International AIDS Society 2012 Meeting

New research was presented at AIDS 2012, the 19th International AIDS Conference, from July 22-27  in Washington, DC. The features below highlight just some of the studies that emerged from the conference. Multiple Benefits With Early HIV Treatment The Particulars: Research has indicated that early treatment of HIV helps prevent various adverse outcomes. A landmark trial (HPTN 052) recently found that effective early treatment of HIV appears to help prevent transmission among heterosexuals. Data Breakdown: Two analyses of HPTN 052 were conducted. The first reviewed HIV patients who underwent immediate therapy when compared with those whose treatment began after CD4 counts fell below 250 cells/mm3. Immediate therapy was associated with longer time to an AIDS-defining event and to tuberculosis. The second analysis, conducted in similar patients, found that early HIV treatment was cost-effective, and in some cases, perhaps less expensive than delaying therapy. Take Home Pearls: Early treatment of HIV appears to reduce the risk of AIDS-defining events and tuberculosis. Early treatment also appears to be cost-effective. HIV/HCV Co-Infection & Outcomes The Particulars: HIV has been shown in previous studies to accelerate hepatitis C virus (HCV) progression. Whether antiretroviral therapy (ART) slows this progression has not been explored in clinical trials. Data Breakdown: In a study, the outcomes of patients with HIV/HCV co-infection—all of whom were on ART—were compared with those of patients with HCV only. Co-infected patients had a 6.3% rate of hepatic decompensation, compared with 5.0% for those with HCV only. Hepatocellular carcinoma developed in 1.2% of co-infected patients, compared with 0.9% of HCV patients. The mortality rate was 32.9% for co-infected patients, compared with 15.4% for...