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ANALYSTS URGE CONSIDERATION OF ALL DATA ON AZT

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People should not jump to conclusions about the effectiveness of an anti-AIDS drug solely on the basis of a single report, analysts said Thursday.

A European-Australian study published in the New England Journal of Medicine supported earlier research that found that early treatment of people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, with the drug AZT slowed the onset of the disease."This trial should not be looked at on its own but together with the 13 other studies already available about the use of AZT," said Nick Partridge, chief executive of Britain's leading AIDS charity The Terrence Higgins Trust.

Other studies - notably a recent European trial known as the Concorde study - have suggested that early AZT treatment made little difference in staving off full-blown AIDS.

"The results published today are the most optimistic of all of these, but looking at all the studies over the last five years there is still little evidence to support the very early use of AZT for people infected with HIV who are still healthy," Partridge said.