Monday, May 23. 2011
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) reported last week that persons who have been infected with HIV could reduce the likelihood that they would transmit the disease to their partners with the help of an oral antiretroviral medication, according to Institute officials.
The trial followed couples in which one person was HIV-positive and the other was not. Half of the HIV-positive individuals were given antiretroviral drugs at the study's onset, and the other half was deferred until their CD4 count fell below the international guideline for treatment. Of the 28 new cases of HIV that have been confirmed to be transmitted between partners, only one case came from the group that began treatments immediately, according to the study's findings to date.
Chairperson of the HIV Medical Association, Dr. Kathleen Squires, expressed hope that the study could curb the spread of the disease, which creates numerous of health issues and could, until recently, limit a person's ability to obtain health insurance.
"This shows us that if we can identify the people who are infected and give them access to therapy, we can dramatically reduce the number of new infections in this country," she told The Los Angeles Times.
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