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International News

Breakthroughs Boost Optimism

July 19, 2012

A string of HIV prevention breakthroughs forms a hopeful backdrop to the 19th International AIDS Conference next week in Washington.

Among approaches cited by researchers as particularly significant:

  • Treatment as prevention: Antiretroviral therapy helps people with HIV remain healthy and cuts their risk of transmitting the virus, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis: US regulators this week approved the first drug to help protect uninfected people at high risk of sexual HIV exposure. PrEP studies have found those who took the pills faithfully could dramatically reduce their infection risk.
  • Test and treat: Boosting testing and the proportion of those infected who receive treatment not only helps people with HIV, viral levels in the community also are generally lower, said Diane Havlir, a University of California-San Francisco professor and AIDS researcher.
  • Adult male circumcision: Groups in Africa are offering the procedure to men as a way to cut their HIV risk.
  • Microbicides: Results from studies of these experimental gels, to be applied by women before and after sex to lower their risk of contracting HIV, have shown mixed results so far.
  • Vaccines: Guido Silvestri, of the Emory University School of Medicine, noted that a vaccine trial in Thailand showed a 31 percent reduction in HIV infections -- not enough for widespread use, but a signal that vaccines could be effective in the future.

Back to other news for July 2012

Adapted from:
USA Today
07.18.2012; Liz Szabo

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
AIDS 2012 Pre-Conference News & Information

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Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.