Back to Browse Journals » HIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care » Volume 3

Antiretroviral therapy initiated soon after HIV diagnosis as standard care: potential to save lives?

Authors Simon P Johnstone-Robertson, John Hargrove, Brian G Williams

Published Date February 2011 Volume 2011:3 Pages 9—17


Published 1 February 2011

Simon P Johnstone-Robertson, John Hargrove, Brian G Williams
South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Abstract: In 2008, an estimated 33.4 million people were infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and ~4 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, in 2007, an estimated 6.7 million people were in need of ART under the current World Health Organization guidelines, and 2.7 million more people became infected with HIV. Most of those not currently eligible for ART will become eligible within the next decade, making the current treatment strategy unsustainable. The development of cheaper, less toxic, and more potent antiretrovirals over the past decade has made it possible to consider novel strategies of arresting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Evidence is growing that ART can be used to prevent HIV transmission and that earlier initiation of treatment is beneficial for those infected with HIV. A mathematical model predicts that by testing whole communities annually and treating all who are infected immediately, up to 7.2 million AIDS-related deaths could be prevented in the next 40 years, long-term funding required to fight the HIV epidemic could be reduced, and, most importantly, control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic could be regained within 1–2 years of full-scale implementation of the strategy. We discuss the development of the concept of ART for the prevention of HIV transmission and the modeled impact that a test-and-treat strategy could have on the HIV epidemic, and consequently argue that a field trial should be carried out to confirm model parameters, highlight any practical problems, and test the model’s predictions.

Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), test-and-treat, mathematical model, transmission, prevention, elimination

Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML] 

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Permissions beyond the scope of the License are administered by Dove Medical Press Limited. Information on how to request permission may be found at:

Readers of this article also read:

The impact of food allergy on asthma

Anupama Kewalramani, Mary E Bollinger

Journal of Asthma and Allergy 2010, 3:65-74

Published Date: 28 July 2010

The impact of asthma on the gastrointestinal tract (GIT)

Warren Antonio Vieira, Etheresia Pretorius

Journal of Asthma and Allergy 2010, 3:123-130

Published Date: 9 September 2010

Clinical update on the use of biomarkers of airway inflammation in the management of asthma

Wadsworth SJ, Sin DD, Dorscheid DR

Journal of Asthma and Allergy 2011, 4:77-86

Published Date: 30 June 2011

Role of raltegravir in the management of HIV-1 infection

Okeke NL, Hicks C

HIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care 2011, 3:81-92

Published Date: 15 July 2011

Asthma and obesity: does weight loss improve asthma control? a systematic review

Juel CTB, Ali Z, Nilas L, Ulrik CS

Journal of Asthma and Allergy 2012, 5:21-26

Published Date: 7 June 2012