV virus using standard HIV antibody tests.
Jeff Sheehy | EurekAlert!
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