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