HIV Infection: An Update on Antiretroviral Therapy

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Thirty seven years after the first case of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was reported, 36.7 million people world-wide are living with HIV. About 1.8 million new HIV infections and 1 million AIDS-related deaths were reported in 2016. However, there has been significant progress in battling the disease over the last 20 years. Since 2001, the number of new cases decreased by 40% worldwide, and since 2005, AIDS-related deaths have declined by 56%. For the first time in the US, the number of new infections declined 18% between 2008 and 2014.

Due to the availability of potent and better-tolerated antiretroviral agents (ARVs) that prolong life, the number of people living with HIV has increased significantly since the late 1990s. About 1.1 million people in the US are currently living with HIV infection. People living with HIV now have a similar life expectancy as the general population. The 50 year old and older age group accounted for almost one-half (45%) of persons living with HIV infection in the US in 2014. However, complete viral suppression with ARV treatment does not fully restore health. Deaths due to non-AIDS related complications worldwide range from 13.8% (sub-Saharan countries) to 62.3% (high-income countries). These include cardiovascular, kidney, and liver diseases; cancers; and neurologic disorders often associated with aging…

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Authors

Elizabeth Sherman, PharmD, AAHIVP is an Assistant Professor at the College of Pharmacy, Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Fort Lauderdale, FL; and an HIV/AIDS clinical pharmacy specialist at the Memorial Healthcare System, Division of Infectious Disease, Hollywood, FL. She serves as an investigator for the Southeast AIDS Education and Training Center.

Betty Dong, PharmD, FCCP, FASHP, FAPHA, AAHIVP is a Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Family & Community Medicine, University of California Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, San Francisco, CA. She provides pharmacy care for patients with HIV and HCV infection and other chronic illnesses at the Family Medicine Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital and at the UCSF Liver Transplant Clinic. She is a consultant for the Clinicians’ Consultation Center on treatment and prevention of HIV, HBV, and HCV infection.

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