HIV

Overview

  • Untreated infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes chronic immune deficiency which can progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) after a variable period (2-20 years) but on average 10 years after infection.
  • People with HIV are treated by combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) which is life long and should start as soon as possible after diagnosis regardless of CD4+ T-cell count.
  • People with HIV who consistently take ART and have an undetectable HIV viral load have a near normal life expectancy and negligible risk of transmitting HIV to their sexual partner (U=U, undetectable=untransmittable).
  • All patients need regular monitoring visits to assess their immune status, to check on response to therapy and to provide psychosocial support.