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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 high and medium HIV prevalence settings in South Africa and Uganda, community-based delivery of ART significantly increased viral suppression compared with clinic-based ART, particularly among men, eliminating disparities in viral suppression by gender. Community-based ART should be implemented and evaluated in different contexts for people with detectable viral load.

October 1, 2020
Lancet Global Health

We identified multiple barriers to achieving universal ART uptake. To enhance uptake in HIV care services, and achieve the full benefits of ART requires interventions that tackle persistent HIV stigma, and offer people with HIV respectful, convenient and efficient services. These interventions require evaluation in appropriately designed studies.

September 24, 2020
PLOS One

American scientists have developed an injectable drug that blocks HIV from entering cells. They say the new drug potentially offers long-lasting protection with fewer side effects and could eventually replace drug ‘cocktail’ therapies.

September 3, 2020
Health-E News
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