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HIV treatment keeps uninfected partner from contracting the virus

HPTN 052 study results culmination of 15 years of research

Date:
July 18, 2016
Source:
University of North Carolina Health Care
Summary:
Anti-HIV medications suppress the viral load of people living with HIV and provide durable protection against heterosexual transmission found. Researchers found a 93 percent reduction of HIV transmission when the HIV-infected person started antiretroviral therapy or ART at a higher CD4 cell count.
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Anti-HIV medications suppress the viral load of people living with HIV and provide durable protection against heterosexual transmission a study led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found. Researchers found a 93 percent reduction of HIV transmission when the HIV-infected person started antiretroviral therapy or ART at a higher CD4 cell count. The groundbreaking final results of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The HPTN 052 study confirms the urgent need to treat people with HIV infection as soon as infection is diagnosed to protect their health and for public health," said Myron S. Cohen, M.D., Director of the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and Principal Investigator of HPTN 052. "This study represents more than a decade of effort by a worldwide team of investigators, and the tremendous courage and generosity of more than 3,500 clinical trial participants."

Worldwide, 37 million people are living with HIV. HPTN 052 began in 2005 and enrolled 1,763 HIV-serodiscordant couples -- where one person was living with HIV and the other was not -- at 13 sites in nine countries (Botswana, Brazil, India, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, the United States and Zimbabwe). Ninety-seven percent of the couples were heterosexual. HIV-infected participants were assigned at random to start ART at the beginning of the study when their immune system was relatively healthy (called the "early" arm), or later in the study when they had immune system decline (called the "delayed" arm).

In 2011, interim study results demonstrated significant benefit of early ART, with a 96 percent reduction in HIV transmission from early ART compared to delayed ART. This finding was reported based on the recommendation of the study's data safety and monitoring board; presented at the 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome, Italy; and published in NEJM.

All HIV-infected participants in the study were then offered ART and the study was continued until May 2015 to understand the magnitude and durability of "treatment as prevention"; 87 percent of the HIV-infected participants remained in the study for its 10-year duration.

The HPTN 052 results have helped to galvanize a worldwide commitment to a universal "treatment as prevention" strategy for combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with ART offered to all HIV-infected people, regardless of CD4 cell count.


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Materials provided by University of North Carolina Health Care. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Myron S. Cohen, Ying Q. Chen, Marybeth McCauley, Theresa Gamble, Mina C. Hosseinipour, Nagalingeswaran Kumarasamy, James G. Hakim, Johnstone Kumwenda, Beatriz Grinsztejn, Jose H.S. Pilotto, Sheela V. Godbole, Suwat Chariyalertsak, Breno R. Santos, Kenneth H. Mayer, Irving F. Hoffman, Susan H. Eshleman, Estelle Piwowar-Manning, Leslie Cottle, Xinyi C. Zhang, Joseph Makhema, Lisa A. Mills, Ravindre Panchia, Sharlaa Faesen, Joseph Eron, Joel Gallant, Diane Havlir, Susan Swindells, Vanessa Elharrar, David Burns, Taha E. Taha, Karin Nielsen-Saines, David D. Celentano, Max Essex, Sarah E. Hudelson, Andrew D. Redd, Thomas R. Fleming. Antiretroviral Therapy for the Prevention of HIV-1 Transmission. New England Journal of Medicine, 2016; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1600693

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina Health Care. "HIV treatment keeps uninfected partner from contracting the virus: HPTN 052 study results culmination of 15 years of research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160718093353.htm>.
University of North Carolina Health Care. (2016, July 18). HIV treatment keeps uninfected partner from contracting the virus: HPTN 052 study results culmination of 15 years of research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 27, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160718093353.htm
University of North Carolina Health Care. "HIV treatment keeps uninfected partner from contracting the virus: HPTN 052 study results culmination of 15 years of research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160718093353.htm (accessed May 27, 2017).

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