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Treatment

To save lives, HIV treatment alone isn’t enough. Suppressing HIV is what matters.

In 2011, a landmark clinical trial showed that early initiation of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for people who are HIV-infected cuts the risk of HIV transmission by a stunning 96 percent. The trial provided powerful new momentum to global efforts to expand treatment access — both for the health of individuals living with HIV and for the potential to prevent millions of new infections.

Getting people onto treatment, though, is only half the story. To save lives and slow the HIV epidemic, treatment needs to achieve long-term virologic suppression — meaning the level of HIV in a person’s body is essentially undetectable. In most countries, only a minority of people with HIV have their virus in check. To make viral suppression the norm, better adherence programs, viral load monitoring and other steps are urgently needed.

What We're Reading

In a quick thousand words, Anthony Fauci and Hilary Marston of the US National Institutes of Health summarize the science explaining the importance of antiretroviral therapy—both as treatment for people living with HIV and as primary prevention for people who are HIV negative.

December 3, 2015
The New England Journal of Medicine

Veteran HIV reporter Donald McNeil Jr. takes a look at how, through a raft of creative programs, San Francisco has drastically reduced the number of new HIV cases seen per year and now serves a model of how to do HIV prevention for other cities.

October 5, 2015
New York Times
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