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

Influential U.S. panel backs PrEP HIV-prevention pills

November 20, 2018
(HealthDay)—For the first time, a highly influential panel of experts says doctors should offer a daily pill to prevent HIV transmission to people who are at high risk for infection with the AIDS-causing virus.

Majority of HIV persistence during ART due to infected cell proliferation

November 17, 2018
A majority of the HIV-infected cells that persist in HIV-infected individuals even during suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) originated from cellular proliferation, not viral replication, according to new research published ...

HIV latency differs across tissues in the body

November 15, 2018
Mechanisms that govern HIV transcription and latency differ in the gut and blood, according to a study published November 15 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Steven Yukl of San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical ...

Research reveals details of how HIV becomes infectious

November 13, 2018
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has been studied extensively ever since the AIDS epidemic was officially recognized by health professionals in the early 1980s.

Cellphone technology developed to detect HIV

November 9, 2018
The management of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV), an autoimmune disorder that cripples the immune system by attacking healthy cells, remains a major global health challenge in developing countries that lack infrastructure ...

Long-term study shows that HIV-2 is deadlier than previously thought

November 8, 2018
A study published in The Lancet HIV shows that HIV-2 is more pathogenic than previously demonstrated. The new findings indicate that early treatment should be applied to all patients with HIV, not only to those with HIV-1.

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.