START or SMART? Timing of Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation and Cardiovascular Risk for People With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
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CitationSiedner, Mark J. 2016. “START or SMART? Timing of Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation and Cardiovascular Risk for People With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection.” Open Forum Infectious Diseases 3 (1): ofw032. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofw032. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofw032.
AbstractThe Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy in Early Asymptomatic HIV Infection (START) study has reinforced the benefits of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, a notable secondary finding from that study was that immediate initiation of ART did not prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) events (0.17 vs 0.20 events/1000 person-years, P = .65). This result appears to contradict a body of evidence, most notably from the Strategies for Management of Antiretroviral Therapy (SMART) study, which reported a 70% increased hazard of cardiovascular events for those deferring or interrupting treatment. Thus, an important unresolved question is whether the timing of ART impacts CVD risk. In this review, published data on relationships between timing of ART and CVD risk are reviewed. The data support a role for ART in mitigating CVD risk at lower CD4 counts, but data also suggests that, among those initiating therapy early, ART alone appears to suboptimally mitigate CVD risk. Additional interventions to address CVD risk among human immunodeficiency virus-infected populations are likely to be needed.
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