Large Increases in HIV Suppression Needed to Reduce New Infections in Critical Population
Achieving moderate reduction of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) will depend on significantly increasing the percentage of HIV-infected MSM whose viral load is suppressed to undetectable levels, according to a new mathematical model based on data from Baltimore. Access and adherence to antiretroviral therapy are key to sustained HIV suppression, which dramatically reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to others.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) will present their results on Oct. 19 at the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) 2016 conference in Chicago. Scientists performed the modeling as part of a large clinical research study called HPTN 078, which is funded by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). HPTN 078 began enrolling participants earlier this year to assess an HIV prevention strategy that includes identifying MSM living with HIV who are not virally suppressed, getting them into care, and helping them achieve and maintain viral suppression.
MSM in the United States are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, and rates of viral suppression among MSM are quite low. Although MSM represent approximately 2 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for 67 percent of newly diagnosed HIV infections in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During 2013, 57 percent of MSM in the United States who had been living with diagnosed HIV for at least one year were receiving continuous HIV medical care, and 58 percent of MSM diagnosed with HIV were virally suppressed. HPTN 078 is enrolling HIV-infected MSM in Baltimore and three other U.S. cities with a high HIV burden ― Atlanta, Birmingham and Boston. Continue>
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