A major new clinical trial seeks to determine whether HIV-infected individuals with no symptoms have less risk of developing AIDS or other illnesses if they begin taking treatments sooner rather than later.

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A major new clinical trial seeks to determine whether HIV-infected individuals with no symptoms have less risk of developing AIDS or other illnesses if they begin taking treatments sooner rather than later.

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2011-04-11

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Welcome to Public Health Moment from the University of Minnesota. A major new clinical trial seeks to determine whether HIV-infected individuals with no symptoms have less risk of developing AIDS or other illnesses if they begin taking treatments sooner rather than later. Jim Neaton, a University of Minnesota professor of biostatistics, will lead the study.<Neaton: “There are different recommendations about when to treat HIV because the evidence is not robust. That’s why you need a very strong study design with randomization, lots of people with long-term followup to really get the answer about risk versus benefit here.”> Dr. Keith Henry, director of HIV clinical research at the Hennepin County Medical Center, says that risks include side effects which, in rare instances, can be deadly. He says that cost is another factor to consider. <Henry: “The most widely prescribed drug in the U.S. right now is ATRIPLA, which is a three-in-one drug, and it costs just under $2,000 a month, full retail price. And a year of antiretroviral treatment and monitoring averages about $25,000 for a patient who is doing well. So, 40 years of that adds up to one million dollars – for 40 years of successful treatment. That’s expensive. So having really good data about which groups of patients most benefit is really crucial.”

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Engebretson, Mark; Jim Neaton and Keith Henry. (2011). A major new clinical trial seeks to determine whether HIV-infected individuals with no symptoms have less risk of developing AIDS or other illnesses if they begin taking treatments sooner rather than later.. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/257601.

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