Since 2014, a consensus of landmark studies has justified starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) regardless of CD4 count. The evidence for immediate and universal ART is strong, clearly showing individual and population-level benefits, and is supported by all major guidelines groups. Altogether, improvements in ART and recognition of its clinical and epidemiologic benefits justify near-universal ART, preferably as soon after the diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as possible. Case-based discussions provide a framework to explore the evidence behind the current recommendation for ART for all HIV-positive persons and specific scenarios are discussed in which ART initiation may be delayed.
Keywords: AIDS; Antiretroviral therapy; CD4; Guidelines; HIV; Rapid start; Treatment as prevention.
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