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Antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection in adults and adolescents: recommendations for a public health approach. 2006 revision.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2006. 127 p.This publication is intended to serve as a reference tool for countries with limited resources as they develop or revise national guidelines for the use of ART in adults and postpubertal adolescents (see Annex 9 for pubertal Tanner staging; prepubertal adolescents should follow the WHO paediatric guidelines). The material presented takes updated evidence into account, including new ART treatment options, and draws on the experience of established ART scale-up programmes. The simplified approach, with evidence-based standards, continues to be the basis of WHO recommendations for the initiation and monitoring of ART. The guidelines are primarily intended for use by national and regional HIV programme managers, managers of nongovernmental organizations delivering HIV care services, and other policy-makers who are involved in the scaling up of comprehensive HIV care and ART in resource-limited countries. The comprehensive, up-to-date technical and clinical information on the use of ART, however, also makes these guidelines useful for clinicians in resource-limited settings. The recommendations contained in these guidelines are made on the basis of different levels of evidence from randomized clinical trials, high-quality scientific studies, observational cohort data and, where insufficient evidence is available, expert opinion. The strengths of the recommendations in Table 1 are intended to indicate the degrees to which the recommendations should be considered by regional and country programmes. Cost-effectiveness is not explicitly considered as part of the recommendations, although the realities of human resources, health system infrastructures and socioeconomic issues should be taken into account when the recommendations are being adapted to regional and country programmes. (excerpt)
Antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007.  p.These stand-alone treatment guidelines serve as a framework for selecting the most potent and feasible first-line and second-line ARV regimens as components of expanded national responses for the care of HIV-infected infants and children. Recommendations are provided on: diagnosing HIV infection in infants and children; when to start ART, including situations where severe HIV disease in children less than 18 months of age has been presumptively diagnosed; clinical and laboratory monitoring of ART; substitution of ARVs for toxicities. The guidelines consider ART in different situations, e.g. where infants and children are coinfected with HIV and TB or have been exposed to ARVs either for the prevention of MTCT (PMTCT) or because of breastfeeding from an HIV-infected mother on ART. They address the importance of nutrition in the HIV-infected child and of severe malnutrition in relation to the provision of ART. Adherence to therapy and viral resistance to ARVs are both discussed with reference to infants and children. A section on ART in adolescents briefly outlines key issues related to treatment in this age group. (excerpt)
National adult antiretroviral therapy guidelines in resource-limited countries: concordance with 2003 WHO guidelines?
AIDS. 2006 Jul 13; 20(11):1497-1502.The aims were to investigate the existence of national adult antiretroviral therapy (ART) guidelines in 43 World Health Organization (WHO) '3 by 5' focus countries and compare their content with the 2003 WHO ART guidelines. Questionnaires covered initiation of ART, selection of first or second-line ART, monitoring treatment response and toxicity and dissemination of national guidelines. Weighted concordance scores were created and country scores correlated with national indicators and WHO recommendations. Thirty-nine (91%) countries returned questionnaires, three of which had no national ART guidelines. Of the 36, 16 (44%) recommended to start ART based on WHO clinical staging criteria and CD4 cell count or T-lymphocyte count, 12 (33%) WHO clinical staging criteria and CD4 cell count, four (11%) only CD4 cell counts. 35 (97%) recommended a standard first-line regimen and 24 (67%) preferred stavudine + lamivudine + nevirapine; 33 (92%) recommended second-line regimens, and 24 (60%) preferred abacavir + didanosine + lopinavir/ritonavir. Thirty-one (94%) recommended CD4 cell count, possibly combined with other indicators, to monitor ART. Concordance scores were higher in countries with lower health expenditure per capita (P = 0.009) and lower GDP per capita (P < 0.03). Median concordance scores for starting ART was 100 [interquartile range (IQR), 67 to 100]; first line therapy, 70 (IQR, 60 to 80); second-line regimens, 45 (IQR, 27 to 55) and for laboratory investigations, 80 (IQR, 80 to 100). Most countries had developed national ART guidelines as part of a comprehensive national HIV program. Concordance with WHO recommendations was strong on starting first-line ART regimens and routine monitoring but lower for second-line recommendations. (author's)