HIV treatment signals possible end to AIDS pandemic – NOLA.com


Advances in HIV treatment mean that those living with HIV or AIDS who maintain a low viral load no longer need worry about passing the virus on their partners.

AP

Advances in HIV treatment mean that those living with HIV or AIDS who maintain a low viral load no longer need worry about passing the virus on their partners.

ByMaria Clark, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The risk of transmitting HIV from someone being treated effectively to their partner has been entirely eliminated, according to new study that could signal a possible end to the AIDS epidemic.

The study published in theLancet medical journallooked at transmission rates from 1,000 male couples in Europe where one of the partners was HIV negative and the other was receiving treatment to suppress the virus. The study found no cases where HIV was transmitted to the HIV-negative partner during unprotected sex. Only 15 men were infected with HIV during the study, but researchers found this occurred only when the person had had sex with someone other than their partner who was not being treated.

Professor Alison Rodger from University College London toldThe Guardian, “our findings provide conclusive evidence for gay men that the risk of HIV transmission with suppressive ART (antiretroviral therapy) is zero. Our findings support the message of the international U=U campaign that an undetectable viral load makes HIV untransmittable.”

New Orleans and Baton Rouge joined the Louisiana Department of Health to support the U=U Campaign, which highlights evidence that people living with HIV can’t spread the virus to sexual partners if they are receiving care and taking medications to control the virus so that it cannot be detected.

In 2018, there were 22,180 Louisianans living with HIV. The state ranks fourth in the U.S. for the highest HIV case rates, according to state health officials. New Orleans and Baton Rouge are two of the top five cities for rates of HIV diagnoses.

In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the U=U campaign calling it an important message in the fight against HIV.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno, the director of the City of New Orleans Health Department said in a statement in March that the campaign “will help dismantle the stigma surrounding HIV, encouraging people to find out their status and help them start and stay on treatment to keep them and their partners healthy.”

To read the full article by The Guardianclick here.

To learn more about how local clinics are approaching rapid testing and treatment of HIV read below.

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‘Test and Treat’ approach to HIV epidemic could save lives

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