November 3, 1999

Exploring the Benefits and Limits of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Partners AIDS Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown.

JAMA. 1999;282(17):1668-1669. doi:10.1001/jama.282.17.1668

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has thus far failed to fulfill the great hope of eradicating human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1).1,2 Not only does a reservoir of long-lived latently infected cells appear to persist for years despite apparent complete viral suppression, but as the study by Dornadula et al3 reported in this issue of THE JOURNAL shows, continuing low-level viral replication is likely to be occurring in most persons with HIV-1 apparently suppressed with HAART. However, a second article in this issue by Whitcup et al4 indicates that despite the apparent failure of HAART to completely control viral replication, current regimens lead to meaningful immune reconstitution and have a substantial beneficial effect on an opportunistic pathogen that only recently had been one of the most difficult to manage with chemotherapy directed against it.

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