Treating STIs Can Reduce Spread of HIV, Panel at XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto Says
Treating sexually transmitted infections can reduce the spread of HIV, according to a World Health Organization and UNAIDS panel at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, VOA News reports. King Holmes, director of the Center on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases at the University of Washington, said, "We know that the amount of HIV that a person is exposed to ... is a major determinant, certainly a major determinant of the risk of someone who [is] exposed to HIV actually acquiring the infection. And we know that treating an STD for people who have HIV will decrease the amount of HIV that is being shed from the genital tract." A study conducted in Tanzania in the mid-1990s found that the HIV transmission rate dropped by 40% when STIs where treated in both HIV-positive and HIV-negative people. Tim Farley, a panelist at the conference, said it is undeniable that STIs cause genital lesions that facilitate HIV infection. Farley and other experts said that treating patients for STIs also presents an opportunity to educate them about HIV/AIDS (Berman, VOA News, 8/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.