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Initiation of Antiretroviral Treatment Protects Uninfected Sexual Partners from HIV Infection (HPTN Study 052)
Date:5/12/2011

ibution that this study's participants have made to furthering the progress in HIV treatment and prevention. We are very grateful for their participation."

HPTN 052 began in April 2005 and enrolled 1,763 HIV-serodiscordant couples (couples that have one member who is HIV-infected and the other who is HIV-uninfected), the vast majority of which (97 percent) were heterosexual. The study was conducted at 13 sites across Africa, Asia and the Americas. The HIV-infected person was required to have a CD4 cell count between 350-550 cells per cubic millimeter at enrollment, and therefore did not require HIV treatment for his or her own health. Couples were randomized to one of two groups. In one group, the HIVinfected person immediately began taking ART (immediate ART group). In the other group, the HIV-infected person began ART when his or her CD4 cell count fell below 250 cells per cubic millimeter or if he/she developed an AIDS-related illness (the delayed ART group).

Throughout the study, both groups received HIV-related care that included counseling on safe sex practices, free condoms, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, regular HIV testing, and frequent evaluation and treatment for any complications related to HIV infection. Each group received the same amount of care and counseling. Any HIV-uninfected person who became HIV-infected during the course of the study was referred to local services for appropriate medical care and treatment.

"This rigorously conducted clinical trial demonstrates that ART dramatically reduces HIV transmission from an infected partner to an uninfected spouse or partner," states Sten Vermund, HPTN Principal Investigator and Amos Christie Chair of Global Health at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. "Earlier therapy is a superior option that benefits both an infected individual and his or her uninfected partner, and we support global efforts to offer ART to everyone who needs it."

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SOURCE HIV Prevention Trials Network
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