The first of a two-part series about the stories to keep your eyes on during 2012. To read the second five stories covered in Part 2, go here.
For the first time in the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, even the president has dared to utter the words "AIDS-free generation." With vaccines and new preventive methods in R&D and clinical trials, treatment advances that are ready for rollout and a National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) in place, public health officials have a tool kit with which to begin to end the pandemic. But will they actually allocate the funds to do so in this cutthroat economic climate? Let's see who steps up.View Full Article
Comment by: Mark S. King
Sat., Jan. 21, 2012 at 10:54 am EST
Microbicides and Treatment as Prevention are solid entries here, but the issue of HIV Criminalization cannot be ignored -- it has accelerated in the last year and real debate about disclosure, viral load infectiousness and jail time will rage on in the year to come, only bigger.
We must pay attention to this. It is the defining HIV issue of our time, in my opinion.
Comment by: John Eisenhans
(St. Louis, MO)
Fri., Jan. 20, 2012 at 12:01 am EST
Thanks for a great article. However, a correction is required in your coverage of point 4,Treatment as Prevention. What you then go on to describe is not the treatment as prevention issue but the pre-exposure prophylaxis issue (which you cover in part 2). Treatment as Prevention has to do with the emerging evidence that HIV+ people who take ARVs faithfully and thereby achieve an undetectable viral load are highly unlikely to pass HIV to others. In other words, there is good reason to be optimistic that people who are HIV+ but have an undetectable viral load are not infectious. Studies at the community level appear to confirm this. Communities in which a large percentage of HIV+ people receive successful treatment and have undetectable viral loads also have lower rates of new HIV infections. The realization that treatment is also prevention gives renewed urgency and moral imperative to the drive to make ARV treatment available to all HIV+ people.
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