Antiretrovirals for Prevention: Realizing the Potential. Closing Commentary by the Executive Director of UNAIDS
Affiliation: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
Keywords: Antiretrovirals, HIV, investment, HIV prevalence, HIV prevention, HIV treatment, HIV treatment for prevention, Treatment 2.0, UNAIDS, Pre-exposure
Antiretroviral therapy (ART), for those who have access, has revolutionised the morbidity and mortality consequences of HIV infection. By the end of 2010, 6.6 million people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries were receiving ART, a dramatic 20-fold increase since 2001, saving millions of lives. In addition to the impact of ART on the health of those living with HIV, recent randomised controlled trials demonstrate the additional impact of ART in reducing HIV transmission. With this double effect, ART is a game changer in the response to AIDS. With other advances over the past year, we now have a set of effective tools to stop the transmission of the virus and to keep people living with HIV healthy and productive. It is now the collective responsibility of researchers and implementers, of governments, the private sector and civil society, to identify and overcome the challenges and translate the science into real results for people. At the recent United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS, Member States endorsed ambitious targets including to reach 15 million people living with HIV with ART and to cut sexual transmission of HIV by half by 2015. The declaration also calls for additional resources of 22 to 24 billion dollars by 2015 as an investment that will yield returns in multiples.
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