Failure Isn't What It Used to Be ... But Neither Is Success

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Science  20 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5354, pp. 1133-1134
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5354.1133

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CHICAGO-- Until now, researchers have assumed that if virus levels go up in patients on the new AIDS treatments that are helping HIV-infected people live longer, healthier lives, the treatment has failed. But new data presented here at the Fifth Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections indicate that immune-cell levels can remain high even when the virus is thriving--perhaps because other factors besides viral levels can affect immune-cell production, powerful new tests suggest. But 12 groups also reported a down side to this good news: Long-term treatment with protease inhibitors causes a puzzling redistribution of body fat that could be an omen of other, more serious side effects.