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Harnessing the Prevention Benefits of Antiretroviral Therapy to Address HIV and Tuberculosis

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After 30 years we are still struggling to address a devastating HIV pandemic in which over 25 million people have died. In 2010, an estimated 34 million people were living with HIV, around 70% of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, in 2009 there were an estimated 1.2 million new HIV-associated TB cases, and tuberculosis (TB) accounted for 24% of HIV-related deaths. By the end of 2010, 6.6 million people were taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), around 42% of those in need as defined by the 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Despite this achievement, around 9 million people were eligible and still in need of treatment, and new infections (approximately 2.6 million in 2010 alone) continue to add to the future caseload. This combined with the international fiscal crisis has led to a growing concern regarding weakening of the international commitment to universal access and delivery of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The recently launched UNAIDS/WHO Treatment 2.0 platform calls for accelerated simplification of ART, in line with a public health approach, to achieve and sustain universal access to ART, including maximizing the HIV and TB preventive benefit of ART by treating people earlier, in line with WHO 2010 normative guidance. The potential individual and public health prevention benefits of using treatment in the prevention of HIV and TB enhance the value of the universal access pledge from a life-saving initiative, to a strategic investment aimed at ending the HIV epidemic. This review analyzes the gaps and summarizes the evidence regarding ART in the prevention of HIV and TB.





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Keywords: Antiretroviral Treatment; Cost effectiveness; HAART; HIV prevention; Testing Gap; Treatment Gap; economics; highly active antiretroviral therapy; mathematical models; tuberculosis prevention

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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  • Current HIV Research aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments of HIV research. We invite comprehensive review articles and novel, pioneering work in the basic and clinical fields on all areas of HIV research, including virus replication and gene expression, HIV assembly, virus-cell interaction, viral pathogenesis, epidemiology and transmission, anti-retroviral therapy and adherence, drug discovery, the latest developments in HIV/AIDS vaccines and animal models, mechanisms and interactions with AIDS related diseases, social and public health issues related to HIV disease, and prevention of viral infection. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews and original research written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on HIV research. Periodically, the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a particular area of HIV research of great interest that increases our understanding of the virus and its complex interaction with the host.
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