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.

13 June 2012

World Health Organization Encourages Antiretroviral Drug Use for HIV Prevention

via, by Keith Alcorn

The number of people eligible for antiretroviral treatment will grow by around six million as a result of recent World Health Organization recommendations on the use of antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV transmission, Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, head of the WHO’s HIV department told the IAPAC Controlling the HIV Pandemic with Antiretrovirals:Treatment as Prevention and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Evidence Summit in London.

The new recommendations almost double the number of people judged to be in need of antiretroviral therapy –  calculated at 7.4 million people with CD4 counts below 350 and therefore in need of treatment at the end of 2010. In 2010, antiretroviral coverage reached 47% of those eligible, he said.

His remarks coincided with the release by WHO of a Programmatic Update on Antiretroviral Treatment for Prevention of HIV and TB, which sets out the organisation’s plans to galvanise greater use of antiretroviral treatment in order to limit new infections.

The summit, organised by the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, is designed to review recent advances in the use of antiretroviral drugs as a means of preventing HIV transmission, and to discuss the practical implications of the new data for treatment and prevention programmes.

Speaking on the first day of the two-day summit, Dr Hirnschall pointed out that, for every person placed on treatment, 2.5 people are still becoming infected every year, amounting to approximately 2.7 million infections a year in 2010.

Scale-up of a combination of effective prevention interventions remains urgent, and antiretroviral treatment must play a central role in the prevention of new infections, he said, following last year’s release of the results of the HPTN 052 study, which showed that early antiretroviral therapy for the HIV-positive partner reduced the risk of HIV transmission by 96% in serodiscordant partnerships.

Similarly, evidence from the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal demonstrates that, at the population level, antiretroviral therapy is already having an impact on one of the most severe epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa. Every 1% increase in antiretroviral coverage among adults in rural communities between 2004 and 2011 was associated with a 1.7% reduction in the risk of HIV acquisition, suggesting the potential for large reductions in HIV incidence if greater progress towards universal access to antiretroviral treatment can be achieved.

However, Dr Hirnschall noted that current coverage in low- and middle-income countries – 47% in 2010 – “is not giving us the prevention gain we want to see”.

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1 comment:

  1. It is informative post. The Drug is the for good health whenever you are ill you have to take drug for the treatment of the illness.