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In light of recent findings that suggest that damage from HIV infections accumulates over time, new treatment guidelines from the International AIDS Society-USA recommend that all individuals who receive a positive HIV test immediately begin antiretroviral therapy (ART).
The report on the new recommendations, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, cited advances in the treatment of the disease that can prevent progressive destruction of the immune system.
"Successful ART is associated with dramatic decreases in AIDS-defining conditions and their associated mortality," wrote Melanie Thompson, lead author of the report. "Expansion of treatment options and evolving knowledge require revision of guidelines for the initiation and long-term management of ART in adults with HIV infection."
The guidelines suggest that anyone who receives a positive HIV test should begin ART immediately. This may help slow the replication of the virus, which could prevent long-term damage to the immune system.
Earlier treatments for HIV had limited success and could be toxic. However, current treatment options are more effective, which is what prompted the organization to update its recommendations.
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