Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

HIV/AIDS treatment curbs spread of disease: UBC-BC CfE study

20.07.2010
HAART helps prevent HIV transmission among individuals, reducing HIV diagnoses in the community

The BC Centre of Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) published an important study today in the globally respected Lancet medical journal. The study strongly reinforces the view that the benefits of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) extend beyond treatment of the virus to significantly preventing the transmission and spread of HIV.

Recognized as the gold standard treatment for HIV, HAART uses a combination of drugs to stop HIV from progressing to AIDS, extends life expectancy, and significantly reduces HIV-related deaths in diagnosed individuals.

"The expansion of HAART treatment plays an important role in the health of British Columbians with HIV, preventing HIV transmission and maximizing public health resources," said Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia. "Based on HAART's effectiveness and ongoing research at the BC-CfE, Canada's leading HIV/AIDS organization, the government of B.C. is investing in improving access to HAART through innovative programs such as the Seek and Treat initiative."

The new study, funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), found that increased levels of HAART treatment were associated with a decrease in community viral load and in new HIV diagnoses across British Columbia, particularly in populations with a history of injection drug use.

"These study results reinforce the effectiveness of HAART in preventing transmission of HIV, and support extending the treatment as prevention model developed at the BC-CfE and now being rolled out in major centres in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere," said Dr. Julio Montaner, study lead author and BC-CfE director. Montaner is also a professor and chair in AIDS research at the University of British Columbia and President of the International AIDS Society (IAS).

"This BC-CfE study suggests expanded HAART coverage may curb the spread of HIV," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "These findings are especially important when it comes to populations with a history of injection drug use, as we now have a tool to help reduce the spread of HIV among them."

Results of mathematical models have varied dramatically in their estimation of the potential impact of increased HAART coverage on HIV transmission, predicting anywhere from elimination to potential worsening of the HIV epidemic. Therefore, the present study was conducted to analyze, at the population level, the potential association between the expansion of HAART, viral load and new HIV diagnoses per year in a Canadian province with free access to HIV care. The population was then stratified for injection drug use status.

Data resulting from BC-CfE research showed that the number of individuals actively receiving HAART had a strong impact on overall viral load and new diagnoses in the community. As HAART coverage increased, new HIV diagnoses decreased; as HAART coverage stabilized, so too did viral load and new HIV diagnoses.

The expansion of HAART is proving to be an important prevention tool that complements efforts of community prevention programs in B.C. – programs working to educate people about HIV and deliver needle-exchange and harm reduction supplies for at-risk populations.

The study results align with the emphasis global leaders in HIV research, policy and advocacy place on early treatment to prevent transmission of HIV. Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, noted that treatment is a smart health investment, as it reduces HIV transmission, TB infection and maternal and child mortality within communities, and improves work productivity.

"The most recent evidence presented by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and other leading research organizations supports these facts and tells us that we need to introduce treatment earlier," said Sidibé. "Treatment not only saves lives, it can be one of the most compelling prevention tools we have."

The B.C. government recently invested in a $48-million, four-year pilot project to provide HAART treatment to people in medical need, living with HIV, but not currently accessing the health system in Prince George and Vancouver. The program, called Seek and Treat, will improve access to HIV/AIDS medications among hard-to-reach populations in these two communities such as sex trade workers, injection drug users and men who have sex with men. The pilot is currently being evaluated as part of the BC-CfE's innovative research program, Seek and Treat for the Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS (STOP HIV/AIDS).

Currently, more than 33 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, at least 7,400 people become infected with HIV each day and nearly 5,500 die daily from an AIDS-related illness.

For further statistics on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Canada and a full copy of the study, entitled Expanded HAART coverage is associated with decreased population-level HIV-1-RNA and annual new HIV diagnoses in British Columbia, Canada, please visit http://www.cfenet.ubc.ca/publications/expanded-haart-coverage.

The study was supported by NIDA's annual Avant-Garde Award, which is intended to stimulate high-impact research that may lead to groundbreaking opportunities for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in drug abusers. Information on NIDA's Avant-Garde program can be found at http://www.drugabuse.gov/about/organization/arp/avgp.htm.

About the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE):

The B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) is Canada's largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility and is internationally recognized as an innovative world leader in combating HIV/AIDS and related diseases. Based at St. Paul's Hospital, Providence Health Care, a teaching hospital of the University of British Columbia, the BC-CfE is dedicated to improving the health of British Columbians with HIV through developing, monitoring and disseminating comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related illnesses.

About UBC

The University of British Columbia is one of Canada's largest and most prestigious public research and teaching institutions. UBC is consistently ranked among the world's 40 best universities, one of only two Canadian universities in this category. UBC consistently attracts more than $450 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 7,000 grants. It is ranked within the top 10 North American universities in terms of the number of U.S. life sciences patents and the quality of activity generated from those patents, including spin-off company creation.

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at www.drugabuse.gov. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA's new DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or email requests to 240-645-0227 or drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at http://drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA's new media guide can be found at http://drugabuse.gov/mediaguide.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca
http://www.nih.gov

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>