AIDS Suppression Protocol Discovered
This is an important result that finally opens the door wide for the eventual elimination of AIDS. It is not a cure nor is it a long sought vaccine. What it appears to do is suppress the virus below the level that allows easy infection. It is obvious that if all victims go on the HAART cocktail, then the virus itself will slide slowly into extinction over several generations.
We still want cures and vaccines, but the HAART cocktail can restore general health to a victim by reducing the detection level in the blood to effectively zero. The virus remains hidden in cells waiting for the patient to lower his guard. In the meantime, the patient is restored to some form of normal health.
We now know that in this state, additional infection must become way more difficult. This is very good news and establishes a slow protocol that will eliminate the problem. It will take a long time to see HIV off but this is the real light at the end of the tunnel. It also strongly supports providing medication in order to protect the remaining population
Canadian research links anti-HIV treatment to drop in diagnoses
BY CARMEN CHAI, POSTMEDIA NEWS JULY 19, 2010
Canadian researchers have become the first in the world to confirm that an anti-HIV treatment has led to a significant decrease in diagnoses of the virus, according to a groundbreaking study released Sunday at the International AIDS Society conference in Vienna.
The United Nations HIV/AIDS program director, Michel Sidibe, told the conference the UN is embracing highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) as the fundamental prevention strategy to fight the pandemic, based on results from the Canadian study.
For every 100 patients using HAART, scientists recorded a three per cent decrease in HIV diagnoses in British Columbia, said Julio Montaner, lead researcher and director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.
“Today is a big day for us in B.C. and Canada. I don’t remember the last time a made-in-Canada strategy to address a global epidemic has taken this kind of initiative,” Montaner told Postmedia News.
“We thought of it, modelled it, tested it in B.C. And now we have the United Nations embracing our proposal and making it the cornerstone of the global fight against HIV.”
HAART, a cocktail of three drugs taken daily, was first implemented in 1996 to stop HIV from progressing into AIDS, to extend life expectancy and to reduce HIV-related deaths.
What has emerged with the new research is that the treatment also seems to have a secondary — a reduction in the emergence of new cases.
This is being credited to the fact that the cocktail lowers the viral load of those who are HIV positive to the point where they are less likely to transmit the virus to their partners.
Study investigators conducted a population-based report examining data from British Columbia to look at the success of the HAART program.
They gathered data on the number of HIV tests done and new HIV diagnoses from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control while figures on viral loads, cell counts and HAART use from the HIV/AIDS centre were collected.
Results showed that between 1996 and 2009, the number of patients receiving HIV treatment increased from 837 people to 5,413, while the number of new HIV diagnoses in that same period fell drastically from 702 to 338 people, a 52 per cent decrease.
Rates of sexually transmitted diseases and hepatitis C infections have increased during the past 15 years, which suggests these findings cannot be accounted for by decreasing sexual HIV risk behaviour, the study reported. Montaner said HIV testing has steadily increased in B.C. and even then diagnoses have dropped.
Previous results of mathematical models on the effectiveness of HAART have varied from predicting elimination of HIV to potential worsening of the epidemic.
Montaner said his team followed the results of the HAART program for more than a decade and published a study in 2006 predicting the positive relationship between increasing HAART use and decreasing HIV transmission, but the medical community thought the statement was premature and too controversial.
His complete study is now the first in the world to prove, with population-based data, that this HIV treatment is a successful prevention model, he said.
“HIV is not going away anytime soon. Every infection we save is saving people from unnecessary suffering, but it’s also saving resources. We have a novel concept and it’s been proven and used in this new framework. We’re extremely proud of this,” Montaner said.
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. HAART is available globally but only 30 to 40 per cent of HIV patients receive the treatment, although world leaders anticipated that by 2010, 100 per cent of patients in need of the medicine would receive it.
The study, funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, appeared in the latest Lancet medical journal available Sunday
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