Early Combination Treatment May Provide HIV Control
August 01, 1996
VANCOUVER, BC--Treatment for AIDS is beginning to resemble cancer therapy: Some studies suggest that best results occur when disease burden is reduced early by aggressive use of combination therapy. Previous thinking has been to hold effective antiviral agents in reserve until disease progression.Presentations at the 11th International Conference on AIDS showed that combination treatment, especially with regimens that include one of the new protease inhibitor drugs, can reduce the virus to undetectable levels in the blood. Reduced viral load decreases the risk of disease progression and is often followed by clinical and immunological improvement.Speaking at the meeting, Scott Hammer, MD, of New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, pointed out that the ability of combination therapy to reduce viral load to undetectable levels means that "eradication of virus has become an acceptable hypothesis to be tested."Researchers at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center are testing that hypothesis using aggressive combination treatment during primary infection.