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HIV Disease Progression

Vitamin D Linked to HIV Disease Progression

EuroSIDA researchers found that more than 80% of HIV positive people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) had vitamin D deficiency, which was associated with higher risk of AIDS-related illness and death.

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Discordant Responders Do Well If Viral Load Remains Suppressed

HIV positive people with advanced immune deficiency are unlikely to progress to AIDS after 6 months on antiretroviral therapy as long as they maintain an undetectable viral load, even if they have trouble achieving substantial CD4 cell recovery, according to new research published in the February 1, 2011, Journal of Infectious Diseases. These findings suggests that HIV patients and their clinicians should prioritize viral suppression and do not necessarily need to change drugs due to lagging immunological response.

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Small Difference in Physical Function between Older HIV Positive and Negative People

Aging HIV positive U.S. veterans had slightly but significantly worse physical function than their HIV negative counterparts, and experienced greater yearly declines, according to study findings reported in the January 2011 issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs. Differences diminished, however, after controlling for confounding factors such as injection drug use and hepatitis C coinfection, and when comparing people with specific diseases.

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Cell Marker Linked to Poor Immune Recovery on Antiretroviral Therapy

A cell surface protein known as PD-1 (a marker of cell apoptosis, or programmed death) is expressed at higher levels in HIV positive individuals who experience slow CD4 T-cell recovery after starting antiretroviral therapy, according to an Austrian study described in the February 1, 2011, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. This increase in PD-1 expression appeared distinct from overall T-cell activation or immune system exhaustion due to age.

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Untreated Individuals Show Increased HIV in Cells despite Stable Plasma Viral Load

The amount of viral genetic material in peripheral blood immune cells rises steadily over time in HIV positive people who are not taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to Dutch study described in the July 17, 2010 issue of AIDS. HIV levels in these cells increased even if blood plasma viral load remained stable, and was associated with decreases in CD4 cell count.

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