How early to start: what do observational data suggest?

  • J Sterne
Open Access
Oral presentation


Public Health Infectious Disease Cohort Study Early Treatment Observational Data 
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National and international guidelines on antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection recently changed to recommend earlier treatment, following the publication during 2009 of two collaborative analyses of HIV cohort studies [1, 2]. These studies used different methodologies, and reached different conclusions about the benefits of very early treatment. I will describe their methods, and possible reasons for differences in their results.


  1. 1.
    Kitahata MM, Gange SJ, Abraham AG, NAACCORD Investigators, et al: Effect of early versus deferred antiretroviral therapy for HIV on survival. N Engl J Med. 2009, 360 (18): 1815-1826. 10.1056/NEJMoa0807252.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    When To Start Consortium: Timing of initiation of antiretroviral therapy in AIDS-free HIV-1-infected patients: a collaborative analysis of 18 HIV cohort studies. Lancet. 2009, 373 (9672): 1352-1363. 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60612-7.PubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Sterne; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • J Sterne
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social MedicineUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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