New treatment guidelines have been published by both the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Both clearly recommend that all people living with HIV should take HIV treatment. This is not a surprise – key points from the two guidelines were made public earlier in the summer. But it is now confirmed that in the UK, anyone living with HIV who understands the commitment of treatment and is ready to start should receive treatment, regardless of CD4 cell count. Up till now, treatment was delayed until the CD4 count had fallen to 350 or less: this is now no longer the case.
Doctors should talk to their patients about the evidence showing that people who begin HIV treatment earlier have better long-term health outcomes than people who delay treatment. They should also discuss the evidence showing that treatment also substantially reduces the risk of passing HIV on to other people. The decision to start treatment rests with the person living with HIV.
The full guidelines can be read here.