Drugs that Prevent HIV Transmission Named ‘Breakthrough of 2011’


Credit: Cynthia Goldsmith, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Drugs that Prevent HIV Transmission Named ‘Breakthrough of 2011’

A trial showing thatِ antiretroviral drugs couldِ reduce theِ transmission ofِ HIV betweenِ sex partners byِ 96 percent hasِ beenِ named theِ breakthrough ofِ the year byِ one ofِ the world’s leading scientific journals.
22) thatِ the results ofِ the HPTN 052 trial, whichِ wereِ revealed inِ May, wereِ theِ mostِ important ofِ 2011.
HIV prevention hasِ hadِ very fewِ successes, saidِ Jon Cohen, a correspondent forِ Science whoِ nominated theِ trial toِ theِ committee deciding theِ award.

Will the drugs work for everyone?

Because theِ study wasِ conducted inِ heterosexual couples, it’sِ unclear whetherِ theِ sameِ benefit wouldِ extend toِ men whoِ haveِ sex withِ men.
In fact, itِ may beِ unethical toِ run a similar trial inِ homosexual men atِ this point, givenِ the strong evidence thatِ the drugs work, becauseِ such a trial couldِ beِ seen asِ withholding effective treatment fromِ the people inِ the control group, Carl W.
Dieffenbach, director ofِ the Division ofِ AIDS atِ the National Institute ofِ Allergy andِ Infectious Disease, told MyHealthNewsDaily.

But, Frost said, he is skeptical about getting funding and support for such efforts.

Making treatments easier to stick with

Dieffenbach saidِ heِ is concerned withِ gettingِ people toِ start andِ adhere toِ antiretroviral therapies.
The problem, heِ said, isِ what isِ known asِ the treatment cascade: For everyِ 100 patients whoِ areِ HIV-positive, 79 areِ aware ofِ it, 47 ofِ those areِ linked toِ care, andِ only 26 areِ on treatment thatِ isِ suppressing theِ virus inِ their blood.
This isِ the fundamental challenge thatِ we face now.