WHEN TO START?
NEW DATA INDICATE THAT MEDICATIONS TO SUPPRESS HIV SHOULD BE STARTED EARLY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
When should people who are HIV infected begin treatment? Thatís been a swirling controversy for some time, but now a new study shows that when people are HIV infected and are taking medications, their uninfected sexual partners remain almost entirely virus free. Joel Gallant, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, says this is compelling evidence for early treatment.
GALLANT: I have been recommending treatment for everybody with HIV for quite a long time. Start as soon as possible. This is a relatively new concept because for a long time the drugs we had were relatively hard to take and toxic and we didnít have a lot of choices when they failed but none of that is true today and I donít think that anyone could argue that the toxicity of the HIV drugs is greater than the toxicity of HIV itself. :24
Gallant says one remaining issue is cost, with many antiretroviral regimens costing $10,000 per year or more, with many insurance companies denying early coverage. At Johns Hopkins, Iím Elizabeth Tracey.