Newly Updated HIV Treatment Guidelines For Adults And Adolescents Available On The World Wide Web

An updated version of the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents has been posted to the AIDS Treatment Information Service (ATIS) Web site, www.hivatis.org.

The Guidelines were developed by the Panel on Clinical Practices for the Treatment of HIV Infection, a joint effort of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The Guidelines were constructed as a "living document" and are updated frequently by the Panel.

"We feel that the Guidelines are an invaluable resource to all health care providers who care for HIV-infected individuals," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and co-chair of the Panel. The Guidelines were published in hard-copy form in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 1998; however, they are updated frequently on the ATIS Web site. In addition, a hard copy of the most recent version of the Guidelines can be obtained for free by calling 1-800-448-0440.

Included in the latest version of the Guidelines are recommendations for the use of the recently approved anti-HIV drug abacavir (trade name Ziagen). Abacavir is a potent anti-HIV agent belonging to a class of drugs known as nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors. This family of drugs also includes zidovudine (AZT) and lamivudine (3TC).

Clinical trials of abacavir combined with AZT and 3TC have shown that this combination suppresses HIV replication and boosts CD4+ T-cell counts to a degree comparable to widely used treatment regimens that combine a protease inhibitor drug with AZT and 3TC. CD4+ T cells are the crucial immune system cells depleted during the course of HIV disease.

The Panel notes that the potential advantages of the abacavir+AZT+3TC regimen include ease of administration (two pills twice daily), and

Contact: Greg Folkers
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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