Physician Education: Bridging Clinical Research and Patient Care

Antiretroviral Drugs for Treatment and Prevention of HIV Infection in Adults 2016 Recommendations of the International Antiviral Society–USA Panel

Günthard HF, Saag MS, Benson CA, del Rio C, Eron JJ, Gallant JE, Hoy JF, Mugavero MJ, Sax PE, Thompson MA, Gandhi RT, Landovitz RJ, Smith DM, Jacobsen DM, Volberding PA. Antiretroviral Drugs for Treatment and Prevention of HIV Infection in Adults 2016 Recommendations of the International Antiviral Society–USA Panel. JAMA. 2016.


New data and therapeutic options warrant updated recommendations for the use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to treat or to prevent HIV infection in adults.

To provide updated recommendations for the use of antiretroviral therapy in adults (aged18 years) with established HIV infection, including when to start treatment, initial regimens, and changing regimens, along with recommendations for using ARVs for preventing HIV among those at risk, including preexposure and postexposure prophylaxis.

A panel of experts in HIV research and patient care convened by the International Antiviral Society–USA reviewed data published in peer-reviewed journals, presented by regulatory agencies, or presented as conference abstracts at peer-reviewed scientific conferences since the 2014 report, for new data or evidence thatwould change previous recommendations or their ratings. Comprehensive literature searcheswere conducted in the PubMed and EMBASE databases through April 2016. Recommendationswere by consensus, and each recommendationwas rated by strength and quality of the evidence.

Newer data support the widely accepted recommendation that antiretroviral therapy should be started in all individuals with HIV infection with detectable viremia regardless of CD4 cell count. Recommended optimal initial regimens for most patients are 2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) plus an integrase strand transfer inhibitor (InSTI). Other effective regimens include nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors or boosted protease inhibitors with 2 NRTIs. Recommendations for special populations and in the settings of opportunistic infections and concomitant conditions are provided. Reasons for switching therapy include convenience, tolerability, simplification, anticipation of potential new drug interactions, pregnancy or plans for pregnancy, elimination of food restrictions, virologic failure, or drug toxicities. Laboratory assessments are recommended before treatment, and monitoring during treatment is recommended to assess response, adverse effects, and adherence. Approaches are recommended to improve linkage to and retention in
care are provided. Daily tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine is recommended for use as preexposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection in persons at high risk. When indicated, postexposure prophylaxis should be started as soon as possible after exposure.

Antiretroviral agents remain the cornerstone of HIV treatment and prevention. All HIV-infected individuals with detectable plasma virus should receive treatment with recommended initial regimens consisting of an InSTI plus 2 NRTIs. Preexposure prophylaxis should be considered as part of an HIV prevention strategy for at-risk individuals. When used effectively, currently available ARVs can sustain HIV suppression and can prevent new HIV infection. With these treatment regimens, survival rates among HIV-infected adults who are retained in care can approach those of uninfected adults.