Further Benefits by Early Start of HIV Treatment in Low Income Countries: Survival Estimates of Early Versus Deferred Antiretroviral Therapy
Johansson, Kjell Arne
Norheim, Ole Frithjof
AIDS Research and Therapy 2010; 7(1): 3
BACKGROUND: International HIV guidelines have recently shifted from a medium-late to an early-start treatment strategy. As a consequence, more people will be eligible to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). We estimate mean life years gained using different treatment indications in low income countries. METHODS: We carried out a systematic search to identify relevant studies on the treatment effect of HAART. Outcome from identified observational studies were combined in a pooled-analyses and we apply these data in a Markov life cycle model based on a hypothetical Tanzanian HIV population. Survival for three different HIV populations with and without any treatment is estimated. The number of patients included in our pooled-analysis is 35,047. RESULTS: Providing HAART early when CD4 is 200-350 cells/microl is likely to be the best outcome strategy with an expected net benefit of 14.5 life years per patient. The model predicts diminishing treatment benefits for patients starting treatment when CD4 counts are lower. Patients starting treatment at CD4 50-199 and
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