By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 04 2009 10:00 AM ET

Two analyses of data from previous HIV studies unveil some hopeful news for HIVers unable to reach undetectable viral levels.

The first, published in the journal AIDS, reveals that even small reductions in viral loads provide significant clinical benefits, including slower disease progression and a decreased risk of HIV transmission. On average, each 0.3 log10 reduction in viral levels was linked with a 25% lower risk of progressing to an AIDS-defining illness or death and a 20% reduction in transmission risks.

The second analysis, reported at the Ninth International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection, showed that among more than 7,200 adults who were unable to fully suppress HIV viral levels, CD4-cell counts still improved. The biggest rebounds were achieved with protease inhibitors and boosted PIs.