HIV/AIDS Study shows immediate treatment of disease after diagnosis reduces death rate

The study shows early drug administration is highly beneficial and could change the way millions of people are treated.

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Findings from a trial have suggested that HIV drugs should be administered at the moment of diagnosis.

According to the study, early drug administration is highly beneficial and could change the way millions of people are treated.

The US National Institutes of Health conducted the trial on 4,685 people in 35 countries and compared the World Health Organization(WHO) approach stipulating that treatment should start when there are fewer than 500 white blood cells in every cubic millimetre of blood, with immediate treatment.

Subsequently, an interim analysis of the data showed that cases of Aids, deaths and complications, such as kidney or liver disease, had already been halved by early treatment.

All patients on the trial are now being offered antiretroviral drugs.

According to director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci,

"We now have clear-cut proof that it is of significantly greater health benefit to an HIV-infected person to start antiretroviral therapy sooner rather than later."

Also speaking on the advantage of the finding, Michel Sidibe, executive director of at UNAids, said:

"Every person living with HIV should have immediate access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy. Delaying access to HIV treatment under any pretext is denying the right to health."

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