Early ART for Those with New HIV Sustains Telomere Length


Telomere length decreases with age. Also, there is shortening of telomere length associated with HIV infection. This study addresses the question whether immediate treatment for new HIV can lessen telomere shortening.

In 105 participants (median age of 36 years) the median ART initiation time was divided into 25, 42, and 60-day groupings by date of diagnosis date and followed over a 6-year period. Telomere length was measured in stored peripheral blood mononuclear cells from available specimens over the same period. With comparison of groupings, those with treatment initiated at 25 days had the longest telomere lengths both when diagnosed and over the 6-year period. These findings suggested the need for the earliest ART possible for those diagnosed with HIV to maintain telomere length and its possible effects on telomere length with aging.


Marieke Raffenberg, et. al., (2021) Impact of Delaying Antiretroviral Treatment During Primary Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection on Telomere Length The Journal of Infectious Diseases, jiab186, https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiab186 05 April 2021