(Last updated: January 10, 2011; last reviewed: January 10, 2011)
The Panel has carefully reviewed recent results from clinical trials in HIV therapy and considered how they inform appropriate care guidelines. The Panel appreciates that HIV care is highly complex and rapidly evolving. Guidelines are never fixed and must always be individualized. Where possible, the Panel has based recommendations on the best evidence from prospective trials with defined endpoints. When such evidence does not yet exist, the Panel attempted to reflect reasonable options in its conclusions.
HIV care requires, as always, partnerships and open communication. The provider can make recommendations most likely to lead to positive outcomes only if the patient's own point of view and social context are well known. Guidelines are only a starting point for medical decision making. They can identify some of the boundaries of high-quality care but cannot substitute for sound judgment.
As further research is conducted and reported, guidelines will be modified. The Panel anticipates continued progress in the simplicity of regimens, improved potency and barrier to resistance, and reduced toxicity. The Panel hopes the guidelines are useful and is committed to their continued adjustment and improvement.