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Advanced HIV: Diagnosis, Treatment, And Prevention.

Sandeep Prabhu, J. Harwell, N. Kumarasamy
Published 2019 · Medicine

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Substantial progress has been made this century in bringing millions of people living with HIV into care, but progress for early HIV diagnosis has stalled. Individuals first diagnosed with advanced HIV have higher rates of mortality than those diagnosed at an earlier stage even after starting antiretroviral therapy (ART), resulting in substantial costs to health systems. Diagnosis of these individuals is hindered because many patients are asymptomatic, despite being severely immunosuppressed. Baseline CD4 counts and screening for opportunistic infections, such as tuberculosis and cryptococcus, is crucial because of the high mortality associated with these co-infections. Individuals with advanced HIV should have rapid ART initiation (except when found to have symptoms, signs, or a diagnosis of cryptococcal meningitis) and those in treatment failure should switch treatment. Overcoming barriers to testing and adherence through the development of differentiated care models and providing psychosocial support will be key in reaching populations at high risk of presenting with advanced HIV.
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