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Treatment Issues in AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) (From AIDS: Principles, Practices, and Politics, P 113-127, 1988, Enge B Corless and Mary Pittman-Lindemann, eds. -- See NCJ-110857)

NCJ Number
E C Cooper
Date Published
15 pages
The medical management of patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and related conditions is complex, consisting mainly of palliative therapies that may improve the quality of life but only temporarily delay the seemingly inevitable outcome: death.
Comprehensive medical management of AIDS patients requires the use of a variety of drugs and therapies to try to restore the immune function and to treat the opportunistic infections, the Kaposi's sarcoma and other malignancies, and the symptoms associated with specific infections or side effects of medications. As effective antiviral therapies are developed, an important issue that will arise is the decision regarding when in the course of the disease to initiate treatment. This decision is complicated by the lack of knowledge regarding which asymptomatic infected persons will develop AIDS. A second issue is whether the concept of immunorestoration is useful and at what stage of the disease it may be necessary. Therapies for opportunistic infections also present major treatment issues due to the incidence of adverse reactions to standard medications and the lack of effective therapy for some infections. Antiretroviral agents are currently the subject of extensive research, which has shown one agent to delay death and the development of opportunistic infections in certain groups of patients. 48 references.


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