New recommendations for treatment and prevention of HIV infection in adults led by UAB expert

New recommendations for treatment and prevention of HIV infection in adults will help guide physicians and patients in HIV therapies and treatment regimens.

Environmental headshot of Dr. Michael Saag, MD (Director, Center for Michael Saag, M.D.New recommendations for treatment and prevention of HIV infection in adults published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by the International Antiviral Society – USA, or IAS-USA, will help continue to guide optimal practices for HIV therapies and regimens.

Guidelines from IAS-USA are updated every other year. The 2020 guidelines were written by a group of HIV researchers and clinicians led by Michael Saag, M.D., professor of medicine in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Infectious Diseases and associate dean of Global Health in the School of Medicine.

The recommendations concluded that antiretroviral drugs continue to improve clinical care and outcomes among individuals at risk for and with HIV, and offer guidance as physicians initiate HIV therapy with patients and monitor patients starting therapies, to better prevent HIV in at-risk populations.

Furthermore, the new guidelines outline:

  • New recommendations on what medications to start, including a role for a two-drug regimen.
  • Updated approachesabout theuse of new medications for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), including the use of a new long-acting injectable agent.
    • This includes when and how to use these medications and how to manage breakthrough infections.
  • New recommendations on management of people with HIV as they age.
  • Overview of thecurrent understanding of the intersection of COVID-19 diseaseand HIV.

“The field of HIV medicine is dynamic and changes frequently; new therapies emerge for both treatment and prevention, new testing algorithms are developed, and older approaches are replaced by newer ones as new data emerge. These guidelines are widely used by practitioners across the world,” Saag explained. “These bi-yearly recommendations are some the most cited articles in clinical medicine and are reflective of the cutting-edge care provided by institutions such as UAB to patients and those at-risk of HIV exposure in our communities.”