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10 Moments That Changed HIV Care This Year

December 13, 2013

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PrEP Realization

PrEP Realization

Last year at this time, we were embroiled in a debate over pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the practice of prescribing HIV meds to HIV-negative people before they've even been exposed to the virus. The idea behind PrEP is that a constant flow of antiretrovirals within a person's body would help protect the person against infection if he or she ever becomes exposed.

Although PrEP was approved for use in the U.S. in 2012, questions swirled over who should use it, how effective it truly was, how well people would adhere to the pills, and whether using PrEP would tacitly "encourage" people to have unsafe sex knowing they'd be protected from HIV.

We're now a full year into the PrEP era, and the sky hasn't fallen. PrEP has proven popular among a wide swath of people -- not just gay men, who many presumed would be the primary beneficiaries, but also women, many of whom live in the U.S. South, a region particularly hard-hit by today's HIV epidemic.

Many questions remain regarding this new strategy, but it's clearly shown itself to be a desirable option among motivated groups of people -- no doubt including HIV-negative women in mixed-status, heterosexual relationships who are looking to safely conceive a baby with their HIV-positive partners.

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This article was provided by TheBody.com.
 

Reader Comments:

Comment by: P. Kevin Parker (Cypress, CA) Sat., Feb. 15, 2014 at 6:53 am EST
The article summary states that testing patients only once a year for CD4 counts will save the medical industry $41,000 per patient. That's not what the original research said, according to the full article. The researcher calculated the medical savings of only one test per year in the 550 enrolled in the study's cohort. Not per patient.
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Comment by: Reader (Chicago) Mon., Jan. 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm EST
The most important point of the "Baby Cure Commotion" should have been stated as the fact that the treatment guidelines were ignored.

What that tells us is that far too little effort/resources have been directed at very early treatment over the last two decade.

And where is the mention of the latest news that HIV is not directly killing CD4+ T cells?

That news tells us that far too little effort/resources have been directed at the pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS. The argument that "researchers were simply looking in the wrong place" (and missed the main pathogenic mechanism) is an excuse that begs for better over-sight of HIV/AIDS research in general.

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