AIDS treatment does not prevent HIV

AFRICA: AIDS treatment does not prevent HIV

JOHANNESBURG, 12 Oct 2005 (PLUSNEWS) - Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can drastically improve quality of life but it does not change behaviour or prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, experts warned at the third Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance (SAHARA) conference in Dakar, Senegal.

Dr Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut in the US, presented his findings on whether ART would automatically constitute a "prevention pill" at the meeting this week, Health24 news service reported.

Kalichman said one in every three people who knew they were HIV positive continued having risky and unprotected sex, placing themselves and others in danger. "Assisting people living with HIV to reduce their risk behaviours is a global public health priority," he was quoted as saying.

Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) offered a "window of opportunity, during which brief risk-reduction counselling can have the necessary effect on both treatment and prevention," Kalichman noted.


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