Early treatment of HIV ineffective? Virus still attacks younger brains, study says

Research conducted few months back had suggested that spreading of HIV virus can be stopped. Now, doubts have emerged about it.

A new study conducted by a team of researchers led by Michael Boivin, professor and director of the Psychiatry Research Program in the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, has found that HIV, despite undergoing early anti-retroviral therapy or ART, still posed serious threats to the brains of young children.

The new study suggests that HIV may disrupt the neuro-development of the victim, and will negatively impact the way in which children, learn, reason, and function.

Study conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa

During the study, Boivin and his team of researchers evaluated the neuro-psychological development of three groups of children aged between five and 11. The first group of children who tested HIV positive were given anti-retroviral therapy, while the second group of children exposed to HIV were found negative to the illness. The third group of children were never exposed to HIV.

The research revealed that children who tested positive for HIV have significant neuro-psychological problems even after getting early treatment.


"Despite the initiation of ART in early childhood and good viral suppression at the time of enrollment, the HIV+ group had poorer neuro-psychological performance over time, with the gap progressively worsening in planning/reasoning. This can be debilitating for self-management in adolescence," wrote the researchers in the study report.

Boivin revealed that long-term care and support with actual behavior interventions are needed to save HIV patients. He even made it clear that neuro-psychological evaluation is an inevitable part of HIV treatment.

AIDS will be cured soon?

A few months back, a study conducted by researchers at the University of London had claimed that a drug can stop HIV from transmitting. This research that lasted for more than eight years found that HIV positive patients who were undergoing anti-retroviral therapy to suppress AIDS did not transmit the pathogens.

It should be noted that this research offered a piece of conclusive evidence that proves the effectiveness of anti-retroviral therapy in making the virus untransmittable.