The IAS-USA Treatment Guidelines were released during the conference, supporting earlier initiation of treatment with ART recommended for all patients with CD4 counts < 500, selected clinical conditions, and all symptomatic patients (provided patients are ready to start therapy: “The patient must be ready and willing to adhere to lifelong therapy,” the document explicitly states. Additional populations for ART initiation included pregnant women, and those with acute primary infections. The document is well worth a good read for its careful review of the data behind the pendulum swinging to earlier initiation in 2010.
You must understand basic human needs when you’re talking about HIV; for example, you can’t talk to people about prevention if they don’t have something to eat today. Organizations work the same way. Look at their hierarchy of needs; they must keep money flowing, so strengthening those systems first is essential.
President Clinton and Bill Gates Address International AIDS Conference
Using HIV treatment as a strategy for prevention of HIV transmission.
In Uganda and Malawi, people have been forced to think about the implications of the policies and the discourse, and we have a long way to go. But just having the discourse–in any form–is progress.
Bottom line: HIV probably does increase risk but not as much as some of the more traditional modifiable risk factors (like smoking). Hopefully, in the future the START study results whether treatment practices should be changed. .
Why are we blogging?
The JSI and WORLD EDUCATION CENTER for HIV and AIDS launched this blog as an effort to share more widely among our JSI and World Education staff worldwide, as well as external colleagues, reports from the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.