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Why START? Reflections that led to the conduct of this large long-term strategic HIV trial


British HIV Association
April 2015

In 2011 the HPTN 052 trial confirmed that early treatment resulting in viral suppression could reduce risk of HIV transmission by almost 100 percent. However, it has been hotly debated whether initiating ART above 500 CD4 cells provides clinical benefits to the HIV positive individual, though observed trends point in this direction.

The START study (Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment) will determine if early treatment benefits to the individual outweigh the risks. If so, START will finally prove the clinical and public health prevention benefits are aligned.