S.F.’s new tactic against HIV

Start treatment ASAP

It’s been about a year since the UC San Francisco Division of HIV/AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital implemented a groundbreaking policy recommending individuals begin HIV treatment immediately after detection. A recent study shows the rate of new infections could drop greatly if the new policy is widely accepted among the city’s physicians and patients, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In mid-April, UCSF and the San Francisco Department of Public Health released a study based on a mathematical model that showed the HIV-infection rate among men who have sex with men could go down by more than 60 percent during the next eight years if everyone diagnosed with the infection begins antiviral drug treatment immediately.

Most doctors and public-health departments around the country follow federal guidelines, which recommend patients begin antiviral drug treatments when T-cell counts fall below 500. San Francisco is one of the first cities to recommend starting treatment regardless of T-cell count.