Medical Breakthroughs Set to Buoy AIDS Council of War
July 15, 2011
Recent studies finding that daily oral HIV treatment can help prevent sexual acquisition and transmission of the virus have created a buzz of excitement ahead of the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention. Thousands are expected at the four-day medical conference, which opens Sunday in Rome.
Among advances to be spotlighted:
"This is a major scientific breakthrough which confirms the essential role that antiretroviral medicine has to play in the AIDS response," said Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS. "These studies could help us to reach the tipping point in the HIV epidemic."
"If you start early treatment for people infected with HIV, you get a 96.3 percent decrease in transmission," said Julio Montaner, director of the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. "Nothing else has been shown that is as efficacious. And the cost-benefit is triple, because it decreases morbidity, it decreases mortality, and it decreases transmissions. I call it a hat-trick -- you can't have it any better."
"We are in the middle of huge scientific breakthroughs that could help change the course of the epidemic in coming years," said IAS chief Bertrand Audoin. "One of the challenges we have to meet is to align the scientific evidence with policies implemented on the ground."
For more on the conference, visit www.ias2011.org.
Agence France Presse
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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