Access to HIV drugs should be widened, says WHO

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 01 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4172
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Antiretrovirals to treat adults with HIV should be given earlier and to more people, new guidelines from the World Health Organization have said.

The guidelines, which are aimed at low and middle income countries, state that all countries should start treatment in adults with HIV when their CD4 cell count falls to 500 cells/mm3 or fewer, even if they are not sick or showing any symptoms.1 The previous recommendation, published in 2010, was to offer treatment at 350 CD4 cells/mm3 or fewer.

For the first time the guidelines also state that regardless of the stage of the disease all HIV positive children aged under 5 years, all HIV positive pregnant and breastfeeding women, and all HIV positive patients with an HIV negative …

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