A clinical trial conducted at four National Institutes of Health funded Centers for AIDS Research all over the US shows that over eighty percent of people who started HIV treatment immediately after its detection retained viral suppression after forty-eight weeks.
Individuals who were a part of the clinical trial, known as iENGAGE attained suspension of virus in an average of only sixty-three days. The results were shown in a poster at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections held in Seattle.
Discovery from iENGAGE was backed by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases emphasizes the advantages of connecting individuals with HIV to curing services immediately after they are diagnosed. It also stresses the importance of efforts to involve individuals with HIV in care. Offering efficient treatment for HIV leading to constant viral suppression is an essential element of efforts to put an end to HIV in the US.
Interestingly, several participants of iENGAGE were suffering from various medical issues & unsatisfied necessities, which can make compliance to medical visits & daily antiretroviral therapy impossible. Fifty percent of the research’s participants said that they required supportive services, which includes help with housing, food & transportation and employment. Mental health issues were present, with over thirty percent of individuals suffering from depression & thirty percent having anxiety. One-third of individuals stated the use of alcohol & eighteen percent were dependent on drugs.
Anthony S. Fauci’s NIAID Director said that even though the participants are dealing with other issues in their lives, most of the individuals receiving treatment for HIV can accomplish viral suppression. This will improve their health & won’t transfer the virus to other people. In order to stop the HIV disease in the US, they should assure that efficient HIV preventive & treatment strategies are available to people who require them. Mostly in those parts of the country where highest rate of HIV is reported.
The trial took place in clinical trial sites located in Alabama, North Carolina, Baltimore, and Seattle. These places were a part of the CFAR Network of Integrated Clinical Systems. A decade ago, these locations showed a record of around sixty percent viral suppression rate in individuals who were new to HIV treatment.
The new form of clinical trial was developed to study a behavioral intervention targeted at creating an awareness among individuals who were newly diagnosed with the disease. They also emphasized on the importance to care about one’s health. Three hundred and seventy-one participants were admitted in two weeks of starting HIV treatment. They were randomly selected to receive either standard care or behavioral intervention along with standard care.
Intervention integrated two well-formed methods to improve HIV medical visit adherence & ART compliance. It included four personal counseling meetings customized as per the demands of the participants. It also included phone support in the first forty-eight weeks of treatment.