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Postgrad Med. 2004 Feb;115(2):15-8, 21, 24-6.

Initiating HIV therapy. Timing is critical, controversial.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, UCSF-Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology Center for AIDS Research, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, USA.


Currently available antiretroviral drug regimens are able to suppress HIV replication and allow CD4 recovery in the vast majority of patients with HIV infection. The challenge is to match each patient to the regimen that is most likely to durably suppress HIV replication enough to prevent resistance selection without causing treatment-limiting toxicities. It is also critical, but difficult, to know when to begin treatment relative to CD4 cell count and plasma viral load. In this article, Dr Volberding addresses the central questions surrounding antiretroviral treatment initiation and reviews some available treatment options.

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