HIV's Mantra 'Treatment as Prevention'

HIV leaders are embracing antiretroviral prevention

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

(RxWiki News) As HIV continues to ravage sub-Saharan Africa, world leaders in AIDS research and policy continue to look for new solutions. The "Treatment As Prevention" strategy is one that holds real promise.

A recent editorial published in The Lancet further supported the strategy, and its ideas coincide with the opening of the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011) taking place in Rome.

"If your partner has HIV, consider HAART for yourself."

Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and past president of the IAS writes in the editorial that the evidence is in: Treatment of HIV with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) reduces the mortality, morbidity, and transmission or HIV and also effectively prevents HIV transmission during breastfeeding, pregnancy, sexual intercourse and illicit injectable drug use.

Dr. Elly Katabira, president of the International AIDS Society, comments that Treatment as Prevention is one of the most meaningful and promising prevention strategies available today.

"Dr. Montaner's column is a rallying call for the universal endorsement and funding of this approach for the benefit of our future generations." she said.

Michel Sidibé, executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, embraces the Treatment as Prevention strategy and supports it's importance due to a recent study by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH reported that immediate use of HAART by newly infected HIV patients led to a 96% decrease in the risk of HIV transmission among heterosexual couples where one partner is HIV positive.

"We must embrace Treatment as Prevention as part of a combination prevention strategy to achieve our collective vision of zero new infections and zero AIDS-related deaths." said Sidibé.

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Review Date: 
July 14, 2011
Last Updated:
July 20, 2011