ALTHOUGH there is no cure for AIDS, if people who test positive for antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are identified early and appropriate treatment is begun, overt disease can be delayed, life can be prolonged, and its quality can be improved. But for this to happen, say federal AIDS experts, primary care physicians and other medical care providers must become involved in caring for patients with HIV infection.
To help them do so, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) issued its newest clinical practice guideline, Evaluation and Management of Early HIV Infection. The guideline gives primary care providers the information they need to offer early, appropriate care to HIV-positive patients.
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Because of the evolving nature of knowledge about HIV infection and AIDS, each recommendation in the guideline is rated and labeled according to the degree to which it is based on