News / Africa

Anti-Retroviral Therapy Protects Against HIV Transmission

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

Scientists are reporting “groundbreaking” results in a new study on preventing the spread of HIV/Aids. The U.S. National Institutes of Health [NIH] and UNAIDS have confirmed that a person taking anti-retroviral drugs is much less likely to transmit the AIDS virus, HIV.

“This is ground breaking because it looks at it from the other side. So it looks at not can I take a drug that would prevent me getting HIV infection, but could I start on drugs that would prevent me from transmitting to other people, ” said Dr. Catherine Hankins, Chief Scientific Advisor for UNAIDS in Geneva.

While there was other information indicating that this was possible or even likely, this is the first trial to prove it. “It’s a resounding result,” she said, “with a 96 percent reduction in transmission if one’s on antiretroviral treatment.”

Eleven different drugs were used in trials taking place in Africa, North America, Asia and Latin America.

It’s very good news

Hankins said for families and loved ones, “it means that they now have an additional choice to make. They already have available to them male and female condoms, avoiding penetrative sex, waiting to start sex, male circumcision…but they now have this addition, which is getting on treatment for the person who is HIV positive.”

She added it means couples can have a greater chance of safely starting a family and “it may make for a better quality of life for the person who’s living with HIV, who doesn’t have to be afraid that every single sexual act may cause transmission.”

She cautioned that although the treatment is 96 percent effective, it’s still not foolproof. But combining it with other prevention methods, she said, would provide greater peace of mind.

Cost

Many countries are cutting back on their HIV/AIDS budgets as part of efforts to deal with the global recession.  But Dr. Hankins said paying for more people to be put on treatment should not be dismissed out of hand.

“This kind of an impact, the 96 percent reduction in transmission, could have a major effect on the epidemic. It does mean that we’re going to have to invest more in treatment, but, you know, if we put our shoulders to this and really lean into it, we have a much better chance on getting on top of this epidemic as opposed to letting it grumble on, which it will do for decades and decades if we don’t scale of treatment and scale up prevention rapidly now,” she said.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid