From the moment a patient tests HIV -positive, they should be referred to the CTC. The initial management requires a complete workup of the patient. A complete blood count, renal and hepatic chemical function tests, urine pregnancy test (if pregnancy is possible), and viral load (where available) should be done at baseline.
Treatment decisions will be based on the extent of clinical disease progression. CD4+ T lymphocyte counts remain the gold standard for evaluating immune function. The determination of viral load has more prognostic value and is routinely used in clinical practice in developed countries. These tests, when available, should be done at baseline and as needed for clinical care (e.g., in cases of toxicity), but at least every six months for patients on treatment.