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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 22 (2011), Issue 2, Pages 52-60

Antiretroviral therapy for adults infected with HIV: Guidelines for health care professionals from the Quebec HIV care committee

Danielle Rouleau,1 Claude Fortin,1 Benoît Trottier,1,2 Richard Lalonde,3 Normand Lapointe,4 Pierre Côté,1,5,6 Jean-Pierre Routy,3 Marie-France Matte,7 Irina Tsarevsky,7 Jean-Guy Baril,1,5,7 and for the Comité consultatif sur la prise en charge clinique des personnes vivant avec le VIH1

1Unité hospitalière de recherche, d’enseignement et de soins sur le sida (UHRESS), Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Canada
2Clinique médicale l’Actuel, Canada
3UHRESS, McGill University Health Centre, Canada
4UHRESS, Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal, Canada
5Clinique médicale du Quartier Latin, Canada
6Programme national de mentorat sur le VIH-sida, Canada
7Service de lutte contre les infections transmissibles sexuellement par le sang, Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The appropriate use of antiretrovirals reduces morbidity and mortality caused by HIV infection. The present article provides health care professionals with a practical guide for the use of antiretrovirals. Therapy should be initiated based predominantly on clinical presentation and CD4 count, and should consist of three active drugs or at least two active drugs when this is not possible, as in cases of some treatment-experienced patients. This is the most effective way to achieve long-term suppression of viral replication. Selection of individual drugs in the regimen should consider the weight of the evidence supporting these choices, as well as their tolerability profiles and ease of use, the patients’ comorbidities and treatment history. Treatment interruption is not recommended, either in aviremic patients or in those who have experienced virological failure. Instead, the therapeutic regimen should be adjusted to minimize side effects, promote adherence and suppress viral replication.