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.

12 July 2012

'Treatment As Prevention' Rises As Cry In HIV Fight

via NPR, by Richard Knox
Kenya Jackson promises his community health worker he will stay on his HIV medication — to keep himself well, and to avoid infecting anyone else.AIDS researchers, policymakers and advocates are increasingly convinced that treating HIV is one of the best ways of preventing its spread.

The rallying cry is "treatment as prevention," and it's the overarching theme of this month's International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.

The idea is that identifying people infected with HIV and getting them in effective treatment as soon as possible not only prevents them from getting sick but almost eliminates the risk they'll pass the virus on to others.

Last summer a big study showed that people with HIV are 96 percent less likely to pass the virus on if they faithfully take antiviral medicine. Momentum behind treatment-as-prevention has grown since then.

This is a big change. For a long time in the world of HIV and AIDS, the conventional wisdom has been to delay treatment until people show signs of damage to their immune system. Partly this is because the drugs have side effects (although some are now easier to take), and partly because few people thought medical treatment itself could slow the spread of HIV.

"After many years of frustration, it is a transformational moment in the course of this epidemic," says Kevin Cranston, head of infectious disease control at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. "Universal treatment can in fact result in an epidemic that looks to be petering out."

Read the rest.

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