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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

Roll-out of the ‘treat all’ public health policy across six African countries led to 81.6 percent of people living with HIV starting antiretroviral treatment (ART) within 30 days of confirming their HIV-positive result.

June 13, 2019

The Opposites Attract and the PARTNER studies, provided the evidence that people with HIV who had an undetectable viral load were not infectious. A new analysis has now delved deeper into the actual sex and prevention behaviour of those who took part in Opposites Attract and found that couples were by no means just relying on the positive partner’s undetectable viral load to avoid the negative partner becoming infected.

May 1, 2019

New conversations are starting in HIV care as phase III trials have shown that monthly injections of cabotegravir and rilpivirine (Edurant) are non-inferior to a three-drug pill regimen. In 2018, TheBody asked a range of people living with HIV about their willingness to switch to an injectible, and most had mixed feelings.

April 15, 2019
The BodyPro

The Trump administration’s disregard for women’s rights is reflected in its attempt to remove the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that insurers cover birth control and its expansion of the “global gag rule” banning U.S. funding to international organizations that so much as discuss abortion. The latter policy is now set to prevent women across the globe from receiving a powerful new HIV medication when it is made available, while men will have unfettered access to it.

February 8, 2019
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