Treatment as Prevention Workshop 2013 News

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    Moving forward on Treatment as Prevention

    “We have an obligation to decide whether the evidence is enough. We’ve waited too long to do what we know is right. Enough is enough. We need to move to implement.”

    Acknowledging that “we have a consensus in this room but not outside this room” BCCFE’s Dr. Julio Montaner, looking dapper in a dark suit and bright red tie, opened the third annual International Treatment as Prevention Workshop in Vancouver last week.

    Fitting that we should be there in his home town. Vancouver was the site of the 1996 International AIDS Conference where the advent of protease inhibitors caused such excitement, leading some to rush to predict the end of the epidemic was nigh.

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    Call for urgent scale up of access to treatment

    Vancouver, 1996: Researchers electrify the International AIDS Conference with news of a stunning scientific breakthrough. Using a combination of medicines, they have been able to reduce the amount of virus in the blood of people living with HIV to virtually undetectable levels. In what became known as the “Lazarus Effect,” people once near death were suddenly well again and able to live normal, healthy lives.

    This discovery transformed the course of the AIDS response forever and more than 8 million people around the world today have access to the lifesaving treatment.

    This week, HIV experts are once again gathering in Vancouver. This time to discuss another important scientific breakthrough—recent research showing that HIV treatment not only protects the health of people living with HIV, it also dramatically reduces the likelihood of transmitting the virus to others.

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    2013 Consolidated ARV Guidelines for HIV Treatment and Prevention

    On day one of the Vancouver TasP Workshop, the scientific session was opened by Dr. Meg Doherty (Coordinator of the Treatment and Care Team at WHO’s Department of HIV/AIDS). The presentation focused on the ‘2013 Consolidated ARV Guidelines for HIV Treatment and Prevention’ which will provide clinical, operational and programmatic guidance for scaling up HIV programs in low and middle income countries following a public health approach.

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