The Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents strongly recommends initiating ART for all adults and adolescents infected with HIV, regardless of CD4 count.
The current (2018) recommendations for adults and adolescents are:
- Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is recommended for all individuals with HIV, regardless of CD4 T lymphocyte cell count, to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV infection (AI).
- ART is also recommended for individuals with HIV to prevent HIV transmission (AI).
- When initiating ART, it is important to educate patients regarding the benefits and considerations of 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