As more and more states look into cutting HIV treatment assistance programs to balance their budgets, perhaps here's something for them to consider:
HIV carriers who start treatment before the virus can ravage their immune systems are 96 per cent less likely to infect their partner, a landmark new study has found.
The findings are a breakthrough in combating the spread of HIV. In theory, if every person carrying the virus was treated at the earliest opportunity, the spread of Aids could almost be stopped in its tracks.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S.-based National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which funded the study, said: 'These findings strongly indicate that treating an individual sooner rather than later can reduce the risk of HIV transmission to a sex partner.'
Current medical guidelines suggest starting treatment when a sufferer's CD4 T-cell count - a measure of the strength of the immune system - drops to between 350 to 500 cells per cubic millimetre of blood.
Is this the sort of news that will get the US and other countries to take HIV testing and treatment more seriously? It's not just about the person who needs the medication, as it's often represented, who can be pushed aside and told that they need to pay for their own treatment if they want the privilege of continuing to live. This and other studies have put treatment and testing front and center when it comes to prevention. img src