In Focus this month:
- Early Antiretroviral Treatment Saves Lives (National Institutes of Health)
Interim findings from the Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment (START) trial (2011–2016) show that earlier initiation of antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of AIDS, other serious illnesses, and death. It is thus recommended that all asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals start antiretroviral treatment, regardless of CD4+ cell count.
- Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy among HIV-positive Adolescents in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (AIDS Care)
This review of studies from 10 countries on factors associated with adolescents' adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART) identified awareness of serostatus, previous hospitalizations, younger age, and lack of awareness of caregiver’s health problems as supportive of good ART adherence. More research is needed to identify interventions for keeping HIV-positive adolescents on ART.
- Targeting the SAVA (Substance Abuse, Violence, and AIDS) Syndemic among Female Drug Users (Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes)
This global review of papers on the substance abuse, violence, and AIDS (SAVA) syndemic among female drug users showed that experiencing gender-based-violence decreases the likelihood of being tested for HIV and of obtaining and staying in HIV care, and increases the likelihood of poor adherence to antiretrovirals among these groups.