Treatment of HIV infection in the current era is based on an understanding of this disease as a chronic viral illness characterized by progressive immunosuppression. A decline in helper T lymphocytes leaves the patient susceptible to an increasing number of infectious and neoplastic conditions. Medical therapy for patients with HIV infection centers on prevention of opportunistic infections, treatment of infectious and other consequences of immunosuppression when they do occur, and antiretroviral medications to suppress HIV replication. Recommendations for preventive therapy are based on the association of specific opportunistic infections with typical levels of immunodeficiency. Decisions on the use of antiretroviral therapy are also based on an assessment of the patient's level of immune suppression, and may additionally incorporate a measure of plasma HIV viral burden.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health