Resource Logo
NLM AIDSLINE

The case for more cautious, patient-focused antiretroviral therapy [see comments]




 

Ann Intern Med. 2000 Feb 15;132(4):306-11. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

Many clinicians who care for patients with HIV infection are dissatisfied with the existing recommendations on antiretroviral therapy. Current practice focuses on the early suppression of viremia, yet the outcome of that approach may not be in the best interest of individual patients or populations. The major goal of HIV therapy is to maintain the long-term health of the patient while avoiding drug-related toxicity and preserving viable future treatment options. Recent studies have challenged the principles on which recommendations for early, aggressive treatment were based. Key studies that lead to licensure of antiretroviral medications usually involve short-term results in treatment-naive patients; it is difficult to apply these results to long-term management of therapy-experienced patients. Early, aggressive therapy often prematurely exposes patients to risks for medication-related side effects and resistance. A more cautious, patient-focused, long-term approach to therapy would help foster studies of alternate strategies, such as delayed initiation of therapy, protease-sparing therapy, class-sparing therapy, planned drug interruptions, switches in therapy, and immune-based therapy. It is time for clinicians to rethink their approach to the treatment of HIV infection.

JOURNAL ARTICLE REVIEW REVIEW, TUTORIAL Anti-HIV Agents/ADVERSE EFFECTS/*THERAPEUTIC USE CD4 Lymphocyte Count Drug Administration Schedule Human HIV Infections/*DRUG THERAPY/IMMUNOLOGY/VIROLOGY HIV-1 Practice Guidelines Protease Inhibitors/ADVERSE EFFECTS/THERAPEUTIC USE Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. Viral Load Viremia/DRUG THERAPY/IMMUNOLOGY Virus Replication/DRUG EFFECTS



 




Information in this article was accurate in April 30, 2000. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.