An article in the WashPost, released online first thing this morning, discusses studies indicating that certain ARTs, antiretroviral therapy drugs – taken daily upon diagnosis with HIV/AIDS – may have preventive effects in addition to their therapeutic uses.
Not one, but two studies indicate that use of these drugs, for MSM as well as heterosexual couples, could actually prevent HIV transmission.
One study at the University of Washington, which looked at discordant couples – one person was infected with HIV and the other was not – 47 infections arose in people taking placebo, but only 18 in those taking one type of ART – a 62% decrease – and 13 in those taking another type of ART – a 73% decrease. The study indicates that “both women and men were equally protected”.
According to Dr. Jared Baeten, co-director of the study in Kenya and Uganda through the University of Washington, “These results are fundamentally important for HIV prevention, especially in Africa” – which accounts for two-thirds of all HIV/AIDS infections worldwide.
Share you thoughts!: How do you think the availability of this kind of medication will impact HIV/AIDS prevention work and education?