The latest international news, analysis and features on the HIV epidemic from Avert. Share your views and expertise with your peers in the comments box below the articles.
World Health Organisation releases new guidelines recommending all people living with HIV receive antiretroviral treatment, regardless of CD4 count.
New HIV infections among children in Asia have fallen by over 25% in fifteen years thanks to improved HIV testing and treatment for pregnant women.
Company-provided antiretroviral treatment (ART) programmes are found to be highly cost-effective in settings with a high HIV prevalence.
A large international trial has overwhelmingly concluded that the health of people living with HIV considerably benefits from starting treatment early. It is widely acknowledged that giving antiretrovirals (ARVs) to HIV positive people before their CD4 count – a measure of the immune system – drops too low, makes treatment more effective. This study provides crucial new evidence that could be a game-changer in the delivery of HIV treatment around the world.
A new way of administering antiretroviral treatment could revolutionise the current way people living with HIV take treatment. A new subdermal implant has been proven to be effective in the first 40 days, according to research published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
Rates of transmitted HIV drug resistance in low- and middle-income countries most affected by HIV have only increased modestly, according to recently published research in PloS Medicine. The findings describe a low increase in sub-Saharan Africa and no increase in the prevalence of transmitted HIV drug resistance in South Asia and Southeast Asia. In fact, overall drug resistance prevalence varies widely, with a prevalence of 2.8% in sub-Saharan Africa compared to a much higher prevalence of 11.5% in North America.
Early uptake of HIV treatment among people living with HIV in the UK has more than doubled over a five-year period between 2008 and 2011. The new figures were recently presented at a meeting held by Public Health England last week, and reported in Aidsmap.
People living with HIV in Peru have demanded the Minister of Health, Aníbal Velásquez Valdivia, to declare the need for antiretroviral medication a national interest, and to lift the monopoly on medication, making it possible to buy generic treatment at a much lower price. Currently the US pharmaceutical company Brystol-Myers-Squibb has a government monopoly on the provision of the antiretroviral treatment Atazanavir, meaning the government is unable to buy any other treatment brand.
Emerging research suggests that starting antiretroviral treatment (ART) at a CD4 count of 500 cells/mm3– the current treatment initiation threshold – is inadequate for normalising the functioning of the immune system. Contributing to this knowledge, a study published in JAMA states that starting ART within 12 months of becoming HIV positive, regardless of whether CD4 count has dropped to 500 cells/mm3 or not, results in measureable and significant immunological benefits.