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Project Inform's Position on When to Start HIV Treatment

May 2010

Project Inform is concerned that nearly half of all HIV-positive people in the United States do not know their HIV status or have not engaged in care and treatment that could prolong their lives and prevent new cases of HIV infection. We believe this results, in part, from a lack of understanding of the benefits of treatment, the fear of side effects of HIV drugs, the need for support services to make care and treatment possible, fears about disclosure of HIV status, and the belief that care and treatment services are unavailable to low-income people.

Although researchers continue to gather evidence regarding the optimal time to start treatment, federal guidelines have shifted in favor of earlier treatment. These guidelines allow for varied interpretation by HIV providers. In this document, Project Inform -- a trusted provider of HIV treatment information for 25 years -- presents its position regarding HIV testing, when HIV-positive people might consider engaging in care and treatment, and important considerations for starting care and treatment.

Project Inform has developed this position from current study results and expert opinions. We encourage all individuals to consult with their medical providers to make informed and cooperative decisions about their health. The information found in this paper is intended to support, but not be a substitute for, the relationship with these providers. Please email us with any questions regarding this document.

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