June 10, 2015 – Trial Data
Anchor lead: A clinical trial called START proves the benefits of early HIV treatment, Elizabeth Tracey reports
The START trial, undertaken by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, studied the risks and benefits of beginning antiretroviral therapy as soon as someone found they were infected with HIV versus waiting for clinical signs of infection. Joseph Cofrancesco, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the study.
Cofrancesco: The START trial was looking at when specifically to start, and although the full data are not released it’s very impressive when a safety and management board terminate a study early because it is ineffective to withhold treatment, that tells you a lot. And so there was approximately a 53% decrease in morbidity and mortality starting with treatment. That’s tremendous. If you have HIV, except in extremely rare cases, you should be on treatment. :30
Cofrancesco says trial results compelled the CDC’s new guidelines on beginning HIV treatment immediately. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.