Background Advances in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV) have resulted in sustained improvements in the general
health and longevity of people living with the virus. Primary
care continues to be predominantly delivered by high caseload
general practitioners and specialists, but GPs with limited HIV
experience are increasingly likely to have contact with HIV
positive patients through shared care arrangements.
Objective The aim of this article is to review the management of stable
patients with HIV and to provide an approach to important
elements of their ongoing care.
Discussion The long term care of people living with HIV is increasingly
focused on chronic disease management and health promotion.
Specific issues include mental health; drug and alcohol use;
sexual and reproductive health; cardiovascular, renal, liver
and bone disease; malignancies; and prevention, including
immunisation. Treatment side effects such as lipodystrophy and
peripheral neuropathy are less common with newer agents,
but other toxicities are increasingly recognised. The majority of
people living with HIV can be managed in the general practice
setting, with specialist support where appropriate.
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