Another expert agreed.
"There is a growing -- and overdue -- realization that treating HIV infection has both a personal and public health benefit," said Dr. Paul Volberding, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He wrote an editorial accompanying the guidelines.
"We may have a chance to end the AIDS epidemic, but that all begins with diagnosing infection in the estimated 20 percent of cases in the U.S. [who are] unaware of their status and thus not in medical care," he said. "Finding infected persons, bringing them into care, suppressing their HIV levels and retaining them in that state are the overriding goals of HIV control. These guidelines, along with those of the CDC, can help in the first step in that care cascade."
"HIV therapy is the most effective means of preventing all forms of transmission," Volberding said. "The importance of treatment as prevention was underscored by the very recent failure of the only candidate HIV vaccine in large clinical trials. We may well have to treat our way out of the epidemic, and that process begins with diagnosis and ends with lifelong engagement in care."
Learn more about risks for HIV transmission at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: Douglas Owens, M.D., M.S., professor, medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; Paul Volberding, M.D., professor, medicine, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine; Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., director, Institute for Global Health, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.; April 30, 2013, Annals of Internal Medicine
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