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Randomised controlled trial
Early initiation of antiretroviral therapy prevents HIV transmission to seronegative sexual partners
  1. George W Rutherford1,
  2. Andrew Anglemyer2
  1. 1Global Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
  2. 2Department of Operations Research, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Professor George W Rutherford, Global Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, 550 16th Street, Box 1224, San Francisco, CA 94143-1224, USA; george.tutherford{at}

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In 2011, interim results from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 trial confirmed that early antiretroviral therapy (ART) markedly reduces HIV transmission in serodiscordant couples.1 This, along with evidence that therapeutic benefits accrue from starting ART earlier,1–3 led the WHO to recommend that all patients with HIV infection start ART as soon as possible after diagnosis.4 Cohen et al have now published a final analysis from their original HPTN 052 report.


The HPTN 052 trial randomised ART-naïve participants to initiate ART early, between 350 and 550 CD4 cells/µL, or to delay initiation until 250 cells/µL. Uninfected primary …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.