Treatment as prevention works!

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NAM reports cutting edge, breaking news as it happens. Yesterday we reported on the exciting results of a study that shows ARV treatment as prevention works.

NAM has become a leading authority in this evolving area, and over the last few years, NAM’s Editorial Team has been keeping a close eye on developments. Keith Alcorn, NAM’s Senior Editor says:

“This study resoundingly confirms what lots of smaller studies have been telling us for several years.”

Glossary

treatment as prevention (TasP)

A public health strategy involving the prompt provision of antiretroviral treatment in people with HIV in order to reduce their risk of transmitting the virus to others through sex.

test and treat

A public health strategy in which widespread HIV testing is facilitated and immediate treatment for those diagnosed with HIV is encouraged.

Swiss statement

A 2008 article by a group of Swiss doctors which asserted that people living with HIV who are taking antiretroviral therapy and have an undetectable viral load, with no sexually transmitted infections, do not pass on HIV to their sex partners. Since then, major scientific studies have proven that the statement was correct.

Even before yesterday’s headline, NAM has been collating, distilling and summarising studies that focus on treatment as prevention. Preventing HIV, our free online resource, draws on the existing evidence, and answers the questions:

  • Is treatment as prevention starting to work?
  • What is the Swiss Statement and what are its repercussions?
  • Is there a consensus for test-and-treat approaches?
  • What are the steps necessary for making treatment-as-prevention work?

The findings of this latest study will perhaps help quell controversy and galvanise action. Keith adds:

“International donors cannot ignore the evidence any longer: HIV treatment is a very powerful form of HIV prevention, and could have a major effect on the HIV epidemic in the worst-affected countries. What we need now is a renewed commitment to HIV treatment, and studies to show how to get the maximum benefit out of this breakthrough at country level”.

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