This publication presents the results of San Francisco General Hospital's Ward 86 pilot study of immediate ART initiation. This RAPID program systematically offered ART to patients upon diagnosis of HIV; patients were referred from HIV testing sites in San Francisco. Of the 39 patients who participated in the pilot, 95% of them started ART within 24 hours. Median time to viral suppression (<200 copies/mL) was 1.8 months, as compared with 4.3 months with a historic standard-of-care (universal ART) comparison group; retention in care was very high. Since this pilot, the immediate ART initiation has become standard clinic practice at Ward 86 as part of San Francisco's "Getting to Zero" initiative.
- Pilcher CD, Ospina-Norvell C, Dasgupta A, et al. The effect of same-day observed initiation of antiretroviral therapy on HIV viral load and treatment outcomes in a U.S. public health setting. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Jul 16. [Epub ahead of print]