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Cohen M.S.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Dye C.,World Health Organization | Fraser C.,Imperial College London | Miller W.C.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | And 2 more authors.
PLoS Medicine | Year: 2012

Universal HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral therapy for infected individuals has been proposed as a way of reducing the transmission of HIV and thereby bringing the HIV epidemic under control. It is unclear whether transmission during early HIV infection-before individuals are likely to have been diagnosed with HIV and started on antiretroviral therapy-will compromise the effectiveness of treatment as prevention. This article presents two opposing viewpoints by Powers, Miller, and Cohen, and Williams and Dye, followed by a commentary by Fraser. © 2012 Cohen et al.

Williams B.G.,South African Center for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis | Lima V.,British Columbia Center for Excellence in | Gouws E.,Joint United Nations Programme on HIV AIDS UNAIDS
Current HIV Research | Year: 2011

Thirty years after HIV first appeared it has killed close to 30 million people but transmission continues unchecked. In 2009, an estimated 1.8 million lives were lost and 2.6 million more people were infected with HIV [1]. To cut transmission, many social, behavioural and biomedical interventions have been developed, tested and tried but have had little impact on the epidemic in most countries. One substantial success has been the development of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) that reduces viral load and restores immune function. This raises the possibility of using ART not only to treat people but also to prevent new HIV infections. Here we consider the impact of ART on the transmission of HIV and show how it could help to control the epidemic. Much needs to be known and understood concerning the impact of early treatment with ART on the prognosis for individual patients and on transmission. We review the current literature on factors associated with modelling treatment for prevention and illustrate the potential impact using existing models. We focus on generalized epidemics in subSaharan Africa, with an emphasis on South Africa, where transmission is mainly heterosexual and which account for an estimated 17% of all people living with HIV. We also make reference to epidemics among men who have sex with men and injection drug users where appropriate. We discuss ways in which using treatment as prevention can be taken forward knowing that this can only be the beginning of what must become an inclusive dialogue among all of those concerned to stop acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers.

Granich R.,UNAIDS | Williams B.,South African Center for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis | Montaner J.,British Columbia Center for Excellence in
Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS | Year: 2013

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The declaration of the United Nations High Level meeting on AIDS in June 2011 includes 10 concrete targets, including to ensure that there are 15 million people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on antiretroviral treatment (ART) by 2015. This review examines the potential, opportunities and challenges of treatment as prevention of HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in reaching this target. RECENT FINDINGS: Although around 8 million people are on treatment, everyone living with HIV will eventually need ART to stay alive. As many as 24million people living with HIV today are not on treatment, the majority not even being aware of their HIV infection. Expansion of a comprehensive prevention strategy including providing ART to 15 million or more people would significantly reduce HIV and TB morbidity, mortality and transmission. The challenges include ensuring human rights protections, steady drug supply, early diagnosis and linkage to care, task shifting, adherence, retention, and monitoring and evaluation. Expansion could also lead to the control and possible elimination of HIV in many places. SUMMARY: Achieving an 'AIDS-free generation' whereby deaths related to HIV are drastically reduced, people living with HIV are AIDS-free on ART, and HIV transmission is decreased, is both scientifically sound and practically feasible. The global community could reach 15 million people on ART by 2015 while expanding our vision and efforts to include diagnosis and treatment for all the 32million people living with HIV in the future. © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Williams B.G.,South African Center for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis | Abdool Karim S.S.,Columbia University | Karim Q.A.,Columbia University | Gouws E.,UNAIDS Joint United Nations Program on HIV AIDS
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes | Year: 2011

Background: Tenofovir gel, an antiretroviral-based vaginal microbicide, reduced HIV acquisition by 39% in women in a recent randomized controlled clinical trial in South Africa. Methods: To inform policy, we used a dynamical model of HIV transmission, calibrated to the epidemic in South Africa, to determine the population-level impact of this microbicide on HIV incidence, prevalence, and deaths and to evaluate its cost-effectiveness. Results: If women use tenofovir gel in 80% or more of sexual encounters (high coverage), it could avert 2.33 (0.12 to 4.63) million new infections and save 1.30 (0.07 to 2.42) million lives and if used in 25% of sexual encounters (low coverage), it could avert 0.50 (0.04 to 0.77) million new infections and save 0.29 (0.02 to 0.44) million deaths, over the next 20 years. At US $0.50 per application, the cost per infection averted at low coverage is US $2392 (US $562 to US $4222) and the cost per disability-adjusted life year saved is US $104 (US $27 to US $181); at high coverage the costs are about 30% less. Conclusions: Over 20 years, the use of tenofovir gel in South Africa could avert up to 2 million new infections and 1 million AIDS deaths. Even with low rates of gel use, it is highly cost-effective and compares favorably with other control methods. This female-controlled prevention method could have a significant impact on the epidemic of HIV in South Africa. Programs should aim to achieve gel use in more than 25% of sexual encounters to significantly alter the course of the epidemic. © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Dye C.,World Health Organization | Lonnroth K.,World Health Organization | Roglic G.,World Health Organization | Williams B.G.,South African Center for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Diabetes prevalence and body mass index reflect the nutritional profile of populations but have opposing effects on tuberculosis risk. Interactions between diabetes and BMI could help or hinder TB control in growing, aging, urbanizing populations. Methods and Findings: We compiled data describing temporal changes in BMI, diabetes prevalence and population age structure in rural and urban areas for men and women in countries with high (India) and low (Rep. Korea) TB burdens. Using published data on the risks of TB associated with these factors, we calculated expected changes in TB incidence between 1998 and 2008. In India, TB incidence cases would have increased (28% from 1.7 m to 2.1 m) faster than population size (22%) because of adverse effects of aging, urbanization, changing BMI and rising diabetes prevalence, generating an increase in TB incidence per capita of 5.5% in 10 years. In India, general nutritional improvements were offset by a fall in BMI among the majority of men who live in rural areas. The growing prevalence of diabetes in India increased the annual number of TB cases in people with diabetes by 46% between 1998 and 2008. In Korea, by contrast, the number of TB cases increased more slowly (6.1% from 40,200 to 42,800) than population size (14%) because of positive effects of urbanization, increasing BMI and falling diabetes prevalence. Consequently, TB incidence per capita fell by 7.8% in 10 years. Rapid population aging was the most significant adverse effect in Korea. Conclusions: Nutritional and demographic changes had stronger adverse effects on TB in high-incidence India than in lower-incidence Korea. The unfavourable effects in both countries can be overcome by early drug treatment but, if left unchecked, could lead to an accelerating rise in TB incidence. The prevention and management of risk factors for TB would reinforce TB control by chemotherapy. © 2011 Dye et al.

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