Items in AFP with MESH term: HIV Infections

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Plasma Viral Load Testing in the Management of HIV Infection - Article

ABSTRACT: The polymerase chain reaction assay, branched DNA assay and nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assay quantitate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA levels. Plasma viral load (PVL) testing has become a cornerstone of HIV disease management. Initiation of antiretroviral drug therapy is usually recommended when the PVL is 10,000 to 30,000 copies per mL or when CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts are less than 350 to 500 per mm3 (0.35 to 0.50 x 10(9) per L). PVL levels usually show a 1- to 2-log reduction within four to six weeks after therapy is started. The goal is no detectable virus in 16 to 24 weeks. Periodic monitoring of PVL is important to promptly identify treatment failure. When feasible, the same assay should be used for serial PVL testing in the individual patient. At least two PVL measurements usually should be performed before antiretroviral drug therapy is initiated or changed. PVL testing may be helpful in the rare instance of indeterminate HIV antibody testing, especially in a patient with recent infection.


Management of Newborns Exposed to Maternal HIV Infection - Article

ABSTRACT: The management of infants whose mothers are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) involves minimizing the risk of vertical transmission of HIV, recognizing neonatal HIV infection early, preventing opportunistic infections, and addressing psychosocial issues. Maternal antiretroviral drug therapy during pregnancy and labor, followed by six weeks of neonatal zidovudine therapy, can significantly decrease the risk of vertical transmission. Additional antiretroviral drugs may be needed in some high-risk newborns. Elective cesarean section also may prevent vertical transmission of HIV. Virologic tests allow early diagnosis of HIV infection, facilitating the timely initiation of aggressive treatment and the prevention of opportunistic infections. Even when tests are negative, infants must be closely monitored until age 18 months to completely rule out HIV infection. Prophylaxis for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia should be initiated when HIV-exposed infants are six weeks old and should be continued for at least four months, regardless of negative virologic tests, because P. carinii pneumonia is often the initial presentation of HIV infection in infants. Laboratory monitoring, screening for perinatal infections, appropriate social support, and other modifications of standard infant care are also necessary.


Managing Issues Related to Antiretroviral Therapy - Article

ABSTRACT: Antiretroviral regimens are complicated and difficult for patients to follow, and they can have serious side effects, such as osteonecrosis and bone demineralization. Protease inhibitor therapy has been associated with hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, gastrointestinal symptoms, and body-fat distribution abnormalities. Nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors can cause rashes and hepatotoxicity, and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors can cause lactic acidosis, hypersensitivity reactions, neuropathies, pancreatitis, anemia, and neutropenia. Malabsorption can occur if antiretroviral agents are taken improperly with regard to meals or if they are taken with certain other drugs or herbal remedies. Some commonly prescribed drugs can cause dangerous drug toxicities if they are taken by patients who are also taking certain antiretroviral medications. Suboptimal exposure to antiretrovirals because of noncompliance or malabsorption can result in viral resistance and loss of future treatment options.


HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral - Article

ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, the annual number of new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been relatively stable but remains unacceptably high (an estimated 40,000 new cases per year). Furthermore, the demographics for HIV infection are changing. Rates of new infections are declining in newborns, older men who have sex with men, and whites. However, rates of new infections are rising in young persons, women, Hispanics, and blacks. In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued revised guidelines for HIV counseling, testing, and referral. The guidelines focus on the reduction of barriers to testing, voluntary routine testing of high-risk populations and persons with risk factors, case management and partner tracing for infected persons, and universal testing of pregnant women. Effective strategies for reducing HIV infection include behavioral interventions, comprehensive school-based HIV and sex education, access to sterile drug equipment, screening of the blood supply, and postexposure prophylaxis for health care workers.


Preventive Counseling, Screening, and Therapy for the Patient with Newly Diagnosed HIV Infection - Article

ABSTRACT: The epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues, and the infection is converting into a treatable chronic disease; therefore, it is increasingly important for family physicians to be current with and comfortable in providing basic care to patients infected with HIV. Important aspects of counseling and patient education include stabilization of psychosocial issues and prevention of HIV transmission through behavior change counseling. Reporting HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is mandatory in most states, whereas partner notification laws vary from state to state. Baseline evaluation includes screening for comorbid conditions such as viral hepatitis, syphilis, and tuberculosis, as well as common HIV-related manifestations such as recurrent candidal infections and thrombocytopenia. Baseline testing includes CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell counts and HIV viral RNA levels to assess HIV disease stage, and numerous studies to screen for opportunistic infections. Initial preventive interventions include patient education to reduce exposure to infections, treatment of comorbid conditions such as human papillomavirus-related dysplasia, and vaccinations such as for pneumococcus and hepatitis B. Prophylaxis against opportunistic pathogens is recommended when CD4+ cell counts fall below 200 cells per mm3. Lastly, the indications for antiretroviral therapy include symptomatic patients or those with AIDS, and pre-AIDS patients with CD4+ cell counts of 200 to 350 cells per mm3 or HIV RNA above 55,000 to 100,000 copies per mL.


