HIV treatment could stop transmission of the disease, says this new study
People who are living with HIV can rely on treatments while the world waits for a vaccine
Jul 26, 2017
New studies show that individuals who are HIV-positive and undergoing treatment have ‘zero chances’ of spreading the infection to others during sex.
According to the results from previous studies and a large-scale study on homosexual men, sexual transmission of HIV is slim when someone is on treatment. This study was presented during the ninth International AIDS Conference on HIV Science in Paris, France.
“Undetectable = Untransmittable” is an ongoing campaign created by a community of people living with HIV who collaborated with experts and researchers to answer the call of many who are affected: “Will I pass on HIV to my sexual partner?” The campaign hopes to encourage those who live with HIV to continue receiving treatment so they could understand that doing so would mean that they cannot affect others.
Australian researchers studied the sex lives and HIV rates of more than 350 homosexual couples where one was HIV-positive and on treatment. Each couple reported their sexual activities to clinics involved in the trial and their HIV-negative partners were also tested to check on any new infections. The couples who participated have reported to having sex 17,000 times without protection over four years, yet none of those times have resulted in a new infection.
However, this doesn’t mean that unprotected sex is advised.
The World Health Organization has recommended the ‘treatment as prevention’ a key component in succeeding HIV prevention programs.
Promises of a new vaccine
A new vaccine trial known as the APPROACH trial was also presented during the conference. The results revealed that this vaccine could “instigate an immune response against HIV when tested on almost 400 volunteers across five countries.”
“A safe and effective HIV vaccine would be a powerful tool to reduce new HIV infections worldwide and help bring about a durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease.
Here in the Philippines, more millennials are being diagnosed with HIV, from ages 15 to 35.
This study was first reported by CNN.
Photos courtesy of Unsplash and Inquirer.net.
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