Public health experts now believe that quickly linking people with new HIV diagnoses to treatment reduces their likelihood of transmitting the virus. Study results announced this year showed that HIV treatment can reduce sexual transmission of the virus by up to 96%.
This approach has come to be known as "treatment as prevention," or TasP. In the U.S., TasP has special implications for blacks, who make up 56% of all "late testers." Late testers may benefit less from antiretrovirals and may also be at increased risk for transmitting HIV due to higher viral loads.
U.S. officials are excited enough about TasP that it was highlighted in a major speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the global pandemic. But some advocates wonder: Will a focus on TasP hurt other prevention efforts and make people with HIV unfairly responsible for keeping all of society negative?"
Rod McCullom has written and produced for ABC News and NBC, and has reported for Ebony, The Advocate, Colorlines, the Black AIDS Institute and others. Rod blogs on politics, pop culture and black gay news at rod20.com.
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