Treatment Optimisation and AHD Online Course

Treatment Optimisation (TO) and Advanced HIV Disease (AHD) Online Course

HIV treatment optimisation is a process intended to enhance the long-term efficacy, adherence, tolerability, safety, convenience, and affordability of combination antiretroviral therapy. The ultimate goal is to expand access to well tolerated and effective lifetime treatment to all those in need.

ART TO ensures that people living with HIV receive the best-available ART in the most efficient and cost- effective manner as possible. This accelerates access to safer, simpler, and more affordable ART for individuals living with HIV. This includes the introduction of a new set of ARV drugs to a broader global market – including newer drugs and formulations with improved efficacy, tolerability, and safety such as dolutegravir (DTG), tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF) and co-formulated darunavir/ ritonavir (DRV/r). TO has the potential to transform the treatment landscape in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Optimised ARV drugs/formulations are those that: 
  • Are effective, safe/r, tolerable, better, less toxic, simpler, and easy to use; 
  • Have a higher genetic barriers to resistance;
  • Are adapted to resource-constrained environments; 
  • Are affordable and more cost-effective;
  • Are heat-stable, and available in fixed-dose combinations (FDCs);
  • Lower rates of treatment failure, reducing the need for more expensive, complex second- and third-line regimens; and
  • Are easy-to-use for women of childbearing age, children, and people with TB, malaria, and other co-infections

Advanced HIV Disease (AHD) is defined as the presence of a CD4 cell count <100 (SAHIVCS Cryptococcal Meningitis update 2019) - 200cells/ mm3 or a WHO clinical stage 3 or 4 event, for adults, adolescents, and children ≥5 years old. This results in a high risk of mortality and morbidity, which is worse, the lower the CD4 count.  On initiating ART, there is less robust CD4 recovery. Finally, there is a high risk of opportunistic infections (OIs).
All children < 5 years old with HIV infection are considered as having advanced HIV disease.

Click here to complete the online application for.
Alternatively, email or call 011 728 7365.

This online course will take up to 21 hours to complete.

This online course, sponsored by Unitaid, contains 8 sub-modules, and will take up to 21 hours to complete for a Level 2 accreditation of 21 clinical points* for a 70% pass rate of the final set of MCQs.

The 8 modules are as follows:
  1. Dolutegravir in SA (TO & TLD): Prof. Francois Venter, Dr. Jeremy Nel, Mr. Luckyboy Mkhondwane
  2. TLD eligibility: Guidelines: Dr. Jeannette Wessels
  3. Using new ARVs in TB: Dr. Sean Wasserman, Dr. Ndiviwe Mphothulo
  4. Using new ARVs in pregnancy: Prof Linda-Gail Bekker, Dr Coceka Mnyani; plus Update on new paediatric ARV formulations -present and future: Dr. Leon Levin 
  5. ART initiation in AHD: Prof. Sipho Dlamini
  6. Cryptococcal Meningitis: 4-hour stand-alone course: Dr. Nelesh Govender, Prof. Yunus Moosa & Dr. Richard Lessells
  7. TB & other respiratory opportunistic infections: Prof. Gary Maartens, Prof. Yunus Moosa & Dr. Richard Lessells
  8. HIV/TB & Covid-19: Dr. Mary-Ann Davies, Prof Graeme Meintjes

*If you are a member in good standing of SAHCS you will be eligible for a CPD certificate upon completion of this course, subject to a 70% or above pass rate for the MCQs.