Mapping Pathways is a multi-national project to develop and nurture a research-driven, community-led global understanding of the emerging evidence base around the adoption of antiretroviral-based prevention strategies to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The evidence base is more than results from clinical trials - it must include stakeholder and community perspectives as well.

27 June 2012

Inching Towards a Cure

via, by Ruby Leo

Almost a decade ago since the HIV/AIDS virus was discovered, no cure seems to be at the horizons, despite billions of dollars spent and pumped into research to stop the transmission of the disease which has claimed millions of lives across board.

It was nothing short of joy when scientists announced that a new drug, Truvada, can actually prevent the transmission of the virus.

It stipulates that once the person is taking the drug and has intercourse with an infected person, it would not jeopardize his immune system as he or she will be immune to the virus.

Gloria Funsho (Not real name) told Health Insight that there is hope for those of them that are living with the virus because their chances of marrying is now ascertained since the fear of infecting their partners has been eliminated.

The Director General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Professor John Idoko, speaking on the discovery said the drug which is just like the malaria drug, will prevent one from getting infected even if he or she has intercourse with a positive person.

Prof John Idoko, explaining the new prevention treatment drug, pre- exposure Prophylaxis, said "if we give the drugs to somebody who doesn't have HIV, and the person has sexual relationship with an HIV positive partner, it can prevent transmission from the positive person to the person. That is why it's called a pre- exposure prophylaxis because before exposure, the person has taken the drugs and because he has the drugs in him, the virus cannot infect him or her."

Also, Idoko says: "If you take this sero-discordant couples; one is positive and the other is negative, instead of giving the drug to the negative person before the sexual relationship, just put the positive one on drug as soon as you know. It doesn't matter what his CD-4 count is, even if it's 500, just give him the drugs. It has shown clearly one of the best study results that we have seen, as 96 per cent chance of the person transmitting HIV is blocked. So we call that treatment as prevention.

"So you can now imagine that if you go to a community, and they are using this method, your chances of blocking transmission are very high. We believe that these are the two things we need to put together as part of our combination prevention method."

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