September 17, 2013
1 min read

Early detection, ART decreased HIV transmission

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Patients who were given early access to antiretroviral therapy decreased their HIV transmission risk by as much as 90% in a recent study, highlighting the importance of early detection and treatment, according to researchers.

“Such a protective effect of early ART against HIV transmission had been previously demonstrated among the specific population of stable serodiscordant couples, but the present study enlarges this result to a more general population of people living with HIV,” Kévin Jean, a PhD candidate in public health epidemiology at Université Versailles Saint-Quentin, France, told Infectious Disease News.

The investigators reported results from a study conducted in West Africa, where 957 patients were randomly assigned to early ART or according to suggested WHO protocols.

“Forty-six percent reported sexual activity in the past month, 41.5% of them with non-cohabiting partners. Proportion of risky sex was 10% vs. 12.8%, respectively, in participants on early vs. standard ART (P=.17),” Jean and colleagues wrote, adding that “the estimated protective effect of early ART was 90% (95% CI, 81-95).”

The researchers acknowledged some study limitations, which could have biased the study outcomes and transmission risk; specifically, the data came from self-reports and that the HIV transmission risk was estimated instead of measured.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

Kévin Jean can be reached at Eq. 11, Hôp. Paul Brousse, Bât 15-16, 16 Avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, 94800 Villejuif, France; email;