HIV treatment trial ends early after good results

A MAJOR international HIV treatment trial with Australian participants has been stopped more than a year ahead of schedule after monitoring showed compelling beneficial results from early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART).

The study, hailed as a milestone, suggests anyone with HIV infection should be treated irrespective of CD4+ T-cell count, investigators say.

Starting ART before CD4+ cell counts fall halves the risk of death compared with deferred treatment, says the Kirby Institute, Sydney, one of four international co-ordinating centres for the trial.  

Early treatment also halves the