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In the era of universal treatment, what are HIV clinical guidelines for?
Gus Cairns, 2016-12-22 10:20:00

The purpose and structure of clinical HIV guidelines may have to change radically now that universal treatment on diagnosis is the clinical consensus, physicians from the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) heard in a meeting on standards of care last month in Brussels. A scene-setting presentation by Kevin de Cock of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has already been summarised in this report.

“We have to get political” was how Manual Battegay, outgoing president of EACS, summed it up.

He explained that in an era of "test-and-treat", “getting to zero” and the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target, which seeks to have 72% of everyone with HIV virally undetectable by 2020 and 86% by 2030, HIV treatment has moved from an individualised patient-care model, like cancer treatment, towards a public health model, like vaccination or TB treatment.

This implied that a professional body like EACS had to ally itself to other organisations and issue guidelines in collaboration with normative agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO) and surveillance ones like the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC).