Taking short courses of antiretrovirals (ARVs) during the primary, or early, HIV infection (PHI) stages provide immunological benefits for at least a year after breaking the rhythm of the treatment, reported aidsmap.
These findings were published in PLOS ONE, whereby, a group of researchers conducted a meta-analysis of nearly eight studies of treatment taking place during the PHI. This resulted in both, a control arm and a treatment.
Moreover, the medical studies that were published between the phases 2004 and 2012 consisted of cohorts spanning from 11 to 822 participants. They took the courses for between 12 and 86 weeks, followed by nine months and six years after the intermittent treatment.
Nonetheless, a year after stalling the ARV treatment, those who had an early treatment witnessed a minimum increase of 86 CD4 cells, and had their viral load resulted into half its value. This was compared to the control group. And the ones who received their treatment experienced lower CD4 counts and viral load measurements.
When the researchers analyzed the data, they found that the benefits of early treatment were far lower than the regular, but after adjusting the results, they examined even greater benefits to the early treatment.
The early treatment was mainly beneficial to those who had begun at lower CD4s but at a higher viral load.