There are some evidence coming from a randomized clinical trial in South Africa and other observational studies that indicate early initiation of ART in life reduces morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected infants. Fortunately, these findings have changed treatment guidelines that now advise imitation of ART irrespective of clinical and immunological status in all HIV infected infants and children.
Please read below the abstract of a research paper that was recently published and which looks into the issues mentioned above:
Objective: The report of the 'Mississippi baby' who was initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 30 h of birth and maintained viral suppression off ART for 27 months has increased interest in the timing of ART initiation early in life. We examined associations between age at ART initiation and virologic outcomes in five cohorts of HIV-infected infants and young children who initiated ART before 2 years of age in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Methods: We compared those who initiated ART early (<6 months of age) and those who started ART late (6–24 months of age). Two primary outcomes were examined: initial response to ART in three cohorts and later sustained virologic control after achieving suppression on ART in two cohorts.
Results: We did not observe consistent differences in initial viral suppression rates by age at ART initiation. Overall, initial viral suppression rates were low. Only 31, 40.1, and 26.5% of early-treated infants (<6 months of age) in the three cohorts, respectively, were suppressed less than 50 copies/ml of HIV RNA 6 months after starting ART. We did observe better sustained virologic control after achieving suppression on ART among infants starting ART early compared with late. Children who started ART early were less likely to experience viral rebound (>50 copies/ml or >1000 copies/ml) than children who started late in both cohorts.
Conclusion: These findings provide additional support for early initiation of ART in HIV-infected infants
The full text can be found at this link:
Enjoy the reading.