June 11, 2015 – Controlling HIV Spread
Anchor lead: Immediate treatment is just one part of a strategy to control HIV infection, Elizabeth Tracey reports.
Everyone should be tested for HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended some time ago. Joseph Cofrancesco, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, says that knowledge underpins efforts to control spread of the virus.
Cofrancesco: The more people with HIV who both know it and are controlled, that’s another approach to eliminating the epidemic. Because if the people who have the disease are controlled, they can’t spread it, and if you can’t spread it then it means no one else will get it. :16
Cofrancesco says efforts also need to target those who aren’t yet infected.
Cofrancesco: There are those who do not have HIV, and for them we should be working very hard on decreasing or preventing risk activity as well as providing those at higher risk with pre-exposure prophylaxis. :13
One’s infection status needs to be determined to take advantage of immediate treatment, as recommended now by the CDC, in order to minimize long term consequences of HIV infection and keep others safe. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.