Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

HIV elimination in South Africa could be achieved by current treatment policy

Date:
October 22, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
The current antiretroviral treatment policy in South Africa could lead to elimination of HIV within the country over the next 24 to 34 years, but a universal test and treat approach could achieve elimination 10 years earlier according to new research.

The current antiretroviral treatment policy in South Africa could lead to elimination of HIV within the country over the next 24 to 34 years, but a universal test and treat (UTT) approach could achieve elimination 10 years earlier according to new research published this week in PLOS Medicine.

The research, which is an international collaboration led by Jan Hontelez from Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Netherlands, used nine increasingly sophisticated mathematical models aimed to test the time frames in which expanded access to antiretroviral viral therapy could lead to HIV elimination in South Africa..

Antiretroviral therapy is usually started when a person's CD4 count (a type of white blood cell) falls below 350 cells/μl blood, but evidence exists that treatment of all HIV-positive individuals, regardless of their CD4 count, could reduce HIV transmission by reducing the infectiousness of HIV-positive individuals ("treatment as prevention"). Previous studies have suggested that scale up of HIV treatment could lead to elimination of HIV although within differing time scales.

In their study Hontelez and colleagues systematically assessed a UTT intervention (defined as annual screening of individuals age 15+ years and immediate initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all HIV-infected adults starting in 2012 and scaled up to 90% coverage by 2019) by simulating the HIV epidemic in South Africa with increasing degrees of complexity and realism -- including sexual networks, HIV stages with different degrees of infectiousness, and updated treatment effectiveness assumptions to explore the timeframes to elimination.

All the models replicated the prevalence of HIV in South Africa (the proportion of the population that was HIV-positive) between 1990 and 2010, and all predicted that UTT would result in HIV elimination (less than one new infection per 1,000 person-years). However, whereas the simplest model predicted that UTT would eliminate HIV after seven years, the more complex, realistic models predicted elimination at much later time points. Importantly, the most comprehensive model predicted that, although elimination would be reached after about 17 years of UTT, the current strategy of ART initiation for HIV-positive individuals at a CD4 cell count at or below 350 cells/μl would also lead to HIV elimination, albeit ten years later than UTT.

In a related Perspective article Nathan Ford and Gottfried Hirnschall (uninvolved in the study) from the World Health Organization reflect on the research noting, "[t]he case for ART impact on HIV transmission is proven. The priority now is to help translate this concept into benefits for patients and communities by identifying and implementing approaches that work to maximize early HIV testing and ART uptake and long-term retention in care."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jan A. C. Hontelez, Mark N. Lurie, Till Bδrnighausen, Roel Bakker, Rob Baltussen, Frank Tanser, Timothy B. Hallett, Marie-Louise Newell, Sake J. de Vlas. Elimination of HIV in South Africa through Expanded Access to Antiretroviral Therapy: A Model Comparison Study. PLoS Medicine, 2013; 10 (10): e1001534 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001534

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "HIV elimination in South Africa could be achieved by current treatment policy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022183242.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, October 22). HIV elimination in South Africa could be achieved by current treatment policy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022183242.htm
Public Library of Science. "HIV elimination in South Africa could be achieved by current treatment policy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022183242.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) — Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins