Times of India
28 May 2010
People with HIV reduced the risk of handing on the AIDS virus by an astonishing 92% while they were taking antiretroviral drugs, according to a trial reported on Thursday.
The research, by experts from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. provides the strongest evidence to date that drugs which treat the human immunodeficiency virus could also be incorporated into strategies for fighting HIV’s spread.
In the study published in the Lancet, doctors recruited 3,381 heterosexual couples in seven African countries. Each couple was “serodiscordant”, meaning that one of the pair was infected with HIV while the other was uninfected.
Antiretroviral drugs were given to 349 individuals after their immune system, as measured by the numbers of CD4 cells, plunged below a given threshold. The other infected individuals received a placebo.
The experts monitored the other partner to see whether he or she had become infected. After 24 months, 103 partners who had been HIV–free at the beginning had become infected with the virus by their partner. But only one of these 103 transmissions was caused by a partner who was on antiretrovirals.
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