alexa [AIDS Study Group Spanish AIDS Plan consensus document on antiretroviral therapy in adults with human immunodeficiency virus infection (updated January 2010)]
Microbiology

Microbiology

Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

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OBJECTIVE: This consensus document is an update of antiretroviral therapy recommendations for adult patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. METHODS: To formulate these recommendations a panel made up of members of the Grupo de Estudio de Sida (Gesida, AIDS Study Group) and the Plan Nacional sobre el Sida (PNS, Spanish AIDS Plan) reviewed the advances in the current understanding of the pathophysiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the efficacy and safety of clinical trials, and cohort and pharmacokinetic studies published in biomedical journals or presented at scientific meetings. Three levels of evidence were defined according to the data source: randomized studies (level A), cohort or case-control studies (level B), and expert opinion (level C). The decision to recommend, consider or not to recommend ART was established in each situation. RESULTS: Currently, the treatment of choice for chronic HIV infection is the combination of three drugs of two different classes, including 2 nucleosides or nucleotide analogs (NRTI) plus 1 non-nucleoside (NNRTI) or 1 boosted protease inhibitor (PI/r), but other combinations are possible. Initiation of ART is recommended in patients with symptomatic HIV infection. In asymptomatic patients, initiation of ART is recommended on the basis of CD4 lymphocyte counts, plasma viral load and patient co-morbidities, as follows: 1) therapy should be started in patients with CD4 counts below 350 cells/microl; 2) When CD4 counts are between 350 and 500 cells/microl, therapy should be started in case of cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis C, high cardiovascular risk, HIV nephropathy, HIV viral load above 100,000 copies/ml, proportion of CD4 cells under 14%, and in people aged over 55; 3) Therapy should be deferred when CD4 are above 500 cells/microl, but could be considered if any of previous considerations concurs. Treatment should be initiated in case of hepatitis B requiring treatment and should be considered for reduce sexual transmission. The objective of ART is to achieve an undetectable viral load. Adherence to therapy plays an essential role in maintaining antiviral response. Therapeutic options are limited after ART failures but undetectable viral loads maybe possible with the new drugs even in highly drug experienced patients. Genotype studies are useful in these situations. Drug toxicity of ART therapy is losing importance as benefits exceed adverse effects. Criteria for antiretroviral treatment in acute infection, pregnancy and post-exposure prophylaxis are mentioned as well as the management of HIV co-infection with hepatitis B or C. CONCLUSIONS: CD4 cells counts, viral load and patient co-morbidities are the most important reference factors to consider when initiating ART in asymptomatic patients. The large number of available drugs, the increased sensitivity of tests to monitor viral load, and the ability to determine viral resistance is leading to a more individualized therapy approach in order to achieve undetectable viral load under any circumstances.

This article was published in Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

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