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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

Recently we took a close look at the progress that has been made in the overall percentage of people diagnosed with HIV who have achieved viral suppression in the United States. The overall results showed improvement but hid the fact that some populations are at risk of being left behind. We saw this among youth and people who inject drugs and, sadly, we also see it among transgender women.

May 18, 2018
Black AIDS Institute

Although there's research comparing Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), a group of scientists noted a dearth of data regarding the safety of TAF compared with abacavir (ABC), another commonly prescribed NRTI. After an online search confirmed that no such studies had been conducted, they decided to launch their own.

April 12, 2018
Contagion Live

To complete the last leg South Africa has four important things to do. It must address the gaps in HIV testing; it must start people on antiretroviral treatment and make sure that they remain on it; it must ensure that people maintain virological suppression and, lastly, it must strengthen its strategies around prevention.

February 12, 2018
IOL
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