The current issue of the Lancet is dedicated to HIV/AIDS, a theme meant to coincide with the sixth International AIDS Society (IAS) conference on HIV pathogenesis, treatment and prevention taking place in Rome, Italy, July 17-20, according to a Lancet article (7/16).
In an editorial comment, Julio Montaner, director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) and former president of the IAS, writes, "The evidence is in: treatment is prevention," according to CBC News (7/14). "Treatment dramatically prevents morbidity and mortality, HIV transmission, and tuberculosis. Furthermore, treatment prevents HIV transmission in vertical, sexual, and injection drug use settings; indeed, a very welcome double hat-trick. The challenge remains to optimize the impact of this valuable intervention. Failure to do so is not an option," he concludes (7/16).
In an interview with NPR's health blog "Shots," Montaner said while incorporating treatment as prevention into country-wide strategies worldwide will "need more work" in a time of declining resources, "this should not be an excuse for policymakers, political leaders and others to say, 'Oh, we need to wait until we solve this problem'" (Knox, 7/14).
Two studies in the issue report on rilpirivine, a second-generation antiretroviral drug that was approved by the FDA in May, according to Agence France-Presse. The studies conclude rilpirivine "is both safe and effective and its side effects are fewer and less severe compared with the widely-used efavirenz, or Sustiva," the news agency reports (7/14).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.