World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
Cryptococcal meningitis causes an estimated 15% of all AIDS‐related deaths globally. The disease largely affects people with advanced HIV disease, mostly in low‐ and middle‐income countries. The high death rate in part relates to limited access to diagnostic tests for the disease and the high cost and limited availability of treatments.
Three recent Cochrane Reviews provide the latest evidence on treatment and prevention options for cryptococcal meningitis in HIV-positive people:
- Early versus delayed antiretroviral treatment in HIV-positive people with cryptococcal meningitis
- Primary antifungal prophylaxis for cryptococcal disease in HIV-positive people
- Treatment for HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis
These reviews were used to inform the current WHO guidelines for the diagnosis, prevention and management of cryptococcal disease in HIV-infected adults, adolescents and children. A new Cochrane Library editorial has been published on this important topic; 'Updating guidance for preventing and treating cryptococcal disease: how evidence and decisions interface'.