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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course HIV Safety for Florida Clinical Laboratory Personnel. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) in HIV/AIDS Patients, continued

The Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents strongly recommends initiating ART for all HIV-infected adults and adolescents, regardless of CD4 count.
The current (2016) recommendations for adults and adolescents are:
  • ART is recommended for all HIV-infected individuals, regardless of CD4 cell count, to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV infection.
  • ART is also recommended for HIV-infected individuals to prevent HIV transmission.
  • When initiating ART, it is important to educate patients on the benefits and considerations regarding ART, and to address strategies to optimize adherence. On a case-by-case basis, ART may be deferred because of clinical and/or psychosocial factors, but therapy should be initiated as soon as possible.
Some of the benefits in ART treatment include:
  • Potential reduction in HIV/AIDS-related complications
  • Possible survival benefit
  • Prevention of sexual and bloodborne transmission of HIV
  • Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
Some of the limitations in ART treatment include:
  • ART-related toxicities
  • Drug resistance
  • Patients do not take the ART medications
  • Cost