Restoring and maintaining a high CD4 count possible for vast majority of people living with HIV in France

Published: November 12, 2014

Alain Volny-Anne
Original Article:

A large French study has shown that the vast majority of people living with HIV who started treatment since 2000 in a national cohort achieved a CD4 cell count in the normal range within three to four years of starting treatment, while a large Italian study showed that achieving a normal CD4 count on treatment greatly reduced the risk of cancer and other serious non-AIDS illnesses.

The findings were presented last week at the HIV Drug Therapy Glasgow conference.

Reaching and maintaining a high CD4 cell count is one of the main objectives of antiretroviral therapy (ART), in order to provide patients with long-term protection against both AIDS-defining and non-HIV related diseases, commonly called co-morbidities. The CD4 recovery, expected from treatment, usually follows the suppression of viral load.

A team of French researchers assessed CD4 cell recovery in treatment-naive patients (people who had not previously taken treatment) who had initiated ART with at least three drugs after 2000. Participants in the study were followed for between two and seven years (median 65 months). Patients also had to have a suppressed viral load nine months after the initiation of their therapy to be eligible for inclusion in this analysis. This research was based on data from the French Hospital Database on HIV.

The second objective of the research was to look at patients’ baseline characteristics that were associated with achieving a CD4 cell count over 500.

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