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Of virus in your body and help you stay healthy.

It may not be easy to decide the best time to start treatment. These are pros and cons to taking HAART before you have symptoms. Discuss these with your doctor so you understand your choices. There is no cure for AIDS at this time. However, a variety of treatments are available that can help symptoms at bay and improve the quality of life of those who have already developed symptoms. Antiretroviral therapy suppresses the replication of the HIV virus in the body. A combination of several antiretroviral agents, termed highly active retroviral therapy (HAART), has been highly effective in reducing the number of HIV particles I the blood stream, as measured by a blood test called the viral load. Preventing the virus from replicating can help the immune system recover from the HIV infection and improve Tcell counts. HAART is not a cure for HIV, and people on HAART with suppressed levels of HIV can still transmit the virus to others through sex or sharing of needles. When HIV becomes resistant to HAART, other drug combinations must be used to try to suppress the resistant strain of HIV. There are variety of new drugs coming out o the market for the treatment of drug resistant HIV. Treatment with HAART has complications. HAART is a collection of different medications, each with its own side effects. Some common side effects are nausea, headache, weakness, malaise (a general sick feeling), and fat accumulation on the back (“buffalo hump”) and abdomen. When used for a long time, these medications increase the risk of heart attack by increasing the levels of fat and glucose in the blood. Any doctor prescribing HAART should carefully watch the patient for possible side effects associated with the combination of medications the patient

takes. the need for novel retroviral agents remains considerable. 2005) The management of treatment-experienced patients is complex and challenging. There is certainly room for improvement with the current agents in terms of greater antiretroviral potency. protease inhibitors (PI’s) and fusion inhibitors-continues to grow (Eron. In addition. non-nucleoside reverse transciptase inhibitors (NNRTI’s). Knowing when. a higher threshold to resistant. even with regimens containing all 4 available classes of antiretroviral-nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). what to start with. improved convenience of dosing. how and in whom to use new agents is never easy and highlights the importance of expert care for HIV infected patients. 2007) Current available antiretroviral agents have achieved a remarkable reduction in HIV-related morbidity and mortality.. However. new agents continue to develop that offer hope to those who have developed resistance to currently available agents. and to suppress the HIV amount of virus in the blood to an undetectable level (Goldman et al. activity against drug-resistant HIV strains. fewer adverse effects (especially mitochondrial and lipid toxicities). and what to . Fortunately. the proportion of patients experiencing treatment failure. The goal is to get the CD4 count as close to normal as possible. how to promote adherence. routine blood test measuring CD4 or T-helper cells counts and HIV viral load (a blood test that measures how much virus is in the blood) should be taken every 3-4 months. Moreover. The decisions we as clinicians make early in the course of treatment may ultimately have a greater impact on our patients’ outcome than those we make later when to start therapy. and ability to penetrate viral reservoirs.

do when the initial regimen fails. . But even highly resistant patients can be successfully managed.