Antiretroviral therapy tied to decreased HIV transmission risk

May 27th, 2010 - 12:00 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 27 (ANI): Treating HIV-infected persons with antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces HIV transmission to their sexual partners by more than 90 percent, researchers have found.

The study has been published in the Lancet.

“These results are an important finding in the search for effective HIV prevention strategies and the strongest evidence to date that ART might decrease HIV transmission risk,” said Dr. Connie Celum, professor of medicine and global health at the University of Washington and the senior author of the paper.

The findings were part of the Partners in Prevention study, a six-year study coordinated by the International Clinical Research Center at the University of Washington and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

More than 3,400 heterosexual HIV-discordant couples in which one member had HIV and the other did not were enrolled from seven African countries (Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia).

At the beginning of the study, the HIV-infected members had high CD4 counts and were not on antiretroviral treatment. Couples were provided counseling and prevention services, followed for up to two years, with regular CD4 measurements and ART referrals made when they became eligible for ART.

During the study, 349 HIV-infected partners initiated ART at an average CD4 count of 198. Of the 103 HIV infections that occurred in these couples, there was only one HIV transmission after ART initiation. In that single event, the HIV-infected partner had started ART about three months prior to HIV infection being first detected in her partner.

Lead study author, Dr. Deborah Donnell, a biostatistician with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said “the one transmission indicated that HIV serodiscordant couples should maintain safer-sex practices even when HIV-positive partners are on treatment.”

The proportion of couples who reported having unprotected sex decreased over time, explained the authors. Couples received frequent counseling on HIV risk reduction. (ANI)

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health Science |

Subscribe