New guidelines emphasize important changes in HIV care

08/31/04

New comprehensive guidelines on managing HIV have been published today in Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) and are available free online to all HIV care providers via the journal's electronic edition.

New comprehensive guidelines on managing HIV have been published today in Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) and are available free online to all HIV care providers via the journal's electronic edition. The guidelines, developed by the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), summarize important changes in the way HIV/AIDS should be managed.

The success of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has extended the life of those infected with HIV and changed HIV/AIDS into a chronic disease that requires long-term management in the context of a person's overall life and health, the guideline authors say.

"It is about more than just the HIV now," says Judith A. Aberg, MD, an HIV/AIDS care specialist at New York University and lead author of the new guidelines. "Many HIV experts have moved away from primary care, but we need to go back to thinking about the person as a whole and be sure that we are managing all aspects of a person's health."

"It is time to put together all the different pieces of the HIV care puzzle," says Valerie.E. Stone, MD, guidelines co-author and HIV/AIDS specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "In these new guidelines, providers can find all the different medical care interventions that are needed to provide comprehensive, evidence-based primary care to people living with HIV."

For example, the guidelines cover prevention and early diagnosis of chronic conditions that some patients with HIV may be at high risk for, such as diabetes and heart disease. The new HIV primary care guidelines also cover HIV transmission, diagnosis, risk screening, management, and adherence to therapy. There are special sections on caring for women and children with HIV.

The guidelines will be useful to a wide variety of HIV/AIDS care providers, Dr. Aberg notes. Residents should find them a valuable educational tool, while HIV experts can use them to update their primary care skills. "Some specialists may have become so expert in HIV that they are not current on what is needed in primary care," she says.

Because of the importance of these guidelines to those who provide HIV/AIDS care, the editors of CID have made them available free online.

Primary Care Guidelines for the Management of Persons Infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Recommendations of the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America is available from the electronic version of CID at www.journals.uchicago.edu/CID/journal/contents/v39n5.html

Source: Eurekalert & others

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