BioScience Trends. 2021;15(6):413-417. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01514)

Clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS in China: Their potential benefits and impact on public health

He Y, Lu HZ


Since the first edition of the guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS was published in 2005, the AIDS Specialists Group of the Society of Infectious Diseases has updated the guidelines three more times to include more thorough, practical, standardized, and specific content. The latest edition (the 2021 version) has recently been updated in China in accordance with clinical practice nationwide and results of the latest research. Compared to the four previous editions, the 2021 edition references the latest information on the epidemiology of HIV, the prevention of HIV transmission, standardized lab diagnosis, and clinical management. First, the guidelines highlight the concept of "enhancing the combination of early intervention, prevention, and treatment". The guidelines specify more detailed clinical phases (three clinical stages), the clinical staging and progression of AIDS, and patient prognosis. The guidelines also specify diagnostic criteria – HIV antibodies, HIV RNA tests, CD4 cell counts, and the patient's epidemiological history – to use in conjunction with symptoms to confirm an HIV infection. In addition, the guidelines summarize more advanced HIV/AIDS research in China by describing the different circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) and unique recombinant forms (URFs) in Chinese patients, by summarizing the most prevalent strains in the Chinese population, and by comparing disease progression by route of transmission and by the CD4+T cell count. Lastly, this edition describes ways to optimize programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission, strategies for diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections, the aging patient population, and specialized ART treatment programs for different populations living with HIV. The guidelines should not only help to prolong the life of people living with HIV and improve their quality of life but also encourage successful collaboration between scientific researchers and physicians in the area of HIV.

KEYWORDS: clinical guidelines, diagnosis, treatment, HIV/AIDS, public health

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