19 July 2010

New Guidelines Urge Earlier Therapy for HIV Patients

Treatment advances may help prevent progression to AIDS, expert panel says

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"The prominence of non-AIDS events as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in those with ongoing HIV replication suggests that early ART initiation may further improve the quality and length of life for persons living with HIV," the panel members wrote.

  • ART is recommended for patients without symptoms with CD4 cell counts at 500 cells or less per microliter.
  • ART should be considered for patients without symptoms with CD4 cell counts greater than 500 per microliter and is recommended regardless of CD4 cell counts for patient who have established HIV disease with symptoms.
  • ART is also recommended for patients who are pregnant, older than 60, or have an active or high risk for cardiovascular disease, and for those with hepatitis B or C infections, HIV-associated kidney disease, opportunistic diseases or symptomatic primary HIV infection.
  • ART should also be prescribed in cases where there is a high risk for HIV transmission, such as couples with one HIV-infected and one HIV-free partner.
  • Once started, ART should be continued, except when being used in a clinical trial.
  • Risk-reduction counseling should be a routine part of care.


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