Enhanced CD4+ T-cell recovery with earlier HIV-1 antiretroviral therapy

Tuan Le, Edwina Jane Wright, Davey M Smith, Weijing He, Gabriel Catano, Jason Okulicz, Jason A Young, Robert A Clark, Douglas D Richman, Susan J Little, Sunil K Ahuja

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238 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The relationship between the timing of the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) after infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and the recovery of CD4+ T-cell counts is unknown. METHODS: In a prospective, observational cohort of persons with acute or early HIV-1 infection, we determined the trajectory of CD4+ counts over a 48-month period in partially overlapping study sets: study set 1 included 384 participants during the time window in which they were not receiving ART and study set 2 included 213 participants who received ART soon after study entry or sometime thereafter and had a suppressed plasma HIV viral load. We investigated the likelihood and rate of CD4+ T-cell recovery to 900 or more cells per cubic millimeter within 48 months while the participants were receiving viral-load-suppressive ART. RESULTS: Among the participants who were not receiving ART, CD4+ counts increased spontaneously, soon after HIV-1 infection, from the level at study entry (median, 495 cells per cubic millimeter; interquartile range, 383 to 622), reached a peak value (median, 763 cells per cubic millimeter; interquartile range, 573 to 987) within approximately 4 months after the estimated date of infection, and declined progressively thereafter. Recovery of CD4+ counts to 900 or more cells per cubic millimeter was seen in approximately 64 of the participants who initiated ART earlier (=4 months after the estimated date of HIV infection) as compared with approximately 34 of participants who initiated ART later (>4 months) (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218 - 230
Number of pages13
JournalThe New England Journal of Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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