KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study: HIV Treatment Drugs Slash Transmission Risk

AIDS researchers offered evidence backing up the long-standing idea that people infected with HIV who are being treated are much less likely to transmit the virus than those who are not on drugs. This finding is being hailed as a breakthrough.

The Washington Post: HIV Drugs Sharply Cut Risk Of Transmission, Study Finds
AIDS researchers announced Thursday that a study conducted in nine countries has proved the long-standing hunch that HIV-infected people on treatment are much less likely to transmit the virus than people who aren't taking the drugs (Brown, 5/12).

Los Angeles Times: Anti-HIV Drugs Prove Highly Effective In Preventing Transmission Of Virus
In what is being hailed as a breakthrough in HIV prevention, a new study has shown that giving antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive people can reduce transmission of the virus to partners by 96 percent, U.S. researchers said Thursday. Though some uncontrolled studies of populations had previously suggested that treatment of patients with antiretroviral drugs could slow transmission of the virus, the results announced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases represent the first large clinical trial to confirm those suggestions - and they showed that the drugs are unexpectedly effective (Maugh, 5/13).

NPR: Early Drug Treatment For HIV Slashes Infection Risk
Early drug treatment for HIV can dramatically reduce the odds a person will pass the virus to an uninfected sexual partner. The protective effect is so dramatic that an international study, begun in 2005, was halted before its scheduled end in 2015. ... The infected partner was male in 890 cases and female in 873. There was just one new case of HIV among the couples where the HIV-infected partner began immediate antiretroviral therapy. Many different drugs were tested (Hensley, 5/12).

CBS: (Video) Major Breakthrough In HIV Prevention
New research shows that treating people with HIV/AIDS before they are too sick dramatically reduces their chances of spreading the deadly virus to a sex partner. The finding - from a nine-country study - confirms what scientists have long believed: HIV drugs don't just benefit the patients who take them, but also make those people less infectious. Patients treated early were a whopping 96 percent less likely to spread HIV to their uninfected partners. The findings were so striking that the National Institutes of Health announced Thursday it was stopping the study four years ahead of schedule to get the word out (Freeman, 5/12).

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