AIDSMAP is an online resource dedicated to sharing information about the latest in HIV/AIDS news and research. Read on for some of their latest news in treatment and prevention.
People are starting HIV treatment earlier in the UK
Data from the UK has found people living with HIV are starting treatment earlier with higher CD4 cell counts compared to years past – a percentage that has doubled over a five year period – which suggests a growing interest in the benefits of treatment as prevention.
This is despite the current UK guidelines stating they do not believe there is clear evidence that this will lead to improved individual health outcomes.
Locally, ACON strongly supports access to HIV treatment at any stage of the HIV infection, and due to a change in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in April 2014 you are now able to start treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.
PrEP use now has the potential to save you money in the future
The cost of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) use has been weighed against the lifetime cost of HIV infection, and has revealed that PrEP would be cost-saving under most scenarios, even if the overall cost of HIV care falls in the future. Further, AIDSMAP author Gus Cairns mentions that it is likely the Canadian paper “underestimates the potential cost benefits of PrEP”, saying that the authors of the document based their estimation on the effectiveness of PrEP as seen in the iPrEx study (44%) instead of the Ipergay study which shows a higher effectiveness of 86%.
ACON supports a combination approach to HIV prevention which includes the use of biomedical technologies, risk reduction strategies, increased access to treatment and testing, and ongoing use of condoms and lubricant.
It is ACON’s belief, and that of many in the HIV sector, that the availability of PrEP is an important component of an effective combination prevention response.
Read more about ACON’s position statement on of PrEP here and for the full AIDSMAP article on the potential cost benefits of PrEP, click here.