Providing Optimal HIV Care

High quality, consistent and accessible care is essential for people diagnosed with HIV. With effective treatment and care, people with HIV can be healthy and live a near-normal lifespan.

Comprehensive guidelines for caring for a patient diagnosed with HIV are available at

The initial assessment of someone diagnosed with HIV should include:

  • A comprehensive past and present medical history, physical exam, medication/psychosocial/family history, review of systems and evaluation of sexual and reproductive health and substance use.
  • Confirmatory serology, genotyping and testing for immune markers such as CD4 and viral load
  • Screening for co-morbidities and other sexually transmitted infections
  • Other labs to help manage antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens and other risks
  • A social needs assessment
  • Individual and partner counselling

Fully effective suppression of plasma HIV-1 RNA (viral load) through the use of antiretroviral therapy can profoundly reduce mortality and morbidity. Therapy should be initiated as soon as possible.

Expert Guidance is a secure web-based tool that allows physicians and nurse practitioners timely access to specialist advice. Care providers seeking advice on the care of people living with HIV can use this resource to consult with experienced HIV care providers or a range of other HIV specialists.

If you are not already accessing this service, and would like this support, contact [email protected] and a program coordinator will enroll you in the services.