THE USE of antiretroviral therapy to treat asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection appears to be sharply down.
Records kept by the Ontario HIV Project Centre in Canada, which distributes all antiretroviral drugs in the province, show an overall decrease by 45.4% in the number of patients starting therapy with zidovudine (Retrovir, commonly called AZT, Burroughs Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, NC) since the July 1993 Ninth International Conference on AIDS, held in Berlin, Germany. Rates are now the lowest since the first-line antiretroviral was first licensed in 1987, says Anita Rachlis, MD, medical director of the HIV Project Centre. She reported the finding at the First National Conference on Human Retroviruses and Related Infections, held in Washington, DC.
Among asymptomatic patients, the records show that there has been a 52% decrease, apparently because of the presentation at the Berlin meeting of data with the longest follow-up time to date on