New Guidelines for Adult HIV Recommend Initiating Antiretrovirals at Diagnosis

August 21, 2012

In this podcast, the chair of the International Antiviral Society USA tells why it now advises immediate antiretroviral treatment for everyone diagnosed with HIV infection.

The International Antiviral Society USA has published updated treatment guidelines for adult HIV.

Listen here as Melanie Thompson MD, chair of the society, describes highlights of the guidelines and explains why an update was necessary.  The guidelines are intended for primary care providers in resource-rich areas, but are applicable for patients everywhere, taking local priorities and resources into account.

Key points:
♦  All patients, including pregnant women, should receive antiretroviral therapy as quickly as possible after diagnosis, regardless of viral load.

♦  Patients with comorbid hepatitis should also begin antiretroviral therapy immediately. However, because of the risk of adverse effects from combinations of antivirals, it may be appropriate to delay HIV treatment while administering treatment for hepatitis C.

♦  Inform patients reluctant to begin antiretroviral therapy that even though they may feel well, HIV is active inside their bodies working to destroy the immune system.

♦  New research is elucidating the inflammatory effects of HIV, which clarifies the reasons for increased risk of cardiovascular conditions and cancer comorbid with HIV infection. It also suggests another possible reason to start antiretroviral therapy quickly.

New Guidelines for Adult HIV Recommend Initiating Antiretrovirals at Diagnosis

Reference:

Melanie A. Thompson et al.   Antiretroviral Treatment of Adult HIV Infection 2012: Recommendations of the International Antiviral Society–USA Panel

JAMA 2012;308(4):387-02. July 25, 2012  doi:10.1001/jama.2012.7961

Available at http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1221704