The World Health Organisation is to release updated HIV treatment guidelines recommending commencement of treatment for everyone living with HIV – regardless of their CD4 count.
Dr Meg Doherty of the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Department of HIV/AIDS revealed the recommendations at the International AIDS Society Conference (IAS 2015) in Vancouver on Sunday.
The WHO’s recommendations come in the wake of the START and TEMPRANO trials which released results this year. Both trials demonstrated that the earlier someone was started on ART the better their long-term quality of life would be – with less serious illnesses, hospital admissions, and AIDS-related deaths. The guidelines also call for availability of PrEP for those at high risk of HIV infection.
The new guidelines built upon the existing 2013 HIV treatment guidelines but updated them with the latest reviewed evidence are as follows:
- Treatment for all adults and adolescents regardless of CD4 count, prioritising those with CD4 counts below 350 cells/mm3 and those with AIDS-defining illnesses
- Treatment for all children
- Treatment for all pregnant women, leading to lifelong treatment (Option B+)
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) should be offered as an additional prevention choice for people at substantial risk of HIV infection.
Yesterday’s announcement only further bolsters the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target to ensure that, by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of people living with HIV have access to antiretroviral therapy and 90% on treatment have viral suppression. UNAIDS also revealed last week that its previous headline goal ’15 million people on treatment by 2015′ was reached, and crossed in March 2015.