HIV cases could be reduced with combined prevention efforts, study says

July 23, 2012 By Jennifer Johnson, Emory University
HIV cases could be reduced with combined prevention efforts, study says
HIV/AIDS Emory media kit: A catalog of stories, experts and resources on HIV/AIDS  research and work at Emory.

(Medical Xpress) -- In a study published in the latest edition of The Lancet, researchers from Emory University propose that biomedical interventions, including pre-exposure prophylaxis, combined with behavioural and structural prevention strategies could prevent as many as 25 percent of new HIV infections among men having sex with men (MSM) globally over the next decade.

The research, led by Patrick Sullivan, PhD, DVM, associate professor of epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, suggests that by combining different strategies such as , counseling and antiretroviral medication, a large number of infections could be prevented.

"Our prevention efforts have failed to control HIV epidemics among MSM around the world, and we must do more.  The results of our modeling indicate that, by using the prevention tools we have today and bringing them to appropriate scale, we could prevent nearly a quarter of all new cases worldwide in  this population over the next decade," says Sullivan.

"The most important gains in prevention are likely to come from the smart packaging of coordinated biomedical, behavioral and structural interventions. The intelligent combination of approaches is better than any single approach by itself."

Results of transmission models illustrate the potential impact of such approaches on reducing new HIV infections. For example, a pre-exposure prophylaxis (Pr-EP) based package would include PrEP for high-risk HIV negative individuals, as well as promotion of routine screening for infection, reduction of partners and provision of culturally competent screening and safe spaces for ongoing monitoring for and toxic effects.

Pr-EP is a new HIV prevention method in which people who do not have HIV take a daily antiretroviral pill to reduce their risk of becoming infected. The FDA has just approved the drug Truvada for pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis.

Models of three approaches—oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (40 percent coverage), antiretroviral treatment (40 percent coverage), and increased condom usage—estimated that 11 to 29 percent of future HIV infections could be averted during 10 years. The models explored the potential prevention impacts in the United States, Peru, India and Kenya.

The authors conclude: "The next steps in HIV prevention in MSM will be technically difficult and costly. Proof-of-concept studies of combination prevention approaches should be followed by large, multicenter prevention trials of promising packages.

Alteration of the trajectory of new HIV infections in MSM will necessitate a lot of work. New prevention approaches, increasing acknowledgment of HIV challenges in MSM worldwide, and emphasis on research and programs for MSM in low-income and middle-income countries are promising signs. Better prevention strategies and a strong international commitment are needed to bolster this effort."

Sullivan will present his study findings, Tuesday, July 24 during The symposium at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C.

Explore further: HIV racial disparities noted for men who have sex with men

Related Stories

HIV racial disparities noted for men who have sex with men

July 20, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Similar racial disparities are seen in HIV infection for men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to a study published online July 20 in The Lancet.

UNAIDS welcomes US approval of drug to stop HIV

July 17, 2012
The UN agency tasked with fighting AIDS on Tuesday welcomed the decision by the United States to allow the use of an HIV prevention pill for the first time.

HIV 'epidemics' emerging in MENA region: study

August 3, 2011
The AIDS virus is spreading like an epidemic in some Middle East and North African countries because of homosexual encounters between men, a study warned on Wednesday.

Hope for more options in couples where one partner is HIV positive

November 15, 2011
In sub-Saharan Africa, couples in long-term relationships where one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative (HIV serodiscordant couples) could benefit from anti-AIDS drugs (antiretroviral therapy) given either ...

Study finds HIV-infected men at risk for spreading HIV despite taking HAART

March 27, 2012
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Fenway Health have found that highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) does not completely suppress HIV in the semen of sexually active HIV-infected men ...

New book on HIV from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

December 15, 2011
The worldwide AIDS epidemic makes research on HIV, the disease processes it induces, and potential HIV therapies among the most critical in biomedical science. Furthermore, the basic biology of HIV infections provides a model ...

Recommended for you

HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection

January 18, 2018
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection. This finding, published in PLOS ...

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country: study

January 15, 2018
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Researchers offer new model for uncovering true HIV mortality rates in Zambia

January 12, 2018
A new study that seeks to better ascertain HIV mortality rates in Zambia could provide a model for improved national and regional surveillance approaches, and ultimately, more effective HIV treatment strategies.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

January 9, 2018
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule ...

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate ...

Usage remains low for pill that can prevent HIV infection

January 8, 2018
From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which—in their view—remains woefully ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.