In Europe depending on the country 15-80 % of all individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are either not aware of the diagnosis or are diagnosed later. An early HIV diagnosis could, however, considerably improve the prognosis of individuals infected with HIV and decrease the risk of new infections; therefore, in the presence of indicator diseases, such as sexually transmitted diseases, oral thrush, herpes zoster and lymphoma, the performance of a HIV test is of utmost importance. A newly diagnosed HIV infection represents an indication for starting antiretroviral combination therapy independent of the clinical stage or CD4 cell count. A decline of the viral burden to below the limit of detection and subsequent continuous suppression of viral replication can prevent transition from HIV to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and if started early enough a normal life expectancy can be achieved. Challenges which remain in HIV therapy are the lifelong daily intake of medication and the complex long-term adverse effects.
[HIV infection : Test and treatment].