Understanding the Guidelines for Treating HIV Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: In 1996 a panel of experts convened by the International AIDS Society-USA issued new guidelines for treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, which have recently been updated. Quantitative plasma HIV-1 RNA concentration (viral load) and CD4+ lymphocyte levels are used to monitor disease progression, determine the need to initiate antiretroviral treatment, monitor effectiveness of treatment and evaluate the need to change medications. Multi-drug therapy with nucleoside analogs, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors can result in measurable improvement in clinical outcome in HIV-1 infected patients.


Combination Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Infection - Article

ABSTRACT: The primary goal of antiretroviral therapy for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is suppression of viral replication. Evidence indicates that the optimal way to achieve this goal is by initiating combination therapy with two or more antiretroviral agents. The agents now licensed in the United States for use in combination therapy include five nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (zidovudine, didanosine, zalcitabine, stavudine and lamivudine), two nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (delavirdine and nevirapine) and four protease inhibitors (saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir and nelfinavir). Current recommendations suggest that antiretroviral therapy be considered in any patient with a viral load higher than 5,000 to 20,000 copies per mL, regardless of the CD4+ count. Selection of the combination regimen must take into account the patient's prior history of antiretroviral use, the side effects of these agents and drug-drug interactions that occur among these agents and with other drugs as well. Because of the potential for viral resistance, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors should only be used in combination therapy. Antiretroviral agents are rapidly being developed and approved, so physicians must make increasingly complex treatment decisions about medications with which they may be unfamiliar.


Primary Care of International Adoptees - Article

ABSTRACT: International adoptees are presenting to family physicians with increasing frequency. U.S. citizens have adopted over 100,000 international children since 1979. Prospective parents may seek advice from their physician during the adoptive process. If available at all, medical information on the child is often scanty. History and physical examination alone are often insufficient for diagnosis of common problems in this population. Adoptive parents may have concerns about growth and development, and appropriate immunizations. In addition, bacterial, viral and parasitic infections endemic in countries of origin create unusual challenges for the U.S. primary care physician. A basic understanding of the process of international adoption, a skillful evaluation of the child and selected laboratory studies enable the family physician to support the prospective parents and assist in a smooth transition of the child into a new family.


How to Recognize and Treat Acute HIV Syndrome - Article

ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of acute human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) syndrome requires a high index of suspicion and proper laboratory testing. Patients with the syndrome may have fever, fatigue, rash, pharyngitis or other symptoms. Primary HIV infection should be considered in any patient with possible HIV exposure who presents with fever of unknown cause. The diagnosis is based on a positive HIV-1 RNA level (more than 50,000 copies per mL) in the absence of a positive enzyme-linked immunosorbent antibody assay (ELISA) and confirmatory Western blot antibody test for HIV. Early diagnosis permits patient education as well as treatment that may delay disease progression. Triple-combination antiretroviral therapy should be started immediately and continued indefinitely. Compliance with medication regimens is essential to maximize benefit and discourage the development of viral resistance.


Identification and Management of Tuberculosis - Article

ABSTRACT: Although the resurgence of tuberculosis in the early 1990s has largely been controlled, the risk of contracting this disease remains high in homeless persons, recent immigrants and persons infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Purified protein derivative testing should be targeted at these groups and at persons with known or suspected exposure to active tuberculosis. Most patients with latent tuberculosis are treated with isoniazid administered daily for nine months. In patients with active tuberculosis, the initial regimen should include four drugs for at least two months, with subsequent therapy determined by mycobacterial sensitivities and clinical response. To avoid harmful drug interactions, regimens that do not contain rifampin may be employed in HIV-infected patients who are taking protease inhibitors or nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. To maximize compliance and minimize the emergence of mycobacterial drug resistance, family physicians should consider using directly observed therapy in all patients with tuberculosis.


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