Major AIDS Breakthrough

Early antiretroviral treatment of HIV appears to prevent infecting sexual partner

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Since the early 1980's, the mysterious sexually transmitted virus later known has AIDS has destroyed many lives, families and children.

Researchers from University of North Carolina have discovered an effective method of preventing the spread of HIV.  Release of this data was deemed appropriate by the independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB).

"Early antiretroviral treatment prevents the transmission of the HIV virus."

Led by Myron S. Cohen, M.D., of the University of North Carolina, this National Institute of Health(NIH) funded research discovered that treating HIV-infected individuals with antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the early days of the HIV infection, reduced the transmision of HIV to their sexual partners by 96 percent.

Data from this study, being released much earlier than its planned 2015 release because of the urgency of this finding, shows that in only one case from the early antiretroviral treatment group was an HIV-infected partner shown to infect their sexual partner.

The Study

  • 1,763 couples who were not eligible for ART by World Health Organization standards in nine countries around the world
  • Couples were randomly assigned to one of two study groups
  • Group One: HIV-infected partner started antiretroviral therapy (ART) immediately
  • Group Two: HIV- infected partners did not begin ART until  they developed AIDS-related illness (the delayed treatment group)
  • Both groups got HIV primary care, counseling and condoms
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 12, 2011
Last Updated:
May 26, 2011