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Mark Harrington at AIDS 2010 from Vienna

Starting HAART: When to Take the First Step?

20 July, 2010

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Presenters included:

  • Steven Deeks (United States) Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • Peter Mugyenyi (Uganda) Director and Founder, Joint Clinical Research Center Kampala, Uganda
  • Mark Harrington (United States) Executive Director of the Treatement Action Group (TAG)
  • Ambassador Eric Goosby (United States) U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

Recent guidelines are all recommending that HIV treatment be started at a higher CD4 count because of issues such as the ongoing damage caused by HIV itself, and prevention of transmission. Issues in long-term treatment, such as potential side effects, the development of resistance, the cost and sustainability of programmes in resource-poor settings, are some of the potential problems for such a strategy. This session discussed the pros and cons of early initiation and highlighted areas of controversy and agreement.