Micronutrient supplements reduce risk of HIV disease progression and illness

November 26, 2013, The JAMA Network Journals

Long-term (24-month) supplementation with multivitamins plus selenium for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients in Botswana in the early stages of disease who had not received antiretroviral therapy delayed time to HIV disease progression, was safe and reduced the risk of immune decline and illness, according to a study appearing in the November 27 issue of JAMA.

"Micronutrient deficiencies, known to influence immune function, are prevalent even before the development of symptoms of HIV disease and are associated with accelerated HIV . Micronutrient supplementation has improved markers of HIV disease progression (CD4 cell count, HIV viral load) and mortality in clinical trials; however, these studies were conducted either in the late stages of HIV disease or in pregnant women," according to background information in the article.

Marianna K. Baum, Ph.D., of Florida International University, Miami, and colleagues examined whether specific supplemental micronutrients enhance the immune system and slow HIV disease progression during the early stages of the disease in (ART)-naive adults. They randomized 878 HIV patients to supplementation with daily multivitamins (B vitamins and vitamins C and E), selenium alone, multivitamins with selenium, or placebo for 24 months. The vitamins (vitamins B, C and E, and the trace element selenium) are nutrients essential for maintaining a responsive immune system. Selenium may also have an important role in preventing HIV replication.

Participants receiving the combined supplement of multivitamins plus selenium had a lower risk compared to placebo of reaching a CD4 cell count 250/µL or less (a measure that is consistent with the standard of care in Botswana for initiation of ART at the time of the study). This supplement also reduced the risk of a combination of measures of disease progression (CD4 ≤ 250/µL, AIDS-defining conditions, or AIDS-related death, whichever occurred earlier).

"This evidence supports the use of specific micronutrient supplementation as an effective intervention in HIV-infected adults in early stages of HIV disease, significantly reducing the risk for disease progression in asymptomatic, ART-naive, HIV-infected adults. This reduced risk may translate into delay in the time when the HIV-infected patients experience immune dysfunction and into broader access to HIV treatment in developing countries," the authors conclude.

The researchers add that their "findings are generalizable to other HIV subtype C-infected cohorts in resource-limited settings where the provision of ART is being scaled up, rolled out, or not yet available to all in conditions similar to those in Botswana at the time of this study."

Explore further: Older children with HIV may need to start treatment sooner to normalize future CD4 count

More information: doi:10.l001/jama.2013.280923

Related Stories

Older children with HIV may need to start treatment sooner to normalize future CD4 count

October 29, 2013
Although younger children with HIV are at high risk of disease progression if not treated, new research published this week in PLOS Medicine indicates that they have good potential for achieving high CD4 counts (a measure ...

No benefit from high-dose multivitamins seen for HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy

October 16, 2012
A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers suggests that, for HIV patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV, there is no benefit from high- vs. standard-dose micronutrient ...

HIV elimination in South Africa could be achieved by current treatment policy

October 22, 2013
The current antiretroviral treatment policy in South Africa could lead to elimination of HIV within the country over the next 24 to 34 years, but a universal test and treat (UTT) approach could achieve elimination 10 years ...

Viral replication may not be primary cause of HIV-1 persistence in patients receiving cART

November 26, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with members from Europe and the U.S. has found that viral replication may not be the main reason that the HIV virus is able to persist in the cells of infected patients for many years. ...

AIDS guidelines for children may not improve death rates but may improve treatment access

November 19, 2013
Recent changes to World Health Organization guidelines for starting anti-AIDS drugs (antiretroviral therapy—ART) in young children are unlikely to improve death rates but may increase the numbers of children receiving ART ...

Risk of HIV treatment failure present even in those with low viral load

November 26, 2013
People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) run a higher risk of virologic failure than previously thought, even when their number of RNA copies of the retrovirus per millilitre of blood is slightly above the detection ...

Recommended for you

Researchers find latent HIV reservoirs inherently resistant to elimination by CD8+ T-cells

January 22, 2018
The latest "kick-and-kill" research to eliminate the HIV virus uncovered a potential obstacle in finding a cure. A recent study by researchers at the George Washington University (GW) found that latent HIV reservoirs show ...

HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection

January 18, 2018
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection. This finding, published in PLOS ...

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country: study

January 15, 2018
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Researchers offer new model for uncovering true HIV mortality rates in Zambia

January 12, 2018
A new study that seeks to better ascertain HIV mortality rates in Zambia could provide a model for improved national and regional surveillance approaches, and ultimately, more effective HIV treatment strategies.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

January 9, 2018
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule ...

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.