Compliance with HIV regimen reduces transmission

Henrietta Brewer
May 8, 2019

"This powerful message can help end the HIV pandemic by preventing HIV transmission, and tackling the stigma and discrimination that many people with HIV face", Rodger added.

If everyone in the world with HIV knew their status and had access to effective treatment, no new cases would occur, the study suggests. But genetic tests showed that the transmissions were a result of the HIV-negative men having sexual relations with someone other than their regular partner.

But what this meant for gay and other men who have sex with men was, at the time, less clear.

Most people reach this level after taking daily HIV treatment for six months.

The US government is one of the biggest worldwide HIV/Aids donors and has provided support to the country's HIV programme since 2004 through PEPFAR. Penetrative anal sex is associated with a higher risk of HIV, but too few gay couples were included in the original PARTNER study to provide a similar level of evidence as for heterosexual couples. The PARTNER study has given us the confidence to say, without doubt, that people living with HIV who are on effective treatment can not pass the virus on to their sexual partners.

"Increasing access to HIV testing (and) ART ... remains critical for individuals and is central to the HIV public health response", she said.

During discussions, the DOH was able to convince PEPFAR leadership that government is committed to initiating an additional two million people with HIV on treatment by December 2020, as announced by President Ramaphosa during the 2018 State of the Nation Address.

As a result, the study underscores the importance of regular HIV testing and allotting resources to ensure that HIV-positive individuals are receiving regular ongoing treatment from a medical provider. It also found zero risks. "We think that the findings from this study could be incredibly powerful in breaking down some of the barriers to testing in communities where there is still a lot of stigma around HIV".

In the study, the men with HIV had been taking antiretroviral therapy for an average of four years before it began, making the virus undetectable, defined as fewer than 200 copies per ml of blood. At the same time, he proposed slashing funding to HIV programs through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) by $1.35 billion overall, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group that researches health care and other issues.

Jens Lundgren, a professor of infectious diseases at Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, and joint-lead for the study, called Partner, said: "We have now provided the conclusive scientific evidence for how treatment effectively prevents further sexual transmission of HIV".

The department thanked the USA for their continued support, which will enable South Africa to move towards epidemic control.

Other reports by iNewsToday