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Adding interleukin 2 to antiretroviral drugs substantially increases the CD4 T cell count and decreases the viral load of HIV, according to a multicentre trial sponsored by the National Institutes for Health (JAMA 2000;284:183-9).
The combination treatment may further extend the immune competency and therefore the life span of people infected with HIV. The two year study, led by Drs Richard Davey Jr and H Clifford Lane of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, enrolled 82 patients and randomised them into two groups. Nearly all the patients were male.
Forty three patients received antiretroviral drugs alone, and 39 patients received …