Reducing the gap between the diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection

Kasha P Singh and Sharon R Lewin
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50114
Published online: 1 April 2019

Starting antiretroviral therapy as early as possible is crucial at both the individual and the public health levels

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has dramatically reduced the morbidity and mortality associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and the life expectancy of people with HIV who receive ART is now similar to that of people not living with HIV.1,2 ART has been available in Australia since 1996, and treatment is now less complicated and less toxic, with many people taking single tablets containing three antiviral drugs. When to initiate ART in people diagnosed with HIV infection was previously guided by their level of immunosuppression as indicated by their CD4+ T‐cell count. Since 2014, however, national and international guidelines recommend ART for all people with HIV, irrespective of their CD4+ T‐cell count.3,4

  • 1 Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Hospital and Monash University, Melbourne, VIC


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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