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

was based on the epidemic in B.C., which is concentrated among men who have sex with men and injection drug users. Most other parts of the world have generalized epidemics. Such differences should be taken into account when reviewing B.C.'s results in the context of the epidemic in other areas.

"HAART expansion based on the 2008 IAS-USA guidelines has tremendous potential to further improve health outcomes among HIV-infected individuals in B.C. and throughout the world," said Montaner. "Furthermore, under the BC-CfE's treatment as prevention program, expanding HAART coverage could substantially change the course of the HIV epidemic by decreasing rates of HIV transmission, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases and therefore curbing the growth of the HIV epidemic."

The HIV epidemic remains challenging. In 2008, an estimated 33 million individuals were living with HIV/AIDS in the world, approximately 2.7 million became HIV infected and two million died from AIDS-related causes.

The B.C. provincial government has invested $48 million over four years in a pilot project to expand HAART treatment called Seek and Treat. It will expand access to HIV/AIDS medications among hard-to-reach populations, including sex trade workers, injection drug users and men who have sex with men. By engaging more British Columbians living with HIV/AIDS in HAART, better care will be provided and the treatment will significantly reduce or eliminate the virus' ability to spread. B.C.'s Seek and Treat program is being evaluated as part of the BC-CfE's innovative research program, Seek and Treat for the Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS (STOP HIV/AIDS). STOP HIV/AIDS has received a US$2.5 million Avant Garde Award from the US National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health.


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Contact: Graham Pollock
gpollock@cfenet.ubc.ca
604-806-9093
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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