Antiretroviral Guidelines

US DHHS Guidelines with Australian commentary


Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy


Last Updated: October 17, 2017; Last Reviewed: October 17, 2017

Panel's Recommendations for Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy in Treatment-Naive Patients

AU comment: When to start

AU comment: Treatment as prevention

AU comment: Immediate initiation

Panel’s Recommendations


  • Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is recommended for all individuals with HIV, regardless of CD4 T lymphocyte cell count, to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV infection (AI).
  • ART is also recommended for individuals with HIV (AI).
  • When initiating ART, it is important to educate patients regarding the benefits and considerations of ART, and to address strategies to optimize adherence. On a case-by-case basis, ART may be deferred because of clinical and/or psychosocial factors, but therapy should be initiated as soon as possible.
    Rating of Recommendations: A = Strong; B = Moderate; C = Optional
    Rating of Evidence: I = Data from randomized controlled trials; II = Data from well-designed nonrandomized trials or observational cohort studies with long-term clinical outcomes; III = Expert opinion