ANTI-RETROVIRAL THERAPY OF HIV INFECTED PATIENTS
Initiation of Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) depends on clinical or immunological criteria. Clinical criteria include the presence of opportunistic infections, categorized by the WHO as stage 3 and 4. Immunological criteria are based on CD4 cell count. The WHO guidelines have changed frequently. All patients with CD4 cell count less than 200 cells/Î¼l and symptomatic HIV or late disease or severe recurrent HIV illnesses or patients with AIDS or tumor at any CD4 count, should start therapy. WHO guidelines in 2013 recommended initiating HAART at CD4 counts less than 500 cells/Î¼l. HAART is usually initiated when CD4 is less than 200 cell/Î¼l because HIV infected patients present at a late stage. Research on factors responsible for this is sorely needed so that interventions can be targeted at this group.
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