When HIV first appeared many years ago, there were no treatments available for the virus. It took a while for treatments to be developed and become readily available. It was only in 1997 that a treatment guideline was drafted for HIV positive patients. The guidelines were established by the Panel on Clinical Practices for Treatment of HIV Infection which was convened by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
It was determined that the treatments for those who have been infected with HIV needed to be guided by means of monitoring the viral load of the patient. This is done through blood tests which examine the amount of HIV in the blood and the number of CD4+ T cells. The treatment begins with the prescription of three medications and recommends the changing of at least two of the medications should it be noted that the viral load is increasing or the CD4+ T cell count is decreasing. It was determined that using only two mediations was not optimal, effective treatment required the use of at least three medications. It was also recommended that zidovudine (AZT) be used as a preventative treatment for HIV positive pregnant women to prevent transmission of the virus to the unborn child. The medication is to be given to both the mother during and after pregnancy as well as to the newborn child whilst breastfeeding is taking place. For more information on hiv insurance, go to http://www.aidshiv.co.za
In the beginning, the choices that needed to be made by doctors treating HIV positive patients were simple. They have gradually become more and more complex as more medications became available. This offers the doctors many more options and more combinations to try when it comes to treating the disease. This is both a good and a potentially bad result. It is likely that with the various medications that are available there will be a combination that will work for each patient. However, it does also mean that there are more potential combinations to test and so finding the right combination may take a great deal longer and allow the disease to progress further than in the past.
It was thought that the establishment of treatment guidelines for HIV positive patients will standardise and improve the treatment of HIV positive patients. It does seem that this has been the case in countries where the treatment guidelines are adhered to and the medications are readily available to medical personnel. However, they have not had an effect on the treatment and care of HIV positive patients in war torn countries in Africa and other countries with a similar lack of medical support for the populations most at risk for infection with the virus. As the medical profession conducts further research into the virus and its makeup it is hoped that a cure will become available. Until that occurs all that can be done is being done with regards to administering medical treatments designed to assist the body with combating the virus on its own.