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Updated HIV therapy guidelines would reduce risk of transmission, save lives, billions in costs
Date:6/7/2010

Vancouver, British Columbia (June 7, 2010) Researchers from the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) and the University of British Columbia today released a comprehensive study revealing that the 2008 IAS-USA therapy guidelines for commencing HIV treatment would create significant benefits for individuals infected with HIV and society as a whole.

The peer-reviewed mathematical modeling study, published in the research journal PLoS ONE, shows that full implementation of HIV treatment guidelines updated in 2008 by the International AIDS Society (IAS) would lead to more people entering treatment in British Columbia (B.C.). In addition, the study shows an increase in lives saved, billions of dollars in costs averted, and a significant decrease in HIV infections.

"The study results are critically important because they reinforce the significant individual and societal benefits of starting earlier HIV treatment and provide further momentum for treatment as prevention, which in the absence of a vaccine or cure remains the best way to contain and halt the spread of HIV," said Dr. Julio Montaner, Director, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS; President, IAS; and the Chair in AIDS Research and Head of Division of AIDS in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

When the study was conducted, 4,379 people were on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in B.C. under 2006 guidelines, and an additional 6,781 individuals qualified for treatment based on the 2008 guidelines. Approximately 12,300 people were infected with HIV in B.C. at the end of 2005, with 25 per cent to 30 per cent of HIV-infected individuals unaware of their HIV status. The BC-CfE estimated the impact of HAART expansion in B.C. based on 2008 guidelines for different expansion scenarios, and focused on the 50 per cent and 75 per cent coverage of those medically eligible to receive HAART treatment. All scenarios were compared to the tre
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Contact: Graham Pollock
gpollock@cfenet.ubc.ca
604-806-9093
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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