CROI 2013Elite controllers of HIV, whose immune systems keep the virus in check over long periods of time without drug therapy, experience a reduction in markers of chronic cellular inflammation when taking antiretrovirals (ARVs), MedPage Today reports. Hiroyo Hatano, MD, of the University of California at San Francisco announced the results of her and her colleagues' study of a small cohort of elite controllers at the 20th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta.  

The study involved 16 participants who had a median viral load of 77 and a median CD4 count of 615 after a median 10 years living with HIV. All of them took a cocktail of Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir) for 24 weeks. The investigators found a significant drop in plasma HIV RNA, as well as a decreasing trend of cell-associated HIV RNA and gut-associated lymphoid tissue proviral DNA. In other words, there were drops in indicators of CD4 cell activation both in the participants' blood as well as in the gut cells. There was no change in CD4 levels.  

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