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Background brief on the prevention benefits of HIV treatment
  • Published Date:
    January 2013
Filetype[PDF-333.37 KB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (U.S.), Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
  • Description:
    Introduction - Putting treatment as prevention in perspective - Test and treat - Challenges and the future of HIV prevention - What CDC is doing

    The advent in 1996 of potent combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), sometimes called HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) or cART (effective combination antiretroviral therapy), changed the course of the HIV epidemic. These "cocktails" of three or more antiretroviral drugs used in combination gave patients and scientists new hope for fighting the epidemic and have significantly improved life expectancy-to decades rather than months. For many years, scientists believed that treating HIV-infected persons also significantly reduced their risk of transmitting the infection to sexual and drug-using partners who did not have the virus. The circumstantial evidence was substantial, but no one had conducted a randomized clinical trial--the gold standard for proving an intervention works. That changed in 2011 with the publication of findings from_the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 study, a randomized clinical trial designed in part to evaluate whether the early initiation of ART can prevent the sexual transmission of HIV among heterosexual couples in which one partner is HIV-infected and the other is not. This landmark study validated that early HIV treatment has a profound prevention benefit: results showed that the risk of transmitting HIV to an uninfected partner was reduced by 96%.

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