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December 3, 2009

Expert Panel Revises U.S. HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines; Recommends Starting HIV Meds Earlier

"On Dec. 1, the U.S. health department released an updated set of HIV treatment guidelines. Although these guidelines aren't official U.S. policy, they're regarded as the most reputable set of expert recommendations in the country, and many HIV health care workers are likely to follow them. The guidelines themselves were revised by a panel of 30 HIV/AIDS experts from across the U.S.

"We'll summarize a few of the major changes in the revised guidelines below. A more detailed, official listing of changes is available online, as is a 168-page PDF of the full guidelines. ..."

Read more in The Body Pro, December 1, 2009.

Comment: This is the long-expected recommendation to start antiretrovirals at any CD4 count below 500 (instead of 350). Half the panel also thought that treatment should begin above 500; the other half considered this optional, except in three special situations. There is also guidance for treating HIV2, a virus found mostly in West Africa that causes a less severe form of AIDS. See the short summary of changes, in the first link above.