March 9, 2012
New research shows that people living in areas with higher levels of HIV treatment uptake are less likely to acquire the virus than those living in areas where few can access care, UNAIDS said Thursday.
The study, an analysis of data from eastern South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, found that in areas where antiretroviral therapy uptake is greater than 30 percent, HIV-negative people are 38 percent less likely to become infected.
"It is the first time that we have been able to show such results in a population setting, an important finding which will help guide the AIDS response," said Frank Tanser of the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Africa Center for Health and Population Studies, which conducted the research.
"UNAIDS encourages all countries and communities to achieve high coverage of antiretroviral therapy, both for the benefit of people living with HIV and for the communities in which they live," said Paul De Lay, the UNAIDS program division's deputy executive director.