Researchers have announced that treating HIV patients with AIDS drugs makes them strikingly less infectious. Scientists say the landmark finding could help stem the global AIDS pandemic. In fact, the results were so overwhelming that an independent panel monitoring the research recommended they be released four years before the large, multi-country study was due to end.
What’s the Big Idea?
It’s still important to develop an HIV vaccine, says Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, but the results suggest, “we have significant tools already at our disposal that can make a major impact on the trajectory of this epidemic.” Experts believe that combining use of the drugs with the current main prevention tools used in Africa (male circumcision and a virus-blocking gel women apply vaginally), could finally curb the epidemic.