Immediate antiretroviral therapy (ART) means starting HIV treatment as soon as possible after the diagnosis of HIV infection, preferably on the first clinic visit (and even on the same day as the HIV diagnosis). This strategy also is known as “rapid ART,” “same-day ART,” and “treatment upon diagnosis.”
Immediate ART initiation may bring earlier benefits in personal health, and earlier reductions in the risk of onward transmission of HIV. For persons with acute infection, immediate ART may limit the HIV viral reservoir.
This Clinicians’ Guide is a distillation of best practices for immediate ART initiation, and is based on resources from San Francisco’s Getting to Zero RAPID (Rapid ART Program Initiative for HIV Diagnoses) program and San Francisco General Hospital’s RAPID program.