Leaders, advocates, researchers, clinicians call for universal immediate HIV treatment access

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A commentary published online today in The Lancet co-authored by leaders of global funding agencies and organizations as well as leading researchers, clinicians, and civil society workers responding to HIV globally calls for immediate access to antiretroviral treatment for all people infected with HIV, without rationing based on geographic location or advanced state of illness.

The commentary focuses on the Vancouver Consensus, which emerged at the 2015 International AIDS Society conference last month, and called on national leaders, policy makers, donors, and civil society efforts to maximize the potential of treatment for HIV to save lives, protect health and end the pandemic demonstrated by scientific findings during the last half decade. The commentary highlights findings from the START – Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment — trial, which showed across 35 countries that treatment more than halved the rates of serious illness and death among people who initiated treatment immediately, the TEMPRANO trial which showed the similar benefits of immediate antiretroviral treatment and preventive tuberculosis treatment among patients in Africa, and the HPTN 052 trial which demonstrated that treatment prevents transmission of HIV.

Authors of the piece include International AIDS Society President Chris Beyrer, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria leader Mark Dybul, UNAIDS leader Michel Sidibe, leading HIV researcher Julio Montaner and Lilian Mworeko, Regional Coordinator for the International Community of Women Living with HIV East Africa.

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