Study in D.C. to Test Whether HIV Treatment Can Prevent Spread
November 16, 2009
A controversial strategy to eradicate HIV with aggressive treatment of those already infected is being tested in Washington.
The approach relies on global universal treatment with antiretroviral medications. The study protocol calls for health department personnel to be schooled in modernizing patient record-keeping and encouraging patients to take medication even when they feel well.
One study area is Anacostia, a predominately African-American community on Washington's south side. A similar experiment is underway in the Bronx, New York City.
Detractors suggest there is no scientific evidence to suggest the approach will work and that it would be financially prohibitive to implement even if it were effective.
"It's so far in the hypothetical stage that I wouldn't even rank it" among the proven methods of controlling HIV such as condoms and needle exchange, Fauci acknowledged.
Bradley G. Wagner and Sally Blowers, University of California-Los Angeles researchers who say they advanced the "treatment as prevention" approach 10 years ago, approved of the WHO strategy albeit with lower expectations.
11.13.2009; Darryl Fears
Number of Named Partners and Number of Partners Newly Diagnosed With HIV Infection Identified by Persons With Acute Versus Established HIV Infection