World Health Organisation's new guideline on antiretrovirals | Body Positive News

World Health Organisation's new guideline on antiretrovirals

World Health Organization
Body Positive applauds the World Health Organisation's (WHO) early release of their new guideline on antiretrovirals. Anyone infected with HIV should begin antiretroviral treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible, WHO announced Wednesday. With its 'treat-all' recommendation, WHO removes all limitations on eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people living with HIV; all populations and age groups are now eligible for treatment.

The expanded use of antiretroviral treatment is supported by recent findings from clinical trials confirming that early use of ART keeps people living with HIV alive, healthier and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to partners.

The resounding message presented at the recent Body Positive HIV Treatments Update Seminar was 'start treatment now'. In New Zealand the existing CD4 threshold of 500 which limits people’s access to treatment should be removed immediately by Pharmac for people to access medication as soon as they are ready.

A related highlight from the HIV Treatment Update Seminar was the presentation by Dr Simon Briggs on the Partner Study. This study has been ongoing looking at sero-discordant couples. The recent findings presented at ASHM and reiterated at the seminar highlighted that no linked infections were observed when HIV replication was suppressed. The reduction in risk of transmission was effectively 100% when the HIV positive partner was undetectable.

Mark Fisher