Saying that most people being treated for HIV are now living normal lifespans, an American medical association that specializes in HIV/AIDS care has issued new guidelines that focus on illnesses that may be exacerbated by anti-retroviral therapy.
The Human Immunodeficiency Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America updated its HIV care guidelines include recommendations for screening for diabetes, osteoporosis and colon cancer. The guidelines suggested patients with HIV infection should be vaccinated against pneumococcal infection, influenza, varicella and hepatitis A and B. A table outlining interactions between specific anti-retrovirals and statins — the medications commonly used for lipid management — is also included. “In many HIV practices now, 80 percent of patients with HIV infection have the virus under control and live long, full lives. This means that HIV specialists need to provide the full spectrum of primary care to these patients, and primary care physicians need a better grasp of the impact HIV care has on routine healthcare,” lead author Dr. Judith A. Aberg, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the New York University School of Medicine, said in a statement. “Doctors need to tell their HIV-infected patients, ‘Your HIV disease is controlled and we need to think about the rest of you.’ As with primary care in general, it’s about prevention.”
The new guidelines also suggest that patients with their infections “under control” no longer need quarterly viral load testing, which has been the standard for more than a decade. The new guidelines call for viral load testing every six to twelve months for those patients.