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Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2010 May;7(2):60-8. doi: 10.1007/s11904-010-0044-6.

When to start antiretroviral therapy.

Author information

  • 1HIV/AIDS Division, San Francisco General Hospital, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA. vivek.jain@ucsf.edu

Abstract

The question of when to start combination antiretroviral therapy for treatment-naïve patients has always been controversial. This is particularly true in the current era, with major guidelines recommending very different treatment strategies. Despite a lack of clarity regarding the optimal time to begin therapy, there has been a recent shift toward earlier initiation. This more aggressive approach is driven by several observations. First, effective viral suppression with therapy can prevent non-AIDS-related morbidity and mortality. Second, therapy can prevent irreversible harm to the human immune system. Third, therapy may prevent transmission of HIV to others, and thus have a potential public health benefit. For patients who are motivated and willing to initiate early treatment, the collective benefits of early therapy may outweigh the well-documented risks of antiretroviral medications.

PMID:
20425559
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2856854
Free PMC Article
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