WHO calls for early treatment to stop HIV from spreading

London: Any HIV infected person should be given immediate treatment to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to his/her partner, suggests World Health Organization.

The recommendation is part of a global crackdown on the spread of HIV.

Last year, a clinical trial found that giving antiretroviral drugs to an infected partner earlier reduces the risk of transmission by 96 per cent.

The new strategy is part of a drive to stop HIV spreading, even if it means treating people whose immune systems are not yet depleted to the levels that usually require therapy.

“This is the first time people would get treatment not necessarily for their own benefit, but to protect their partners,” New Scientist quoted Bernhard Schwartlander, director of evidence, innovation and policy at UNAIDS in Geneva, Switzerland, as saying.

Andrew Ball of the WHO’s HIV/AIDS department added. “The big question is to what extent reducing the viral load in a community impacts the HIV epidemic overall.”


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