Although the challenges of HIV/AIDS care may seem overwhelming, we are better able than ever to positively affect the course of HIV for each individual patient. Treatment goals involve three areas: 1) Antiretroviral drugs aimed at retarding the rate of HIV replication, thus reducing the rate of damage to the immune system; 2) drugs used to treat or prevent opportunistic infections seen in the context of HIV-related immune deficiency; and 3) drugs used to treat symptoms or syndromes commonly seen in these patients (including dementia and wasting syndrome). The multitude of clinical problems seen in advanced HIV disease leads to significant polypharmacy and costs resulting in a very complex and confusing situation. I recommend that physicians with little HIV experience link up with an HIV specialist when caring for HIV-infected patients to optimize access to the best therapies or research studies currently available. With no cure in sight, physicians need to focus on educating the public and patients about how to avoid HIV infection and to identify persons who are infected to minimize spread.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Nov 1995|