Newsfeed : San Francisco Endorses Starting HIV Treatment Immediately After Diagnosis

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Newsfeed » April 2010

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


April 5, 2010

San Francisco Endorses Starting HIV Treatment Immediately After Diagnosis

San Francisco public health doctors are urging patients to begin taking HIV medications soon after their diagnosis rather than waiting until their immune systems become compromised, The New York Times reports. The city’s Department of Public Health will announce the new testing guidelines this week.

According to the article, the policy shift was prompted by evidence that patients who start antiretroviral treatment earlier are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop illnesses—such as heart disease, kidney failure and cancer—that are common among long-term survivors. A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that patients who put off therapy until their immune system started failing had a nearly twofold greater risk of dying—from any cause—than those who began treatment when their CD4 counts were above 500.

Under San Francisco’s new policy, doctors will offer patients combination therapy and advise them to pursue early treatment, but the patients will ultimately decide whether to begin therapy right after their diagnosis.

“The history of HIV disease has always been about change,” said Diane V. Havlir, MD, chief of the HIV/AIDS division at San Francisco General Hospital. “We pride ourselves on working quickly with new data.”

Health experts also argue that early treatment will curb new infections by reducing viral loads in HIV-positive San Franciscans and thereby reducing their risk of transmitting the virus to their negative partners.

“I do anticipate it will drive down the rates of new infections,” said Mitchell H. Katz, MD, the city’s director of public health. “It’s a nice, secondary benefit of this new policy.”

Others experts argue that while newer HIV medications are less toxic than earlier regimens, the long-term effects of these new drugs remain unknown.

Jay Levy, MD, a San Francisco virologist with the University of California, was one of the first to discover HIV. He’s skeptical of the city’s new policy.

As he told the Times: “It’s just too risky.”

Search: San Francisco, HIV, treatment, diagnosis, patients, doctors, immune system, illness

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (2 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Has a pet helped you deal with your HIV?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.