Sexual Health news - HIV

WHO releases update for addressing the HIV epidemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) released an update in June 2012 regarding its concerns about the HIV epidemic and how it plans to move forward. WHO, in collaboration with UNAIDS and the United Nations General Assembly, recommends that at least 15 million individuals are on antiretroviral treatment (ART) by 2015.

Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs aim to manage the amount of HIV in the body and keep it at a low level, according to international HIV and AIDS charity Avert. Some patients may be prescribed combination therapy, also known as Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, in which they take two or more ARVs to reduce their chances of becoming resistant to one of the drugs and to efficiently manage the condition. Ultimately, ART reduces the risk that HIV-positive individuals will spread the virus to others.

ART has the ability to prevent both HIV and tuberculosis (TB). Implementing the theory of treatment as prevention, known as TasP, is recommended by the WHO to address populations that are at a higher risk for HIV and TB, women who are pregnant, and couples in which one partner is infected with HIV. More updates will be released throughout the remaining months of 2012, and revised guidelines will be put out in 2013.